DargonZine 33, Issue 2

DargonZine 33-2 Editorial



As consumers of media in the twenty-first century, we often view a topic as an arc. We see a beginning, a middle, and an end. Often there is a theme to all the narrative, a concept or meaning in the story. We read or listen or watch as locations are explored, characters developed, issues discovered and overcome, and we get a feeling of satisfaction as resolution is achieved. We live vicariously, taking meaning and purpose from the stories we consume. This is often a benefit for us, as it can soothe us and educate us and help us develop a sense of organization for our lives.

Reality, of course, is not obligated to follow a plot. The study of evolution and ontology reveal that not everything has a purpose, and quantum physics strongly suggests that at some level all things are, to a degree, random. People live and work and love and die and not every issue is resolved and not every question is answered. There are mysteries both profound and mundane that fade into obscurity unsolved. Issues arise, and plague people, and last until they die, and then are just forgotten. There is no neat end to much of anything, because life is untidy.

As a writer, I know that people come to fiction for many reasons. Some come to be comforted, to escape the stresses of daily life. Others come to be unsettled, to have an adventure that their settled lives and schedules and responsibilities will not allow. Yet others come to learn, to open their minds, to explore the possibilities. Almost all of us come to fiction to find a story, one with a beginning, a muddle (!), and an end. I also know, as a writer, that I do not need to solve every problem in the world, and I do not need to solve every problem in my character’s lives. Leaves and stones and headlines and anecdotes do not often come with compendiums and indexes with which to resolve every question and untangle every mystery. Just so it is common, and even necessary, to leave some knots tied as a story comes to an end. Sometimes it is good to leave some questions unanswered, Chekhov be damned.

In this issue we will be presenting the penultimate chapter of “A View From Above” by myself (Jim Owens), in which some story arcs will draw to a close. I certainly hope you find in this story whatever you are looking for. I must caution, however, that not all questions will be answered.

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