Haven Spec current issue


Letter from the Editor, Ya Herd?

By Leon Perniciaro in Issue Fourteen, March 2024

Dear Reader,

When I was younger, I worked at a sugar refinery, this great gothic castle in a bend of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans. The machines inside made an awful racket, chuffing and grinding and screaming as they turned sugarcane into granulated sugar. It's the largest cane refinery in the Western Hemisphere, and the place had an eerie feel, with huge sections of it abandoned and sugar residue coating the walls and slicking the floors in puddles so thick you couldn't walk through them without getting stuck. It was an overwhelming place, and it's what I think about when I am struggling to work in the noise of the world.

That noise is why I sometimes find it easiest to work at night, after the distractions of the daytime all have faded. The cacophony of creation, the sickly sugary stink of production, the hustle of us as we scurry like ants at a picnic—existing on this planet sometimes feels like standing on the refinery floor, but at night the machines all grow quiet and something dreamier whispers in its place.

It's four in the morning as I write this now, and the machines have powered down, the workers sleeping gently in their beds. I can finally tell you that this issue is not to be missed. I can tell you that the stories and poems inside will find the gaps between your ribs and take hold of your heart, but gingerly, delicately, like a lover or a friend. I can say that there will come a quiet with your heart's capture, that within it will grow a space to think and process and feel. Thank you, dear reader, for coming on this journey with us. I only hope you like the issue as much as I do.

Thank you and sleep well,


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.