Wow. Talk about a strong start to our second year. I keep expecting the quality of content to level off, and our writers keep pushing the bar higher and higher.
I have to admit that this is a somewhat bittersweet missive from me. While the magazine continues to thrive, we’re saying good-bye to one of our staff, perhaps the one person I most identify with SmokeLong. Nance Knauer appeared as an author in our first two issues, guest edited our third, and has been an Associate Editor ever since. She will be leaving us after this issue to spend more time on longer pieces of work. Nance, I can’t even begin to express how much I’m going to miss your voice, your wit, and your grace. I console myself knowing that the friendship continues and that (hopefully) we’ll be publishing more of your work again soon. I wish you all the very best.
On a more positive note, Marty D. Ison, whose art graced the cover of our fourth issue, has joined us as our new Art Director. His art–“A Character in Short Fiction”–once again graces our cover and will continue to do so. His work completely blows me away. I can think of few artists who make my jaw drop with every new piece of work. Marty is one of them. The Saturday Evening Post had Norman Rockwell. We have Marty D. Ison, and we couldn’t be happier. Take a moment to check out his online gallery at www.martyison.skyedragon.com.
I also want to thank Jeff Landon, who did a remarkable job as our Guest Editor. I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out how we managed to get such a widely published author’s first online material in issue four, and how we talked him into guest editing this issue. I think you’ll agree that his vision has brought another exciting element to SmokeLong.
This also marks our first bi-monthly issue, although we’re still labeled quarterly in our name. We took suggestions for new names and finally decided nothing quite had the same ring to it. But we are most definitely coming out on a bi-monthly basis now, so look for our next issue on October 15.
I’d encourage people to click the link over on the left to purchase the SmokeLong Annual. This may sound demeaning to our excellent authors, but it is the perfect bathroom book. Really! And look soon for a print version of this very issue and an opportunity to subscribe to future issues.
Finally, one last word about the authors in this issue. There are some familiar names here as well as some folks completely new to the writing life. Their stories are all astoundingly good. Read also their interviews for fascinating insights into some tremendous minds.
Oh, and you may notice a lot more sex in this issue. That wasn’t intentional. Seriously. But damn it, it’s oh, so good. You might want to keep some ice water handy to cool down.
Editor, SmokeLong Quarterly
August 15, 2004