Letter from the Editor, June 1, 2022
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination
It’s still May as I write this editorial, although you’ll get it in June. As much as I want to get out of the way and let the stories do all the talking, it feels disingenuous not to acknowledge the tragedies of the last few weeks. I have little to add to what’s already been said - I share the grief and despair that so many are feeling now.
Out my window, I’m watching the wild geese beginning their flight home for the summer.
Mary Oliver reminds us:
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
Imagination and connection are some of what we hope to bring you with the Sunday Morning Transport each week — both to inspire and to build our community (it’s wonderful to see so many comments on the story pages, especially). Thank you for being here.
We begin this month with our free-to-all story on June 5. Aliette de Bodard’s “Sword of Bone, Hall of Thorns,” is a vivid moment where lovers and ghost hunters, longing, fear and forgiveness meet (and there’s a talking sword). The story’s Vietnamese-influenced setting evokes so much that feels both new and ancient all at once.
Meg Elison writes some of the best science fiction thrillers I’ve read, and “Fifteen Minutes” is no exception. It’s a tense story set five minutes from now, with cars that are way too smart, and stakes that are all too real. Subscribers can read the full story on June 12.
June 19 brings Curtis Chen’s mysterious “The Book of Unwritten Poems,” where the reader’s interaction with their copy of the book takes on cautionary new dimensions.
Last but absolutely not least, Miyuki Jane Pinckard’s “The Tree at the Edge of an Unknown Land” is a full sweep of civilization realized in just a few concise words. We think you’ll find its world building as moving and remarkable as we do.
Looking forward, plans are in the works for a special July series of stories — Managing Editor Fran Wilde’s birthday coincides with our seventh month in the world and she’s suggested that we celebrate by making stories free for the whole month — so keep an eye out, it’s going to be amazing. Also, I’ll be out on paternity leave, so you’ll be hearing from her, not me.
The best thing I read this month that’s not on the Transport is Paul Theroux’s My Gaggle, a beautiful and heartbreaking nonfiction piece about raising geese.
As always, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be well, and Fran will see you next month.