[Image description: The cover of Barking Sycamores Issue 12. Near the right edge of the cover is a painting featuring the face of a dark-skinned person, floating in a background of triangular shapes colored metallic blue, brown, gold, green, and purple. They are looking towards the left side of the image, with eyes shut and a neutral expression on their face. The image is on a background of dark cherry chocolate brown. Up the left edge of the cover reads the words “Barking Sycamores” in dark orange, and near the bottom right edge of the words “Issue 12” appear beneath the cover art.]
We’re nearly at the midway point of 2017, and many of us find ourselves reeling from what seems to be an impossibly awful time period in history. The United States, the United Kingdom, and several other areas in the world watch as their leaders give their stamps of approval to a whole host of unsound policies that threaten human lives. Millions of people, particularly those marginalized and oppressed, worry and fear for what the future will bring. Doomsday predictions abound concerning the state of our planet, particularly its climate. Fascists openly enact violence on others based on racial, anti-queer, anti-trans, anti-poor, ableist, and other ideologies that have gained underground support from disgruntled bigots for decades. At the same time, fiscally aggressive governmental budget slashing that harms the most vulnerable among us are packaged and sold to the public as “necessary money-saving cuts.” Meanwhile, politicians use wistfulness of some for a return to the “good ol’ days” for their own gain while others recognize it for what it is: a return to an era with fewer civil rights and legal protections.
For those whose minds reach in multifarious directions, time travel may seem as a welcome escape from the darkness of the present. Others recognize the concept as a jump-off point to craft and explore new timelines, new realities, new possibilities. Still more people ponder the potential of dystopian futures such as those from The Handmaid’s Tale and The Hunger Games novels emerging as reality. Yet others dream not so much about moving forward or backward in time, but about jumping between parallel planes of existence as some in the Weird Luck universe do.
However, time travel needn’t only involve a literal traversing of spacetime boundaries. Revisiting memories is another form of it, whether by deliberate reminiscing or by what N.I. likes to call “involuntary acts of time travel” resulting from PTSD-fueled flashbacks. For some, time travel can be chemically induced or achieved by intentional metaphysical manipulation.
No matter how one decides to traverse the fourth (and other) dimensions, time travel is a realm that beckons continued experimentation and exploration. For our “Time Travel” issue, we’ve included works that play with questions of time, how we perceive it, how one might travel through it, and how memories are affected in these endeavors. On the cover we’ve featured art by Alex Duensing, whose piece is (appropriately) titled “When I Squint My Eyes, I Can Nearly See the Future.” We hope you enjoy Issue 12, as we close out our third year of publication and begin our fourth. We’re grateful for all the support we’ve received along the way and look forward to Barking Sycamores’ future.
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).