Editorial – Sci Phi Journal 2023/1

Lectori salutem.

Members of the Sci Phi Journal crew started the year quick on their feet, roaming the world in search of inspiration and interesting conversation partners. Co-editor Mariano continued his quest for rarities deserving to be more widely known; some of his latest discoveries are reported in a comprehensive paper on early Latin European high fantasy published in our scholarly sister journal Hélice. Meanwhile, his colleague Ádám was particularly touched by the warm welcome extended to him by futurist Taiyo Fujii and Hirotaka Osawa, chairman of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of Japan. Over many a steaming bowl of tea under the arching bookshelves of Sarugakuchō’s still surviving Tsutaya bookstore, they lamented the fading art of traditional publishing – an industry that, like most creative sectors, finds itself caught between the dual pressures of automation fuelled by artificial intelligence, on the one hand, and various strands of ideologies intent on curbing the freedom of expression, on the other.

Some things, though, remain unchanged. This latest issue of Sci Phi Journal carries on its old-school mission of bringing you stories ranging the width of speculative philosophy, from contemplative theology to light-hearted flights of fancy – all written and illustrated by actual humans.

Apropos fancy. When faced with the rise of censorious tendencies in print and online, we couldn’t help but commit the following ditty to paper:

Once upon a time in Cacophonia,
All words were equal and free to fret,
Till the ruckus offended the arbiters
Who put a speedy end to that.

In their terabytes of wisdom, they
Separated Bad talk from the Good,
Banished the former to naughty corners
Lest further dissonance be afoot.

Four-letter words were first to go,
For they make innocent maidens blush.
Then came jabs, jokes, and teases,
And detractors were told to “hush”.

Soon it was frowned upon to question,
To query, per change to moot.
The mavens wanted harmony, thus
Unruly thoughts were given the boot.

The naughty corners grew and grew.
Few Good words were left to abide,
And they eavesdropped longingly on
Lively banter from the unapproved side…

Speculatively yours,

the Sci Phi co-editors & crew


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