Who Are We?
Welkin is magazine of fantastic literature, a journal devoted to the obscure and the outré, to narrowing the gap between realist literary fiction and more traditional and fantastic modes of narrative. We specifically look for submissions in the magical realist, fabulist, fairy tale, fantasy, gothic, metafictional, slipstream, fantastic, weird, surrealist, and experimental genres. We seek a movement away from plotless, quotidian tales in favor of the imaginative, the gripping, and the plot-driven.
We have two digital magazines we consider for: Welkin, our quarterly ebook magazine, which after publication will be purchasable either as single issues or as a subscription; and The Book of Idle Tales, our online magazine, which contains very short, digestible pieces of fantastic flash fiction.
What Is Fantastic Literature?
Fantastic literature, put simply, is literature in which the possible and the impossible share overlapping space. The earliest literatures from every cannon, the Homeric poems, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Mahabharata, the Popol Vuhl, the Sundiata, indeed nearly all premodern and folk literature, is fantastic in nature. While it shares considerable overlap with contemporary fantasy fiction, the fantastic is distinguished largely by its real-world setting and its presentation of fantasy elements in that context, often with a subtler and more ambiguous presentation of the unreal. It was perhaps best summarized by the novelist Wallace Stegner as the “black water seeping into reality.” Indeed, many stories which feature no strictly fantastic elements outright can be considered fantastic literature by virtue of their sheer uncanniness.
We are happy to consider and include stories which could be considered either realist or “genre” pieces, so long as they meet our standards of quality and leave us with that gnawing sensation of awe and wonder that the good fantastic should. The great joy of fantastic literature is its utterly amorphous boundary, which has the tendency to shift behind a reader’s back like a shadow unwatched.
Some of our favorite and most influential storytellers who best exemplify the traits of fantastic literature include but are not limited to Jorge Luis Borges, Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler, Italo Calvino, Bioy Casares, Julio Cortázar, Lord Dunsany, Umberto Eco, William Faulkner, The Brothers Grimm, Henry James, Marlon James, Franz Kafka, Leena Krohn, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kelly Link, David Lynch, Gabriel García Márquez, Hayao Miyazaki, Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, Flannery O’Connor, Edgar Allen Poe, Juan Rulfo, Salman Rushdie, Scheherazade, J.R.R. Tolkien, et al.
J. McKenzie Nalley, Publisher & Editor in Chief