Memory feels more important than ever this year, while people, places, and activities we love are cut off from us in the midst of this pandemic. Memories of the past (and daydreams of the future) have a sustaining task right now—as does fiction, in whatever forms you prefer to absorb it, be it short story, novel, movie, TV series, or video game (the constant travel across enormously varied vistas in World of Warcraft has been my own wormhole out of reality these days, when I get to indulge).
Secondary worlds, so often projections of our own, are especially vital right now, when we need breaks from all the fight and all the worry. Lackington’s feels privileged to be traders in secondary-world fiction, and offers a handful of “true” otherworldly escapes in this issue. Even mostly house- and hometown-bound, you can tour an intergalactic museum in these pages; witness conflict between gods in another, somewhat-but-not-quite-more-Earthbound one; and scry archives in completely unexpected forms (a button, a bog, a stitch, and even an elder or two).
Whether these stories are set in another star system, a fantasy city, or in places you can touch on our own terrestrial maps, they are appreciated beyond words by the Lackington’s staff. It seems as if these stories, and the superb artwork by Kat Weaver, are nearer to gifts this year, coming as they must through so much distraction and distress. Thank you to all contributors. It’s with pleasure that we set your work into a sort of amber, to be retrieved by the public at will.