Are We the Real Villains? A Letter From the Editors

Dear Reader,

Before you stands the momentous “Villains” special online issue of Barrelhouse. Enter if you dare.

Villainy casts different shadowy forms, depending on the placement of the light. Villains and the villainous enter into our lives, and we must dispel or accept them as they come along. Sometimes though, we might just have to recognize ourselves as the villains of the story.

Throughout this issue, you’ll encounter an entire spectrum of villains that you didn’t see coming, whether that’s a beard that takes over your life, an inner demon that takes over, or a man who wants to bring his wife back from the dead. Dive into a kingdom only a few inches tall. Find out how a bird can be a villain. Explore all different kinds of villains, from lovers to henchmen to middle school boys.

You might be wondering who we lovers of villains are. We’re not the normal Barrelhouse team. Actually, we’re new around here. This issue was produced by students from the Literary Magazine Publishing and Editing class at Susquehanna University. We eleven students, led by Barrelhouse editor Dave Housley, came up with the theme of the issue and the call for submissions. We reviewed all the submissions and selected our favorites for publication. And we did it all in under seven weeks. We’re thrilled with the range of work in this issue. Making this issue was so fun that we want to keep doing it forever, so Barrelhouse, it looks like you might be stuck with us.

Now that we’ve successfully taken over Barrelhouse, our next step is world domination. (But you didn’t hear that from us.)

Stay wicked.

The Bad Guys of Barrelhouse

Richard Berwind, Mackenzie Bowers, Starr Cole, Sarah French, Amanda Gillette, Angela Grossmann, Hayli McClain, Morgan MacVaugh, Kendra Mase, Rachel Pietrewicz, and Kaitlynn Yeager, with Barrelhouse Editor Dave Housley