cover by quaedam
Sun and Stone, by Noel Oliver
Duties, by Kikuchi Makoto (菊池 誠)*
The Revelation of Orev, by Koiwa Shishiko (小岩 獅神)
Green Planet, by Mikami Ren (三神 恋)*
Seven Tears into the Sea, by Takiguchi Aiko (滝口アイコ)*
The Black River Rises, by Domashita Romero (地下ロメロ)*
The One With Giant Mechanical Spiders In, by Ii Ai (粲 愛) and Roumonte Emi (竜主天 蝦)*
A Good Idea, by Lady Memphremagog
Freestyle Match, Translated by MYŌGADANI Mōra (茗荷谷 裸望)*
Stammering Wings, by i_crave_yaoi
Sid Stills' Blues (Three-Quarters in the Bag in Alphabet City), by shukyou (主教)*
Let Me Help You, by uneclochette
Ready for the Holidays, by melanofly (メラノ飛)
Since this is the theme-free issue, I shall take the opportunity to step out of the thematic patter text for the time being and instead make a couple of quick and delightful editorial points!
1. Yes, Virginia, there is an order to things. While the standalone images are generally added in the order in which they arrived in the inbox, the stories are in fact carefully curated (by yours truly) and placed in a sequence intended to give a cumulative reading experience. You may of course read in any order, but I found that some readers weren't even aware that there's an order at all, so ... now you know!
2. The website is full of hidden delights, including (but not limited to) the editorial masthead, which changes over every issue. Whether you're trying to catch up on missed content or just nostalgic for past stories, this is the place to go.
3. This project is hard work -- and I'm not just speaking of what we on the editorial staff do. All of out contributors have been outstanding this year, and have helped to make our first full year running this crazy ship amazing. These issues that have come together in 2011 have, without exaggeration, been some of the best ever. As this is an entirely volunteer-run enterprise, we know the only currency is praise: thus, a thousand thanks to everyone who's pitched in -- writing, illustrating, typesetting, editing, commenting, sharing, retweeting, reblogging, evangelizing -- to help keep this the wonderful success it's been. Keep up the excellent work, and we'll see you all in 2012!
Happy reading and happy new year!