Reckoning 3 is out today, edited once again by me, this time in concert with Danika Dinsmore, Mohammad Shafiqul Islam, Giselle Leeb, Johannes Punkt, Sakara Remmu and Aïcha Martine Thiam.
This was a challenging issue for us. I tried to step down in favor of a guest editor, and at first that went wonderfully; it got us incredibly badass cover art from Stylo Starr along with the pleasure of her acquaintance, it pushed us into some editorial decisions that wilder and darker and more intense and more serious and we might not have made otherwise, which was exactly why I wanted to take on a guest editor in the first place. So in that sense it has been an amazing year. But Sakara had to back out a little more than halfway through, which left us scrambling to take over her responsibilities, caused us to drop a few balls and have to go chasing them halfway across August. It stretched out our submission response times and no doubt annoyed many a potential contributor. I hope we didn’t lose anybody. That is the opposite of what I want.
In the interest of honoring the work Sakara put in as well as the creative influence of Reckoning’s amazing staff, I decided to keep my name out of the editor slot for this issue and call it a communal effort.
Undaunted, unrelenting, with Reckoning 4 we’re trying it again. I think I shall not yet reveal our guest editor(s) for the new issue, but I’m excited.
Also, of course, this year happened.
I’d already been expecting Reckoning 3 to be darker than Reckoning 2. The issues were always meant to reflect the state of the world in the year of their release; this whole project, the premise of calling it “Reckoning”, is about looking both forward and back, finding the way. This issue is full of both hope and dread. Sometimes the people we’re rooting for drown. Sometimes they have to kill the people holding them down. This issue has a knife and a gun on the cover—Stylo put them there without having seen it all, but that’s how these things go; prophecies fulfill themselves. We’d already accepted Osahon Ize-Iyamu’s “More Sea Than Tar”, Andrew Kozma’s “Exit Here”, Tania Fordwalker’s “The Blackthorn Door” and Michelle Muenzler’s “Flowers for the Living, Flowers for the Dead”—most of what’s full of brutality and grief in the issue—long before the IPCC report came out. We’re reprinting a bunch of #ExtinctionRebellion protest art; I hadn’t even heard of Extinction Rebellion in August.
All of which is just by way of a heads-up: please read, just be ready.
2019 feels like it’s going to be a whirlwind.