Story image for Editorial

After four labour-of-love-filled years, it is my sad responsibility to divulge that this will be the final issue of Mythaxis Magazine.

April Fool! We’re going to run forever!

Okay, okay, enough of that, since this joke cuts a little close to the bone. Not because Mythaxis is on the rocks or the ropes, but because more than a few zines in the speculative fiction field have closed their doors in recent times and that’s a sad thing for a whole host of reasons.

First of all, short fiction can be great! Especially in the era of pocket technology, perpetual connectivity, microsecond viral videos, and low attention spans! Fifty minute commute on a crowded subway? Sucks. Forgot to charge your earbuds, and too shy to stream TikTok audio to the whole carriage? Sucks too. Oh hey, why not read a complete story or two on an online magazine that’s been optimized for a mobile screens? That’s the anti-suck right there.

Second of all, you may think you only like stories long enough to fill a whole book, but actually you’re completely wrong! Many of the genre scene’s biggest names cut their teeth writing shorts, and they’d be nothing without that experience, nothing. Take Stephen King, because it turns out you love his novels: well, his first professional short short story appeared, in a magazine, seven years before Carrie was published. Writing short stories made him the novelist he later became, and through them you can get all the satisfaction of reading 100,000 pages of The Stand (so roughly Part 1 of it) in a mere few thousand words instead!

Think what a tragedy it would be if there were no magazines filled with short fiction for you to read. Pity all the poor writers of the future, the countless potential Clive Barkers and Ursula Le Guins, denied the opportunity to hone their craft in bite-sized pieces and who will thus be consigned to the oubliette of creative history before they ever had their chance to shine.

It’s time to give voice to the ugly truth. If you don’t support short fiction magazines, at least with your eyes if not with your money, then It’s Your Fault That Human Culture Goes Into A Decline From Which It Will Never Recover. It’s already on the way down, only readers can drag it back up and redirect it to the stars.

Start now. Don’t hesitate. Read the five stories included here! Check out the recommended reads we found elsewhere, and discuss them with your friends and colleagues! Learn about the only-now-appearing first novel of Kelly Link, one of the great short fantasy writers of the last twenty-five years! Where would she be without short fiction, eh? Nowhere, that’s where, just like Steve, Clive, and Ursula.

Just remember to get off at your stop and go to work. Don’t worry, the short story magazines will still be waiting for you on your way back home. As long as you do the right thing for humanity, and read them.

Andrew Leon Hudson

Author image of Andrew Leon Hudson Andrew is a technical writer by day, and is technically a writer by night as well. In addition to editing Mythaxis he has been published in a small handful of quality zines, and co-authored a serialised alternate history adventure novel. He lives in Barcelona, Spain, and doesn’t do things online often enough to count.

ISSUE 37Thanks and Salutations! Please excuse the editor’s nonsense. We’d like to reiterate that this editorial was published before Noon (somewhere at least) on April 1st, 2024, and (contrary to its fraudulent opening) Mythaxis will return three months from now. We’d also like to salute the talented artist responsible for our cover image, AstroCats: Michal Kváč, a freelance environment concept artist and illustrator from Czech Republic. Click that link to check out his work or make contact (or you could click here to see a time-lapse video of him in action – quite a long watch, but interesting). Many thanks, Michal!