Welcome to the second volume of khōréō! With your generous support through subscriptions, donations, and fundraiser pledges, we were able to fund another year of speculative fiction by immigrant and diaspora writers. Although we had a slow start, we reached our goal thanks to a burst of attention in the second half of our funding period and even managed to reach our first stretch goal of paying our writers more!
In this issue, we have five wonderful works of short fiction. While we didn’t plan for a theme, we ended up selecting a lineup that, essentially, amounts to a series of warm hugs in story form. In these pages, you’ll find guardian spirits who have watched their charge grow up; best friends facing the baking challenge of their lifetimes; a young woman visiting her mother’s home country for the first time; the beginnings of a near-future cli-fi love story; and a demigod with one last chance to secure his future. As always, we hope that you love these stories as much as we do.
As many of you know, it’s award season. While some long lists have already come out, Hugo nominations are open until March 15 (the day this issue goes live!) and Locus Award voting closes April 15. In case you missed it: we have THREE short stories on the Locus recommended reading list, as well as being on the ballot for Best Magazine! We would greatly appreciate your votes, especially in the Locus poll, which is open to all!
As we look towards the future, we have two important things to note. Our next submission period opens on April 1 and will run throughout the month, so get your stories ready! In addition, in case you missed the announcement, we have a theme chosen for Issue 2.4! Just as our final issue of Year 1 centered on food, the last issue of Year 2 will be all about … <drumroll please> … music! Submissions won’t open for a little while yet (July 1–31, 2022), but it’s never too early to start mulling. We look forward to reading your stories.
Lastly, we want to tell you a little more about our team! We are bidding a very, very fond farewell to Katalina Watt, our first Audio Director. Kat built the audio department from scratch and brought care, heart, and so much dedication to producing a year’s worth of stories. We are eternally grateful to her for everything that she’s done for khōréō and hope that we’ll continue to do her proud. We also extend our thanks to Lauren Banka, Carla B. Estruch, and Justine Teu, three wonderful First Readers who are moving on from their positions.
Lian Xia Rose, who has been with khōréō since the start, will be stepping in as Audio Director. Lian is an incredible audio producer and, in her time as a fiction editor for the magazine, has brought a thoughtful and kind touch to the stories she’s worked on. We are so excited to see the direction in which she’ll take the department. She is joined by two more team members: Loni Kim, our new Casting Director, and Jenelle DeCosta, our new Production Assistant! We’re delighted to welcome them aboard, and already thankful for their time and talent. We’ll be announcing a new class of First Readers in our next issue!
Aleksandra Hill and Rowan Morrison