Dear Reader,

After running under the radar for a few decades, Gen X has been getting media attention again, such as in Rich Cohen’s September 2017 piece for Vanity Fair:

“...[It’s] become clear to me that if this nation has any chance of survival, of carrying its traditions deep into the 21st century, it will in no small part depend on members of my generation, Generation X, the last Americans schooled in the old manner, the last Americans that know how to fold a newspaper, take a joke, and listen to a dirty story without losing their minds.”

Be that as it may, what we here at Otis Nebula have learned, while reading through the hundreds of responses to our call for Gen X writers, is that this generation has successfully re-imagined the mid-life crisis and reconstructed ideas about love and romantic narrative arcs. It’s capable of writing from perspectives other than its own, creating work that reveals how the self isn’t fixed, but always in flux, and that the freedom to explore and express this aspect of the human experience is at the core of art in general and literature specifically.

The voices you’ll meet in this issue have rejected the tired epithet “slacker.” They’ve simply been pacing themselves. Their work avoids the aggressive aspirational tendencies that drive Boomers and Millennials. That said, it was Gen X that busted the myth of the suffering genius. Thanks to them, pain is no longer assumed to be a prerequisite to the making of great art. Nor do they delight in torturing their creations, finding it instead more rewarding, as Gen X author Saladin Ahmed tweeted, to “help them figure out how to survive and be happy in a threatening world.”

Well, maybe not always. But a lot of the time.

Enjoy this issue, friends. Please send collages, mix-tapes, and love letters inspired by it to: Otis Nebula, PO Box 571, Kula, HI 96790. It gets lonely out here.

                                                                                                                       In perpetuity,


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