“Letter from the Editor: The Queer Issue”
This issue of NANO Fiction has it all. We start with Stephanie Devine’s “Of Felling,” winner of the 2015 NANO Prize, selected by the wonderful Amber Sparks. “Of Felling” is a story that draws the life of a couple while revealing a space of profound uncertainty and impending loss. Flash fiction succeeds when readers are tasked with responsibility—the responsibility to read closely, to wrestle with the ambiguity of a story fewer than 300 words. “Of Felling” does this and more.
This issue, too, showcases NANO Fiction’s queer feature. The stories that poured into our queue did nothing short of amaze, with their complexities, with their nuance, with their responsible and necessary representation of typically marginalized identities. I am beyond proud to have been given the opportunity to read these stories and even more proud that NANO Fiction has been given the opportunity to house them.
The stories of Issue 9.2 came to us via contest submissions, general submissions, and of course via our queer feature call. As the feature editor, I was faced with a difficult decision while ordering the galley. Would I section off all of the many stories that came to us via the queer submissions? Or would I arrange the issue as a whole, hopefully seamlessly? I decided on the later. The stories here are gorgeously queered by their voices and by their collective space in the issue—totaling to something exciting. In “Trailer Trash,” Joshua James Sanders writes of Coca-Cola springing from a mother’s nipples. In Chelsea Margaret Bodnar’s “now that you are working for the government,” we watch the speaker dress as though “a teenage funeral director” in order to quell an onslaught of sexual harassment in the workplace. “Trees” by Niyah Morris lets a character be kissed, but kissed to taste a “microscopic riot of trees.” In Reem Abu-Baker’s “In This Way, We Fall in Love,” the speaker tries to reason away her own problematized sexual fantasies by replacing men’s genitals with vegetables.
This issue has vibrators and headstones and hashtags and deep red lipsticks. It has bear traps and big-shots, Vegas, and space travel. This issue really does have it all and is so lucky to have contributing writers who subvert and flip and transform everything they get their hands on. This issue reminds me why I write, but even more,
it reminds me why I love to read.