khōréō began with a simple goal: to connect and support writers who have a complex relationship with belonging; whose identities and lives traverse the space between here and elsewhere. Stories are a fantastic way to understand and develop your place in the world, but that connection often requires a sense of shared experience with the author—and we all know that immigrant and diaspora writers, like so many identities that are seen as “off-center,” are underrepresented in speculative fiction. We’re joining the fight to change that.
While it’s still early days, it feels like we’re on the right path. In the six short months since khōréō began to take root, the response has been astounding. We’ve received more than 450 works of fiction, non-fiction, and art in just two submissions periods, with almost 400 unique submitters. We are so grateful for the talent that has crossed our threshold, thought that means we’ve had to make many difficult decisions in putting together the lineups for our first two issues. If you’ve shared your stories, your essays, your art with us already: thank you for trusting us with your work. We can’t wait to see more.
Creating a publication that serves a community as varied as that of immigrant and dias- pora writers, artists, and readers requires an equally diverse team; this magazine could never have worked as a one-person venture. We have been extremely fortunate to bring together a group of individuals of many different backgrounds and identities, each of whom has played a part in bringing this magazine to life. This issue, and all our future ones, wouldn’t have been possible without their time, dedication, and excitement.
Finally, we’re indebted to you, our earliest subscribers and readers; a magazine isn’t much without an audience, after all. Our Kickstarter was funded in just five days and crossed the finish line with more than 350 backers, raising nearly twice our initial goal. Thanks to your support, we’ll be able to provide more stories, pay higher rates for non-fiction and art, and implement a feature we didn’t dare hope would be possible until Year 2: audio recordings of all of our stories. We’re hard at work preparing these and we’re excited to release them in the coming weeks.
And so, we arrive in the present, at the actual beginning of our journey together. In these pages, you’ll travel through space and time: through portals to worlds that show us what it means to be family; across countries to explore what it means to belong, to care, to be a part of something bigger than yourself; and into emotions we’ve all experienced: grief and loneliness, love and connection. We’re excited to bring you stories and ideas that have been passed down through generations, that speak to the current moment, that turn an eye to a startlingly new future.
We’re so proud of the issue we’re sharing today. We hope you love it as much as we do. Yours,
Alexandra Hill, Rowan Morrison, and Lian Xia Rose
Editors, khōréō magazine