From The Editor: Slipping into a Magical World

From The Editor:
Slipping into a Magical World


©2001, Lazette Gifford



For most of the time I live a rather quiet (some might even call it dull) life in a relatively small town in Nebraska.  Relatively small, because by Nebraska standards it isn't -- but never mind.    Sitting in my office, I write, do web work, and wander about the Internet.  That's pretty magical in itself -- this ability to speak with people anywhere in the world.


However, over the Memorial Day Weekend in May I traveled down to Kansas City to a gathering of my own people, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Community.  Now this is magic in the real world!  Here is an entire group of people, none of whom will frown when you say you write sf and fantasy, and ask why you don't write 'real' books instead.  Here are people who will ask you how your latest project is going, ask what books you've read,  and spend entire afternoons discussing the symbolism in a favorite SF author's latest book.


There are authors, editors and publishers willing to sit down on panels and discuss such things as how anthologies are put together, the state of the market, and the future of the genres.  These are people who are not only there to entice readers to their books, many are there to help writers get closer to publication.


And then there are parties that stretch late into the night (the only parties, by the way, that I ever willingly attend), where people crowd into little rooms, drink sodas, eat chips and cookies, and the main topic of discussion is books.


For part of Friday, all of Saturday, and part of Sunday  I spent time talking with friends whom I only get to see once or twice a year.  I did not hear Survivor mentioned once.  At one party, I did listen to a great discussion about the differences between the writings of  H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, and what agendas were being pushed.  When was the last time you sat in a party and heard a conversation like that?


There were occasional oddly dressed beings wandering the halls -- vampires, aliens and all.  There were poor mundanes (people who are not members of the SF community) staying at the hotel who gave us all strange looks.  But we didn't care. We had slipped into our own world,  and were standing among our own people.  For three days we could all shed the confines of normality, spread our wings, and fly through the wonders of our imaginations.

That's magic in the real world.