Sean wrote an excellent post about the new issue of Swill. As the editor-in-chief of this magazine, I gotta say I'm very proud of our first three issues but issue four is, in the words of Captain Beefheart, "the best batch yet."
There are excerpts from each story, from this issue and each of the previous issues, on the Swill website. The story order for this issue was like a music mix- there was never any question of one story being better than another, the question was always what segued best.
Having decided to open with a noir/horror/science fiction comedy, what type of story follows that best? Thank you John Shirley, a fine opening story and very difficult to label. Which was one of the reasons to open with it; it seemed like any of the other stories could follow it smoothly.
After that the ensuing stories could reasonably be labeled, in order: crime, horror, noir, wacked-out surrealist comedy, noir, fantasy/horror. Out of that batch Craig Hartglass's comic story about a day at the mall with Paul Bowles and Jack Kerouac clearly stood out in terms of "one of these things is not like the others." And we like things that aren't like the others.
We also like the others: W.G. Kelly, Steve Young, Brian Haycock, fine writers who gave us fine stories. Sean and I are also pleased with our own creepy little tales in this issue.
Last night one of the things Sean and I agreed on was that although the new issue is better than the first, the first had a diversity to the types of stories that we would like to have again. Clearly we like certain types of genre writing and see them as literary, but that doesn't mean we dislike mainstream literature. That is, we dislike the boring shit, regardless of genre. Anyway, the website contains my Swill manifestos (they're the back cover text from issues 1 and 2).
The main thing right now: we love this issue, check it out.