A Shift Change On the Bridge

It’s been my great privilege and pleasure to work on Escape Pod for the last 7 years, but it is time for me to say goodbye. Unfortunately, due to my health problems, I no longer have the energy to juggle 3 jobs plus family responsibilities, so April 8, 2022, will be my last day as co-editor.

When I joined the crew of the pod in 2015, I had two flash fiction credits to my name. I knew very little about the publishing world, and even less about podcasting. I started out as an associate editor, reading from the “slush pile,” which helped me hone my own writing. When I became assistant editor, my understanding of magazine publishing grew exponentially, and when I became co-editor, I realized I had taken a very privileged position.

Since then, Escape Pod has been thrice (!) nominated for the Hugo Award, and Mur and I have been finalists for Best Editor, Short Fiction. We put together an amazing print anthology for our 15th anniversary. We’ve run special events like Artemis Rising and Black Future Month, as well as episodes to highlight International Non-binary People’s Day and holidays like Diwali, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. 

Being an editor carries a lot of responsibilities, and I take those very seriously, especially as one of the few BIPOC and genderfluid people to hold that position for a major SFFH magazine. Editorial staff are the gatekeepers who decide which stories get published. Movements like #weneeddiversebooks are important, but we also need diversity among editors and publishers, both at the top of the decision-making trees and throughout the supporting staff.

That’s why I’m very pleased to say that Valerie Valdes will be taking my place in the co-pilot’s chair at Escape Pod. Valerie is an amazing writer who embodies the spirit of fun science fiction that we’re known for. (She also shares my love for spreadsheets and to-do lists.) You’ll be hearing directly from Valerie starting in April, and I’m sure you’ll agree that she’s awesome.

Escape Artists is very much my 2nd family. Alasdair and Marguerite are amazing people, as are Rachael K. Jones and Norm Sherman, who were instrumental in starting me on this path. I couldn’t have come this far without the support of our awesome staff – Ben, Premee, Adam, Summer, Tina, and our associate editors – the unsung heroes of short fiction publishing; as well as the editors of our sibs, PodCastle, Pseudopod, and Cast of Wonders. I’ve grown with them, learned so much from them, and will miss them all dearly. 

As for Mur, words will never be enough. Getting to know and work with her has been an honor, and getting to call her my friend an even bigger one.

This is definitely a bittersweet moment for me. Saying goodbye is never easy, but I’m glad I’m leaving my responsibilities in good hands. I have no doubt that Mur and Valerie will make a fabulous team, and I’m eager to see where they take the pod. Thank you for supporting Escape Pod, for reading and listening, and enjoy your adventures through time and space.