Letter from the Editor, Ya Herd?

by Leon Perniciaro in Issue Thirteen, January 2024

Dear Reader,

Haven Spec Magazine is now a pro-paying market! We’re grateful to everyone who supported our Kickstarter, and we are so glad to be able to give our wonderful authors the rates that they deserve. We have big plans for 2024, including interviews with some amazing editors, stories from across the width and breadth of the human experience, and short fiction reviews from your very own Haven Spec staff (okay, mostly Danai). I very much want Haven Spec to be a part of the wider SFF community, and that means paying people what they deserve, shouting out the stories and magazines we love, and publishing as much awesome fiction and poetry as we possibly can.

Our better-late-than-never January issue is finally here, and we’ve narrowed the thousands of submissions that we received in the last few months of 2023 to just five stories and four poems for your enjoyment. Too many hard decisions had to be made, and I wish we could publish more, but we think you’ll agree that these nine pieces are absolutely amazing.

So follow the darkness that haunts T. K. Rex’s “The Hen and the Shadow of the Monstrance Street Commune,” and hold onto the love that remains in the face of horror in “The Hundred Loves” by Melissa A Watkins. Our longest piece of the issue is Thomas Ha’s “Behind the Gilded Door,” an exquisite fantasy that asks us what it means to go home. For a shorter story, try “Saving Worlds With Your Elf Boyfriend” by Dana Berube, which shows us that there are still worlds worth fighting for. Rounding out the issue’s fiction is Sophia Adamowicz’s “A Real Boy,” which is delightfully weird and violent and may involve an enormous, vengeful tree.

If poetry is more your speed, we’ve got “The Frida Train” by Russell Nichols, which examines harmful narratives of disability and offers hope and wonder in their place. There’s also Matthew Roy’s “Tell Me the Story of Something Ending,” about community and love after the end of the world, the epic science fantasy “Star Stitcher” by A.J. Van Belle, mixing magic and spaceships and sewing, and “To market, to market” by Anna Quercia-Thomas, a poem that takes you for a long walk you might not want to go on.

We're so excited for this year, and we've got a mountain of great stuff lined up for you all, so thank you for joining the herd!

Till next time,


Leon Perniciaro, Editor
Haven Spec Magazine

© 2024 Leon Perniciaro

Leon Perniciaro

Leon Perniciaro (he/him) is the editor of Haven Spec Magazine and an assistant editor at Android Press. He studies English as a PhD student at the University of Connecticut, with a focus on race, Indigeneity, and environmental justice. He is a member of SFWA and the Codex Writers' Group and is a citizen of the Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb. Originally from New Orleans, he now lives in New England, where he's terrified of both the climate crisis and the Great Filter.