Discordant, repetitive, and omnipresent, white noise can be unbearably pervasive or delightfully soothing, it depends on who you ask. As a theme, ‘White Noise’ inspired an astoundingly eclectic collection of short stories. A grieving man resurrects the face of a dead loved one in the form of his robot butler, mysterious items appear in an old antique shop amongst the clustered streets of Berlin, and an armed group of deaf survivors embark on a mission to save their clan post alien invasion; red-eyed cats, scumbag boyfriends, crash-landing spaceships: Issue #12 has it all.
Josef Pringle’s ‘Voyager’ begins in the 70s with a group of pioneering scientists launching Earth’s message into the universe. The message drifts purposefully through time and space, outliving humanity as we know it today. Millennia later, that message will finally be received. In Nicholas Lamberton’s ‘Yet Another Tuesday’ white noise becomes the minutiae of people’s daily lives. As we jump perspectives between characters we bear witness to the hilariously inaccurate assumptions and judgements made in a moment. Despite the close physical proximity between strangers, we never breach the barrier that lets us see into someone else’s life, everyone is consumed with their own thoughts, ambitions, deadlines, and disappointments.
‘White Noise’ takes on a sinister undertone when the gentle pattering of rain played through headphones transforms into a murderer’s lullaby in Emily Redknap’s ‘Rain with Distant Thunder.’ In Salvatore Pedavoli’s ‘Drown Me Out,’ another young man uses white noise to stifle the sound of intrusive thoughts. Here it takes on the role of alcohol, clubbing, socialising, and smoking, it is any form of distraction.
Congratulations to the contributors who successfully made it through three years’ worth of workshopping, close-call submissions, and at times depressingly unflattering feedback — I speak from personal experience as a student currently completing a Creative Writing degree. These stories mark the end of their journey from novice students struggling to find their own unique ‘voice,’ to confident, crafty, and dedicated writers. Enjoy!
Editorial by Jodie Ramodien.