Welcome to Othergate Journal, an online literary journal featuring fantasy, science-fiction, and other speculative fiction. Our inaugural issue features interviews with two very different authors, editorials, and several previously unpublished stories which range from science fiction to noir to dystopic to fantasy and beyond. Othergate is run by students at the University of Mary Washington as a part of the Literary Journals class in the English Department.
Warren Rochelle is an English professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. In this interview, Warren Rochelle defines and defends the science fiction and fantasy genres. He also describes his writing process and the intense work required for world building, even though “they all die in the end,” according to him. He also talks about his last novel, Harvest of Changelings, and hints at things to come in the sequel, The Called, due out in September.
Aaron Reed is the author of Blue Lacuna, a groundbreaking work of interactive fiction released in 2009. Blue Lacuna is comprised of almost 400,000 words of prose and code. In this interview, Reed discusses topics such as the creation process of interactive fiction, his work on Blue Lacuna, the conventions of interactive fiction, and the future of interactive fiction as a storytelling medium. Also featured are three playable excerpts of Blue Lacuna, which are available here.
“The New Emotive” by Adam Hinshaw tells the story of Derek Thompson, a man living in an age when the existence of romantic love between two people is identified by an advanced brain scan. The only problem is that most couples receive a “negative” reading, increasing divorce rates and altering people’s perception of their emotions. Derek struggles with the changes presented by this new science, including his own divorce, new sexual freedoms, and a world of increasing coldness.
The short story “Sphinx” by Rachel Blier is about a woman named Ellie who has a very important job interview at a company called ThebesWare. She is delayed by a mythical sphinx, who blocks her path from the elevator and demands that she answer a riddle for it. The riddle is a seemingly simple question, but brings to light the deeper riddle of her own uncertainty.