We craft and tell stories because we’ve stood on the uncertain edge between the waking world and our imagination, between enchantment and fear. And we remember other stories that help us build our own stories, scraps of lumber and fragments of narrative we gather together to make stories for ourselves.

Ad Hoc Wish List

Editors Note: I wrote this over at my personal blog, and then thought you all might enjoy it, too. It’s a quirky retrospective on Volume 1, as well as a fitting way to end this year, and start all the rest.

With the new year sweeping towards me as I write, let me tell you (admittedly rather late) what I want for Christmas—or for whatever festival holiday season of your choice. In fact, what I want is for you to give yourself something. No joke.

So, if you’ve read andappreciated this blog this year, and are either brimming with holiday cheer or need something to bah humbug with you in Ebenezerial gloom, why not buy yourself an issue of Unsettling Wonder. I love this eccentric mag, I’m absurdly pleased with what the writers, artists, and editors have accomplished, and I’m sure you’ll love it, too.

If you just want to buy all three issues of Volume 1 (right now that’s just £19, including S&H, folks!), I sure won’t complain—more power to you, in fact. But my special, seasonal wish is that you’ll just simply buy yourself one issue you haven’t read yet. And so here’s my wholly unofficial ad hoc buying guide, to help you choose the one you want most:

1:1 WONDER VOYAGES: The one that started at all. This is our bestseller, far and away, so you might want this just to get up to speed on what everyone’s talking about at—at—places where everyone is talking about this. There is a picture of a flaming pig in, and a collection of deliciously weird, slightly spooky stories, including a tremendous opening by Claire Dean. Most likely to appeal to thoughtfully reckless types who like the idea of setting off to sea in a small boat with no fixed destination.

1:2 WISE FOOLS: Second in our series of ‘Issues Brought To You By The Letter W’.
A lavish, full-colour issue: our design team was at top form at this one, and the illustrations throughout are staggering and startling. It starts with a Kitten Story (yes, a story about a kitten! need I say more??). And ends with the pied piper in a concentration camp. An absolute, unforgettable trip—if this sounds remotely interesting, buy it. It’s my personal favourite, really.

1:3 FAIRY BRIDES: Devastatingly beautiful, desperately sad, buy this issue and prepare to reimagine nearly everything you think you know about fairy tales. With troubling folktales including the Romance of the Milky Way and the Goodman of Wastness, this issue lives up to the title of the journal, and includes an achingly lovely brand new story by Lisa Tuttle (yes, that Lisa Tuttle).

Any of these will be a wonderful unsettling read, for this season and any other. Go ahead—treat yourself to one. And I wish you a year filled with wonder and beauty springing upon you from unexpected corners, helping you find new byways of enchantment and hope. Enjoy.

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