Tentacular – A User’s Guide (and Editorial, sort of)

1.    Embrace the tentacles!  These are a hyperlinked attempt to curate journeys through the site, and encourage you to reflect on what links the two.  Some links are contributor suggestions, some I choose for affinity in tone, theme, form, or because one challenges or comments on the other.  Some are also to take you from your comfort zones.


2.    The tentacles are different: the left one always points you back into a contribution on the site, whilst the right (see right) may or may not take you further afield.

3.    And this is the point of the whole (now it's mini-manifesto time!) – to encourage connection and reaching out.  Issue 1 has a high proportion of experimental work, reflecting the distribution of my network and what was submitted; but I welcome a much wider range of styles and traditions, and lack of style, and struggle against tradition.  

4.    That’s why what's here ranges from the gothic, edgy confessional of Nicki Heinen, the sex-stirred vibrancy of Amy Acre, and Matthew Caley’s arch re-take on modernism, all the way to the fierce linguistic compression of Eleanor Perry, the critical epistolary of Khaled Hakim, and the cut-ups of Mendoza and Antony John.   And of course many others, each doing their own brilliant thing.  With a mention here too for another type of risk, that of matt martin whose hypertext contribution is a meta-Tentacular warren of narrative choices.

5.    I want Tentacular always and forever to be a welcoming place for people of colour, people with disabilities, queer writers and artists, women, and others for too long and still experiencing marginalisation or stereotyping.  I am actively doing more all the time to build my knowledge about the issues and about the work.

6.    In future issues, a priority is also to have more work from outside London and to find newer (which doesn’t necessarily mean younger) voices who don’t (yet) have exquisite biographies, laden with treasure. 

7.    In this first and probably last editorial, thanks to Alistair Challans, whose web and design skills helped me find a good use for part of my first and almost certainly last work bonus; and for the unpaid labour of supportive friends, contributors, and all those submitting, to bring Tentacular to this stage.

8.    Did I mention the tentacles?  They're below, in the depths, waiting for you.