The thing about things is, they’re ubiquitous—so much so I didn’t have to put out a call to fill this collection. The tales in Issue 11 accumulated over the course of three earlier and unrelated theme-calls, insisting on forming a pattern of their own. The “Possessions” collection evolved first through a trio of tales about the overtaking of one entity by another (by Erik Andersen, Devan Barlow, and Yukimi Ogawa), followed by stories about literal possessions—those related to ownership, often of things that shouldn’t be owned (by H.L. Fullerton, Brittany Pladek, and Adrian Simmons). This polysemous word forms a network of meaning between the six stories you’re about to read, adding more richness still to the events the authors portray, especially since some of them describe “possessions” that inhabit both definitions—sometimes the gift that we possess possesses us in turn.
This issue came close to being themed “Fashions,” given the number of stories related to appearance and dress that it contains. Barlow, Fullerton, and Ogawa each tackles the privilege and price of self-beautification, which is rooted in many senses of “possession” and causes no end of trouble. I’m delighted with how this ad hoc collection materialized and how it turns over interesting questions about wealth, race, colonization, class, labour, consumption, and even religion—all the loud, lush, significant stuff of story, and all of it dressed in word-colour and sounding with rhythm. Take of your enjoyment forthwith.