By Yasmin Inkersole and James Geddis
As with the first of anything, the creation of this issue has been an exciting and challenging feat. The end result you see before you is a project that has been six months in the making, and would not have been possible without the hard work and optimism of our small team, all of whom are passionate about science-fiction and fantasy writing. It is apt, then, that we begin this letter by thanking those without whom Otherverse Magazine would still be just an idea lingering in a Google Document.
Thank you to Nina Kenney, our editor and web designer, who created the beautiful website you see before you. Thank you to Chandler Coniglio, Alex Clarke and Jess Shannon, who offered their editorial support to us as we processed submissions. We would also like to thank the school of St Helen and St Katharine, who provided a grant that enabled us to achieve our goal of paying the writers featured in this issue, and commission cover art by the incredible Sean Bova. In addition to these brilliant people, we are exceedingly grateful to all of those who donated to the magazine to support us at this early stage. Friends, family and strangers have enabled us to make this issue the best it can be, and also given us the backing needed to look to future issues of Otherverse. Thank you for believing in us, we hope this issue will make you proud to be a supporter of the magazine.
The idea for Otherverse Magazine first arose earlier this year, when both James and I were students on the University of Warwick MA Writing course. I had been an avid subscriber of Wordsmith magazine when I was younger, and had long held a desire to have my own publication. When I caught wind of a fellow student who shared not only the same aspiration, but also an enthusiasm for all things SFF, it seemed an ideal partnership to begin our own magazine. As the common saying goes, ‘two heads are better than one’, and it was certainly true in the case of Otherverse. With neither of us having had any experience of starting a publication before, this has been a massive learning curve – though one we were able to navigate together, like co-pilots in an asteroid storm.
Given the safety measures in place as a result of the Covid pandemic, the entire process of creating Otherverse has taken place online. Through Microsoft Teams meetings, emails, and yes, even dreaded Google Documents, we were able to lay the foundations of the magazine and put a call out to encourage writers to submit to us. This was certainly one of the most daunting aspects of the process – what is a writing magazine without its writers? You can imagine our delight, then, in receiving the wonderful stories you see before you in this issue. A final thanks is certainly due to K L Andrews, Chandler Leigh, Sheralyn Loh, Rohan O’Duill, Siobhan Chesson, Eamonn Mckeon and Joe Berwick who feature alongside James and I in this preliminary issue. Your stories bring Otherverse to life.
As a reader of Otherverse, you may be wondering what can be expected of these brilliant writers. Well, we would hate to spoil the surprise, but suffice to say that you can be certain of an adventure through virtual reality, a strangely familiar virus, and a conspicuous futuristic junkyard to name only a few of the fantastical worlds encompassed in these stories. We hope you will enjoy reading them as much as we have, and that you will find yourself lost in the strange plains of unreal lands (unfortunately, we cannot supply compasses to help you find your way out).
It is incredibly exciting to be able to present the first issue to you. It has exceeded the hopes James and I fostered when we first met, and we are inspired by the potential of the magazine to continue into future issues. We hope you will strap into the Otherverse spaceship and come with us on this journey, as we look to a future where many more authors will fill the pages of this publication with their dazzling creations.
Simply by reading this issue you are supporting us as we plunge forwards into the unknown. However, if you would like to offer further backing for the continuation of the magazine, you can provide a financial donation via the ‘Support Us’ tab. We are forever grateful for donations of any amount, not only as they help us feed our resident dragon, but because they shine a bright light on the future of the magazine.
Perhaps it was a lie to say that the final thanks of this letter would be to our writers. In reality, it goes to you, wonderful reader. This magazine was created for you, in the hopes that it would bring about the sense of escape and intrigue that fantasy and science-fiction writing is so uniquely capable of. If we can give a piece of that wonder back to the world, well – that’d be fantastic.
Until next time,
Yasmin Inkersole and James Geddis