Jul/Aug 2007

From the Editors

Photography by Kawika Chetron

Photography by Kawika Chetron

From Tom Dooley, Fiction and Managing Editor

Chetron was a man who lived in two worlds. In one he was a big-league software engineer in Silicon Valley. He had a degree from Harvard, a master's from Stanford. His friends all said he was the most intelligent person they knew.

In his other world, he lived to dive in the cold waters on the edge of the continent, the world just under the surface of the Pacific. It was the place he loved best. —from the San Francisco Chronicle, April, 2007

The photographs accompanying this issue's fiction, poetry, opinion, travel, and nonfiction were taken by Kawika Chetron, who disappeared this past March in the waters off Cape Mendocino. I chose to include them because I think they're strikingly beautiful, and I hope that this issue can serve as some small tribute to the man and his work, and also to the millions of others out there like him who are able through their gifts and energy to enrich the world not just through their "day" jobs but by doing things they love in their spare time—in such a way that the rest of us can experience the wonders they see.

I wish to thank Chetron's mother, Ibbie White, who in the face of tragedy still generously agreed to share his work with Eclectica.

The photos accompany an issue that strives to match them in its vibrancy and diversity. Lots of great poetry and fiction, reviews and interviews, and as the interim Nonfiction and Travel editor, I'm proud to say that those two sections are well represented as well. The Travel section is further augmented by the presence of our Spotlight Author, William Reese Hamilton, who has four pieces in the Spotlight section. His pieces feature photos he took in Venezuela, where he lives and gets his travel-writing material, and I'm thrilled to have him back after his debut in the last issue.

I'm running short on time to get this issue online, so I'm not going to say a whole lot about what's in it, trusting the reader will be delighted to find out on her own. I will mention, however, that Bojan Pavlovic and Andrew Coburn are both back with new short stories, and I'm beginning to wonder if these guys aren't conspiring to extend the "rivalry" I suggested in my previous Editor's note. This is the third issue in which they've appeared together, and again their stories share some interesting similarities that almost suggest collusion. Well, I've always suspected I might be a conspiracy theorist, but conspiracy or not, I'm happy to see the rivalry continue.

I should also mention that the Million Writers Award voting concluded today, and it appears that A. Ray Norsworthy's "All the Way to Grangeville," our representative in the Top Ten, finished the month in second place. It was as epic a "battle" as a vote for the Online Story of the Year can be, with the top three stories changing places every day or so. "Grangeville" led for much of the month and never fell below third place, and I'm extremely proud to have it in the Eclectica family of stories. Congrats to Ray and to the Eclectica authors who made the notable list this year, Tabitha D. Bast, Jeff Crook, Anna Sidak, and Jeff Haas, and the many other Eclectica authors who made the list or were nominated for stories in other publications, including Corey Mesler, Crispin Oduobuk, Caroline Kepnes, and our hard-working Review Editor, Colleen Mondor. Thanks also to everyone who helped spread the word about the award and the voting, and here's looking forward to next year when, with any luck, one or more of the pieces in this very issue will have their shot.

Some quick updates on some past authors:

Barrett Brown, who appeared in Eclectica in 2000 and 2003, just saw his first book, Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design, and the Easter Bunny, released a few months back. D. Harlan Wilson is spreading the word about his fourth book, Dr. Identity, or, Farewell to Plaquedemia, an avant pop science fiction novel published in March by Raw Dog Screaming Press. Sam Adams also has a book out called Precious Blood (Pinnacle True-Crime 2007). Nicholas Hogg's novel, Show Me the Sky, will be published by Canongate in 2008. And finally, Tim Horvath's short story "Rhino of the Real" just won the Thomas Williams Memorial Prize at UNH for Excellence in Graduate Fiction Writing. Congratulations to all these folks.

Enjoy the issue, and Happy Summer!


Check out Kawika Chetron's website for more photos!