by Daniel Spitz

Zs is a zine publishing works of Somnotica – an experimental literary genre coveting sleep.

The term “Somnotica” is derived from that of another literary genre, “Erotica”. Where erotica covets sex, somnotica covets sleep.

The world is overstimulated, overworked, sleep-deprived, sleep-repressed. We do not identify with our unconsciousness, though we sleep for hours every day of our lives. We are ashamed by our sleep; sometimes by how little of it we get, sometimes by how much. We are advised on how to attain somnotic adequacy, in our endless striving to attain generic adequacy.

We have diverse, private somnotic lives. We ritualize the acts of going to sleep and waking. We nap. We develop preferences about our beds and the company we keep during sleep. We are sometimes kept up by our thoughts, or our responsibilities, or other circumstances. We can pine for sleep. We can dread sleep.

The purpose of Zs is to give voice to the parts of ourselves that go to bed. To affirm those parts of our humanity in a non-prescriptive, non-clinical way. To further develop humanity’s somnotic identity. To help at least one insomniac find their rest, at least once.

Within these pages – their color scheme unsullied by any blue light – you will find works of fiction, poetry and art exploring the subject of sleep from a variety of perspectives. To list some of what awaits you:

Zs would not be possible without its authors. Thanks to all of you for taking your inspiration, and creating something strange and interesting and good out of it. Each of you has helped further expand and develop the genre of Somnotica, and the discourse I hope it inspires.

I’ll end this foreword with a call to participate. If you find yourself inspired by Zs, or the idea of Somnotica, please help it grow by creating and submitting your own work. The genre needs participation, effort and new insights to survive. You can get in touch and submit via:

With zonks,
Daniel Spitz