Editors’ Note, December 2013
Issue No. 2 – December 2013
December 15, 2013
Consider this second issue of Buffalo Almanack an exercise in genre.
That’s a four-ish letter word at some publications, the battle cry of fringe tastes, soft paperback spines and vivid cover art in the style of a Frank Frazetta prog rock album; the trade fare of Doctor Who’s notorious “tin robots and bug-eyed monsters.”
Nevermind that “genre,” both as a collective and in its individual components, continually represents the most popular form of reading material in the world, and that “literary fiction” is itself a genre, bound by various conventions since calcified into cliché. Superhero stories, selfish young romances, über-macho sports tales and the American rural gothic yarn can’t always find a seat at the table.
This month we’re running all four.
Everybody makes their assumptions. Anyone can be ruled by their prejudices. It is sometimes tempting to enter a story with your hands over your ears or your nose high in the air based on its subject matter, the literary milieu in which a piece operates. Some of this issue’s literature challenged even our own editorial sensibilities, forced us to consider elements of fiction we’d never encountered before, elements we would certainly never had explored in our own writing.
We’re publishing these stories because they made us publish them, because they offered us no alternative. There is no true common thread running between them, but a willingness to invent and the shared quality of excellence. If, as I have heard said, the only genre of writing that really matters is good writing, well, here’s a genre we can all get behind.
This issue’s photography too reflects several unique forms and compositions. Most notably, you will find a strong emphasis on studio-based surrealism (I was reminded of Man Ray, but then what the hell do I know about photography – you’ll have to ask Katie why it’s so good!) and man-on-the-corner street photography (that our two street photographers are both native to Spain is either a lovely coincidence or evidence that the streets of Madrid and Barcelona are more fascinating and vibrant places than anywhere I’ve yet been).
At any rate, we hope the art contained in this issue will draw you a little deeper into the many rich worlds of genre, as it drew us. Within these pages you’ll find eight talented young persons at the top of their craft.
You can be sure that we are, as always, ecstatic to share their work with you, no matter what genre that work may hail from.
All the best,
Max and Katie