Introduction by Shahid Khan

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intro-by-shahid-khanI was ecstatic when I was invited to be the guest editor for Liquid Imagination. What a wonderful opportunity, I thought. Here is a chance to see the writing game from the other side of the desk! I eagerly accepted and was soon given access to the submissions site. I began reading the submitted stories and was immediately struck by the challenge that lay ahead of me.

The greatest difficulty in the editorial process—for me—was reading and selecting only six stories from the numerous submissions. I was taken aback by the amount of talent and wonderful ideas I found waiting for me in the Submittable inbox. Reading through all those stories was a humbling and often enjoyable experience. It was hard for me to pick my first story—and I apologize for anyone who may have waited long for a response. I promise that the delay was caused only by the difficulty in choosing from such a compelling list of tales.

As hard as it was to decide, I had to choose the six stories that are waiting for you here in this issue of Liquid Imagination. And so I did. These are stories I enjoyed immensely. Stories filled with emotion, drama, and action. I have a personal bias towards Science Fiction, but the stories presented here vary in genre and tone. They do all contain an element of the fantastic. It has always been my belief that, when reading for an escape, it’s best to escape somewhere extraordinary—somewhere beyond our everyday experience.

I thought long and hard about how to introduce these stories. As the editor who selected them for you to read, I feel a responsibility to the stories—and to you, gentle reader. I have always had a fondness for Sci Fi and Action films and one of the best parts of watching those movies in the theater is the trailers. Hearing the phrase, “In a world…” gets me ready for excitement and the anticipation of what’s to come. Recalling that excitement and anticipation, I have done my best to craft short “trailers” for the six short stories you’ll find here. I hope they leave you wanting to read on, even though you know you’re running late for work, you should be going to sleep, or your legs are starting to go numb.

Here you sit, waiting for the feature presentation. The lights dim, the curtain opens and the babbling chatter simmers down to whispers…

In her story Beyond the Reach of Moonlight, Jamie Lackey tells us a beautiful tale of love, loss, and revenge set in a magical world where spirits and men mingle to their delight—or dismay.

A widow and her son fallen into trouble find an answer neither expected in The Finnegoid, by Judith Field.

Noeleen Kavanagh’s Sanctuary asks the questions: How much difference can one life make? Or the decision to stand against tradition? The results can be far reaching, rippling out among the stars.

In The Laughing Tree, Preston Dennett reminds us that, even in our darkest moments we can find purpose. And even the farthest gone still have hope.

If you could start over again, would you do it? What would happen if you did? Ramon Rozas takes us along for a thrilling ride as one man faces this decision. Restore Point shows us how these choices could play out.

Last but far from least, Tom Howard takes us to the Dead Letter Office. A man running from his past crimes finds himself lost—but not the way he intended.

And now for your feature presentation. I hope you find your fantastic escape.