by Michael D. Pederson
Sorry, sorry, sorry. It’s been way too long since the last issue of the zine. When last I ranted here I was going on about the joys of a nice relaxing summer. You’d think that by now I would have learned that what we receive usually turns out to be the exact opposite of what we hope for.
I’ve moved three times since the last issue.
About a month after settling in to my new apartment in Richmond (yes, I am very very happy to be back in Richmond) I suffered a catastrophic hard drive crash. Nothing was salvageable. Ironically, I had just pulled a back-up drive out of storage the week before but was holding off on installation because I was too busy working on the next issue of the zine—I was OCRing Margaret Yang’s “The Last Word” when I heard a horrible clicking sound. Sigh. I am irony’s bitch.
I have now replaced my hard drive, reinstalled quite a bit of software and completely recreated my Nth Degree templates from scratch. Oh yeah, and there were a couple of serious time-killing holidays in there as well. At times it feels like the fates are conspiring to keep this issue from being posted online. Ha! I laugh in the face of doom! We’re back now and we’re better than ever. Or, at the very least, we’re back and we’re exactly the same as before!
(Note: Shortly after writing that last paragraph Central Virginia was hit with an earthquake, a series of severe thunderstorms, and a hurricane—all in the span of five days—causing a week-long power outage. Further note: Never laugh in the face of doom.)
I feel it’s important to point out that I had chosen the stories for this issue prior to the events of the last year. The fact that death and loss play an important role in all three stories really had nothing to do with my state of mind. It’s just a happy coincidence.
So… Yes, I’m very excited to be finishing this issue up. And there is some good news: I’ve been trying to swindle multiple-AnLab-winner Bud Webster into giving me a story for years. And I finally succeeded!