It is officially fall. Football season is here, and the holidays are almost upon us. There is something about gathering to root for our favorite teams and embracing the traditions of this season’s holidays that has us thinking about family.
Many of the stories featured in this issue explore different ideas of family, from the father and son snake hunters in “Snake Walk” to the familiar fraternal antics in “Our Littlest Brother.” “Claire,” “Boy with Cherries,” “Dive,” and “Bathroom Jesus” also look at family—although often in times of strife or with hints of danger or unease. These stories explore the bonds of family—what holds us together despite our differences, what keeps us together when we are in need.
Aside from family, the stories in this issue cover a wide variety of other topics such as:
- age in “Sixteen” and “LAX“
- secrets in “Bedtime in Thorpe Village,” “Feral,” “Aeroplane,” and “Dancer“
- the possibility of love in “Bearded,” “Hip,” and “Thank You, I’m Sorry“
- dedication and work in “These Three Things That Noah Doesn’t” and “Working Halloween for Christmas Money“
- art and existence in “Guard,” “Model #3,” and “Gorillas.”
We also want to call your attention to the original works of art that accompany these stories. We love it when authors provide art or suggest an artist for their stories, and for this issue many authors did just that. See Justin Chen’s illustration for Ben Loory’s story, “Gorillas,” Nancy Wartman’s art for Mike Czyzniejewski’s story “LAX,” or Joe Manuel’s illustration for Nick Ripatrazone’s “Claire,” among others, and you’ll see why this is so awesome.
And while we’re speaking of family, here at SmokeLong Quarterly, our editorial family has changed a lot during the past year. Most recently, we added three new staff editors (Gay Degani, Nancy Stebbins, and Brandon Wicks), who we are already growing to love and rely heavily upon.
In presenting this issue, we at SLQ are hugely grateful to our new staff editors and to all of the guest editors, artists, interviewers, and authors who have made this such a lovely issue.
Tara Laskowski and Beth Thomas
Senior Editors, SmokeLong Quarterly
September 29, 2010