Lack of Lepers
Jul 3, 2023
This is Goodbye
Those of you close to me saw a sudden withdrawal from the space over the last months, and those who aren't close to me might have noticed something similar in more public projects and spaces over the last year. This all has been coming to a slow hault.
Shortly after "The Gender Splitter" was published to the magazine in early June 2023 (which in an artistic statement was mostly written by ChatGPT-4, by the way) my toddler daughter spent two weeks in the hospital fighting a near-death experience. Miraculously, she is fully healed and well now, but the experience shook off those things which matter much less than family to me. This scare was the final weight upon my grasp of the containment fiction space, which I have been white-knuckle gripping with passion, fervor, pride, hurt, frustration, and joy for 5 years. This feels like it is simply and unavoidably the case, whether or not I want it to be. Everything has changed, and nothing is going back to the way it once was. I can't go back to devoting so much time to something that does not (and in ways, cannot) give back what I put in.
Confic Magazine was started as a way to platform news, drama, specialty topics, and unpopular opinions in the containment fiction space that might not otherwise be discussed. It began with a multitude of individuals contributing. I believe that Confic Magazine has achieved everything it wanted to do, and hoped to do, and then some. Though many will not ever accept this, those involved in its output have changed the space forever, and for the better.
This space is still one that is almost entirely unidirectional in mind and spirit, with a solidarity that would otherwise be seen as admirable, were it not so close-minded and intolerant to different ideas as a result. There are large aspects of this space that make it hardly worth one's time, unless you are hellbent on either writing against the current for the art's sheer sake, or are happy to be pulled along that current of vanity, and at the expense of the art.
Unfortunately, my time and efforts have not changed the sad fact that most of the activity, particularly at the SCP Wiki, falls firmly into the second motive. The SCP Wiki as a unique collaborative writing project is dead inside. With notable exceptions, it is mainly made up of individuals who want to occupy the empty spaces where vital organs used to be so that they can be seen and praised in a body that despite its internal poverty is still a larger effigy to their egos than they can erect by themselves.
Most authors are unhappy slaves to their egos. They cannot see past their own vanity. (Myself included.)
Nonetheless, and in ways because of that, it has been an honor and privilege to be a critic and counter-cultural voice.
I'm writing this so that anyone who is interested in what happened to little old me doesn't conclude that I quit the space for a flippant reason, or because this magazine and other projects didn't get the attention or acclaim I was hoping for. I would do this out of a passion and because I believe it needs to be done, regardless of reception. I still do, in fact, think that containment fiction is its own legitimate and valid genre, and has the potential to be remembered like the great Greek tragedies are. The best of the talent and art I have seen in this space rivals the tragedians of that time. Maybe both the world and the space itself aren't ready to hear that, much less believe it. But I do. I always have. It's what drew me to it in the first place.
The space deserves counter-cultural voices to break up and challenge the comfortable conformity that nearly everyone in this space is seeped in, by design. Containment fiction also deserves to be approached from the unbiased, cold, and clinical perspective of historicity and digital archaeology.
But that voice and that approach won't come from me. If Confic Magazine is to have new content, it will be solely from others. If the Confic Wiki is to still be productive, it will be by others who value the space enough to document those of its stories that are measured in citations, and not upvotes.
With love and humility for all my rights and wrongs,
Lack of Lepers, aka SCPCRNP