First things first: Freight Stories No. 1 would not be possible without the generosity of the eleven authors who donated their extraordinary work to this issue. We are now, and will remain, in their debt. And in yours, Dear Reader.

We can’t help but notice some other Freight Stories firsts:

First novel excerpt: Sarah Layden shares a peek inside her recently completed novel, Sleeping Woman, to reveal what only fiction can—what it’s like to touch a real mummy before eating tamales.

First short-short cycle: Sherrie Flick’s “Inside, No, Further In” demonstrates a new trick. Linked short-shorts? Inconceivable!

First story by a man named Albert E. Martinez: Albert E. Martinez. It’s not a name one soon forgets. It lingers on the brain for weeks. Who is Albert E. Martinez, really? And how did he write something as good as “Stones,” and how did we get so lucky?

First story from FS to appear in book form: John McNally’s “Ascension” will appear in his collection, Ghosts of Chicago, this October. He’s already added us to the book’s acknowledgements page. Neat.

First story to make Lubbock seem even worse: Alexander Parsons examines just how scary Texas can be in “Attention Passengers: Are You Ready for Operation Enduring Freedom™?”

First story from a poet: Lee Upton’s “Dr. No” reminds us that poets know how to tell stories, too.

First fairy tale: You thought your family gatherings were awkward? Becky Hagenston’s “Crumbs” puts a few archetypes through the ringer.

First Canadian story: Mary Swan’s masterful “My Mother’s Ghost” has emerged as one of our favourite stories.

First bovine appearance: No cows were harmed in the making of “Girl on a Couch” by Karen Brown, though one of them may suffer from loneliness and ennui.

First story we’d like to have a drink with: Robert Boswell’s “Sleeping in Bars” on the rocks, please. Make it a double.

First big-damn story: Debra Spark’s moving “I Should Let You Go” is proof that not all online journals are afraid to go long.

We only wish that you could have enjoyed reading Freight Stories No. 1 half as much as we enjoyed making it. We’re afraid, though, that just isn’t possible. We hope that you’ll read the stories here again and again, and that you’ll seek out the work of Freight Stories authors online and in your local bookstore. We’ll see you right back here on June 15, 2008 for Freight Stories No. 2.

Back to Freight Stories No. 1

The Editors

What Came First?