For a new series of posts, we’re asking our editors to choose a recent story, essay, or poem they’d selected for publication and tell us how it won them over. Here, our 2010-2011 fiction editor, Bryan Castille, recalls his discovery of Bradley Bazzle’s “Magellan,” which appears in the Winter 2011 issue.
It was the end of a very long day of reading fiction manuscripts. The sun had long set, and my head ached from hours of straining my eyes. My contact lenses had fused themselves to my corneas. I was about to log out of my computer when I saw another unopened envelope. (Envelopes tended to inexplicably repopulate my desk when I was ready to go home.) Rather than toss it back into the slush pile for another day, I opened it, thinking, “I’ll just read the first page. If it’s good, I’ll take it home. If it’s not so good, I’ll leave it for tomorrow.”