Laura Baran



I’M THINKING I PROBABLY shouldn’t say this out loud, but this issue of Slush Pile is my all time favorite.

It’s not that I don’t love all of my issues (just so you get the full effect of the sentence, that was a pun) — I do. But how can you help loving one more than the rest when it ends up being the loveliest and most friendly? Or, in this case, the loveliest and most melancholy?

Leaving the children analogy: I am fantastically proud of the fiction in this issue. If there was ever an issue of Slush Pile to read from “cover to cover” this is it, and I highly encourage you to do so. Here’s what we’ve got:

Kicking things off, William Greer treats us to an entertaining story about unrequited love and lip-gloss; Jeff Lennon and Ally Malinenko contribute a story about the “one that got away” and the one that didn’t, respectively; Victoria Kelly and Jerry McGahan share some ruminations on loss — just wait for the fabulous narrative shift in “Asleep in a Sturgeon;” and William Weitzel explores some beautiful, desolate wilderness, abnormal psychology and friendship in “Short Scenes from Other Longings.” Rounding out the bunch is Melissa Reddish, with a wonderfully acerbic story about sex, dogs, and loneliness.

And I am equally excited about our music feature: James Levy, the Great. I insist you spend some time with this one. I have been obsessed with James Levy’s music of late, for one thing, and it is a beautiful addition to our theme of heartbreak. (Plus, it took me a long goddamn time to get all of those audio and video files to embed correctly).

So there you have it. This issue is sopping with some of my favorite themes: longing, regret, unrequited romance, loneliness and melancholia … You’re welcome.

The anti-theme to the issue is our featured artist, Laura Baran. She is both a talented painter and a girl with a golden heart. No cynicism there, just true love. So enjoy that.

Lastly, before you go running off to read this fabulous and very best new issue, I would just like to encourage you to LIKE Slush Pile on Facebook, which link I will put in bold type here to make it very easy for you:




Because you do like us, right? I mean, I really feel like I can trust you, which is why I’m always talking about my feelings. I feel like we have a real connection.

So you’re going to call me...right?



xoxo — Mister Branwen


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