January 2023

Happy New Year! Mysterion will be open to submissions until the end of the month. Thank you to everyone who's already sent us a story--when Kristin logged in on Sunday afternoon to check before starting this update, we had 9 submissions waiting. We're excited to read your stories, and can't wait to see what you'll send us this month!

Our biggest news of late is some sharp new cover design by Anne Horn (artwork by Andrew C Stewart). Although we're an online-only publication, we do put together special edition ebooks every two months for Patreon supporters and fiction reviewers. We were doing the cover design for these ourselves (not shown), but realized that if we ever wanted the option of offering these for individual purchase for Mysterion readers who prefer reading on an e-reader or app vs. a website, we'd need something better. (Anne is also hoping to help us out as a first reader for our current submission window.)

Unfortunately, this ebook is not yet available for individual purchase; currently, the only way to get it (besides being a reviewer whom we're hoping will read and review these stories) is to subscribe to our Patreon at the $10/month level.

Speaking of which, have we mentioned yet that we have a Patreon page? Our monthly support has dropped a bit recently, largely due to supporters failing to update their expired credit cards, so we've had to cut back on the frequency with which we showcase new artwork on the website. If you want to help us support the careers of more up-and-coming artists, or even publish 16 stories each year instead of 14, please consider signing up as a monthly supporter. Our most popular subscription level is $3/month, which gets you early access to all the stories we publish, but for even $1/month, you can participate in our Discord server (including monthly chats with the editors and some of our authors) and receive bonus content that may include book and videogame reviews, workout tips for middle-aged people, and pictures of our cats.

For $25/month, you also get--in addition to the aforementioned ebooks with recently spruced-up cover design!--a free paperback copy of the next Mysterion anthology, which will collect all the stories we published in 2020 and 2021 into an actual book, with real paper, that you can put on your shelf or gift to a friend or relative who doesn't like to read stories on computers (or phones, or tablets, or e-readers). (We're working on it right now, we promise!)

Current and Upcoming Stories

Karl El-Koura's "Christmas in Apocalypse" will be our featured story for the remainder of Christmastide and a bit beyond (remember that the Twelfth Day of Christmas is January 5th, not December 25th). The determined hopefulness of this story resonated with us, especially after the last few years.

If you're paying attention, it might not take you too many paragraphs to guess that Karl, like Kristin, is Canadian ("kilometers" and "toque"; and that's before the story even mentions Ottawa). Kristin appreciated the significant role played by cutting down a real Christmas tree of one's own; Donald appreciated the reminder to Kristin that there are significant weather-related reasons we don't drive to Canada in December anymore, even when a meteor strike hasn't disrupted snow clearing operations along the way.

January is one of the months when we typically publish two stories instead of only one, so our first January story goes live on the 9th. We hope you'll love the dry humor in Andy Dibble's "The Baptismal Status of Persons Wetted by the Sprinkler Deluge" as much as we did!

On January 23rd, Matthew P. Schmidt has an entertaining and theologically-informed take on the eternal SF question, What if our world is really a computer simulation? with "Daughter of Omega".

On February 27th, we'll have a new space opera by D.G.P. Rector, whose story "On Charis Station" appeared in Mysterion last April. His next story for us, "The Binding and the Ram", takes us to an epic future war, where a Fleet Chaplain troubled by her own side's ethical compromises realizes the truth is even darker than she had imagined.


Donald and Kristin will both be at Arisia in Boston over MLK weekend, January 13th-16th, assuming Kristin gets over her post-Christmas cold in time (two negative rapid antigen tests say it's probably not COVID, but Kristin has always been prone to "long cold").

We're currently scheduled to be on the following program items, though this is always subject to change without much warning, especially with so many respiratory viruses going around and a greater expectation, at least in some circles, that you shouldn't show up to things if you're sick:


10 am, Saturday, January 14th: Identifying Markets for Your Work (Stone, 2W). This is a workshop to help writers identify good markets for their works-in-progress, with attendance capped at 15 participants (excluding the 5 panelists, we assume).


11:30 am, Saturday, January 14th: Crafting Memorable Villains (Stone, 2W)
2:30 pm, Saturday: Scientists, Mathematicians, and Engineers in SFF (Stone, 2W)
4:00 pm, Saturday: Overt and Covert Antagonists: Who's More Evil? (Stone, 2W)
8:30 am, Sunday: Sunday Christian Service (Alcott, 3W). Yes, this will be a (non-denominational) worship service, with Kristin as one of the co-leaders.
2:30 pm, Sunday: Dialogue That Sings (Faneuil, 3W)
5:30 pm, Sunday: World Building 101 (Stone, 2W)

If you're going to be at Arisia this year, we hope to see you! Keep in mind that Arisia's COVID policy is going to be much stricter than at, say, last year's World Fantasy Convention in New Orleans, where they allowed panelists to remove their masks for the duration of each panel and didn't actually ask to see our proof of vaccination. Arisia is requiring proof not just of vaccination but of having received the bivalent booster, and will be requiring surgical masks at a bare minimum (i.e., no cloth masks, and N95 or KN95 strongly preferred).

Award-Eligible Stories

If we published any stories last year that you especially loved and were hoping to nominate for one or more of the SF/F field's many awards, that's wonderful! Here's a list of all the stories that appeared in Mysterion for the first time in 2022. (If your favorites aren't here, that's because they were reprints that came out in another publication before we published them; stories that were first published before 2022 are not eligible for most of the 2023 awards.)

Short Stories

"The Remnant", Cathy Smith
"Moral Panic 1986", Marshall J. Moore
"Help", O.Z.A. Lee
"Grandad and the Lockbox", Andrew Hansen
"The Tithe", Frederick Gero Heimbach
"The Practical Ending", Alex Sobel
"Heretic", e rathke
"Christmas in Apocalypse", Karl El-Koura


"On Charis Station", D.G.P. Rector

We were also delighted to see that 4 of these stories made it onto the Tangent Online 2022 Recommended Reading List: "The Trial of Corin of Westfyr", "The Tithe", "Christmas in Apocalpyse", and "On Charis Station". Congratulations to all the authors!

Feline Update

Now that it's cold again, the cats are always looking for warm places to curl up for a nap. Maxwell has his cat tent in the bay window, and occasionally crawls under the covers with Kristin when she goes to bed. They both enjoy the radiator covers (we have steam radiators, so they're extra-warm), and occasionally a fight breaks out over the radiator cover in a prime location, such as our bedroom first thing in the morning right after the heat comes on (Maxwell, the larger cat, almost always wins these fights). Marie likes to snuggle next to Donald on the living room couch while he's working on his laptop, watching TV, or playing videogames (Donald spends a lot of time on that couch now that he works from home full-time).

Sometimes they even curl up together:

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