I wonder how many quest stories the average homo sapiens has heard or read or imagined by the time they’re forty? The quest motif is the firmament under our myths, and one of the most common and universal ways storytelling and religion explore what it means to be human. So common that it’s likely quest, as a literary form, sets eyes rolling.
Lackington’s doesn’t care — we chuck our chins at eye-rolling. Our defiance was sparked by Alexandra Seidel’s sumptuous “A Quest for Fire,” which arrived in early days and inspired this issue’s theme. Of the six stories found here, Alexandra’s tale is the truest to tradition, yet it dodges convention elegantly and upends the familiar. In Issue 3, readers will find tales about unstoppable types seeking loved ones across alien or war-torn landscapes; a constrained woman sending her lover on a trivial quest to keep him from harm; victims questing for a life free from abuse in a near-hopeless plagueland; and a shut-in musing on how our quest traditions have shaped roles and warped expectations. But plot or premise is the least of each of these tales. The quest trope, old as it is, can still reveal unanticipated dimensions when deployed by experimentalists.
We wouldn’t be reading these quests if it weren’t for the writers and artists who’ve chosen to work with Lackington’s. As ever, we’re inarticulately grateful to them for their creations and for allowing us to steward them. An enthusiastic thank-you is also owed to Dwayne Collins for his sage advice about eBook preparation, which helped us expand our offerings. Happy reading.