Labour consumes us, exhausts us, exalts us, and defines us—for better or worse—so why not produce a Lackington’s issue devoted to the theme of occupations, seen through a speculative lens? To make the theme as broad as possible, “Trades” was named with care, and submitters picked up what I was laying down. Their stories feature not just work, expertise, or callings, but a literal exchange of valuable things, as well: a life for a life, a mask for a dream, a royal likeness for a maiden’s hard-won legacy. I’m grateful these writers paid such playful attention to a theme’s potential.
Speaking of labour, the Lackington’s staff is evolving—one more person has rolled up their shirtsleeves to help bring these issues to life. I’m delighted that writer and editor Matthew Bennardo joins the magazine this month as First Reader and Marketing Manager. Matthew co-edited the Machine of Death and This Is How You Die anthologies and has published stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, and other pro venues. He even provided Lackington’s with an almost wince-inducing story about, well, skin removal for our “Skins” collection (Issue 7) back in summer 2015. An avid and eclectic reader, Matthew brings a fresh eye to the enterprise and I’m excited to see where his know-how takes us.
Another big change is upon Lackington’s: starting in 2018, the magazine will come out biannually rather than quarterly in order to let staff catch their breath. This, too, touches on the realities of labour. Lackington’s is, after all, a labour of love that demands human resources, which in turn demand a temporary respite. Fear not—our subscribers will still receive four issues in one, our calls for submissions will continue to go out on the regular, and our stories will remain a bit shy of conventional.