EDITORIAL by Philip K. Cartiledge


Whilst the world of the future beckons us, the world of the past cocks a snoot at us, whatever that means. I assume it is some reference to an arcane English Hunting ritual. Perhaps we are pursued by the past, whilst the future leads us a merry dance. Oh, no, I'm getting carried away now. They'll take away my editor's license soon.

Welcome to the first issue of a brand new spanking magazine* (*You know what I mean, but I was to late to change this anachronism because the issue had already gone to the printers).

Basically we all as writers and editors and indeed readers work at the cutting edge of something or other in literature. The difference is that when its all printed and stapled together some of it sells for one buck and some of its sells for ten bucks. Sometimes this may make us famous, but it is more likely to see us just paying one buck for something we will throw away, without even recycling it. Imagine how many of the world's trees would have been saved if they hadn't been used to publish crap science fiction magazines in the fifties. No, stop imagining that now because the people trading futures in recycling pulp are already knocking on my door.

So here is the magazine all of those people may have been waiting for, although I wouldn't bet money on it unless it was someone else's money. Every quarter, perhaps five months, we will offer you a veritable smorgasbord of literary delights, although thankfully none of them will actually be Swedish.

Science fiction is well known for its communities, both the large national ones such as that magazine called New Somethingorother that operated from Notting Hill and also the parochial or fan-based ones such as that which operated from Ella Parker's Penitentiary in the 1960s, and were largely masterminded by the evil genius of one Langdon Jones, whoever he is. Today we have a new community, which I like to think is embodied in this new magazine, and I would like to introduce you some of its leading luminaries (although I fear that may be putting it rather whatever the antithesis of mildly is.)

Abigail Swinge, writing under the nom de plume de ma tante, of Frank Looney, has published widely in the field of actuarial analysis. And I think this is evident in her story 'American Sarco', but who am I to discourage a woman who sent me a picture of her naked as a stimulus to publishing her work? Putative future contributors please take note.

When 'Randle & Spliff: A Tale of Mars' by Mary K. Reid, landed on my desk, or at least on the stairs leading up to the landing of my bed-sit, I immediately puked, but that was because I had eaten and drunk unwisely during the previous six hours. Nevertheless I recognized a work of genius, although not of much. This is a woman writer to watch, I thought to myself, especially because she is a woman given, by her own admission, to wearing scanties, whatever they are.

What can I say about James K. Linwood's thoroughly researched essay on the life of Fred Batt, except that Jimmy Linwood, as we know him, must be very old to have remembered all this? Nevertheless I predict a bright future in sci-fi for him, if he can conquer his arthritis, and also crawl out from the shadow of James Ballard or even James Blish, or anyone else called James.

The story 'Manny Klein: First Man on the Moon' was frankly rescued from the slush pile of our editorial office, at 271 Portobello Road, thanks to the efforts of our daily cleaner who had inadvertently knocked over the waste-paper bin and sucked up the contents through her Dyson an thus felt guilty about it. After rooting thought the dustbin where she had dumped the waste, I managed to reconstitute the original text. It wasn't really worth it, but since I had spent so much time on it, I felt I really had to publish it. I'm ashamed to say I can't remember anything about the author Jacques Platt except that he took a lot of valium, ostensibly to calm a stomach condition, drove to Scotland, and in a bizarre incident which can be testified to by someone who has signed an affidavit, pushed his car over a cliff.

'Abney Sloth' is Joan Silas-Hall's first ever-published story although she assures me photographs of her unclad body have appeared in many mainstream magazines such as Hustler, and Australian Poon-Tang in Bikinis. I can't vouch for that personally, since the pages of all my magazines of that kind appear to have become stuck together.

So, there you have it. We would like feedback, but not that much of it. Not enough, for instance, for us to believe we could ever enter into a dialogue with you, let alone share a pizza. Perhaps just enough to convince us not to knife you if we meet you down a dark alleyway.

Perhaps you can tell us what your favourite story in this issue was. We will collate the results of this readers Poll and then take the winning author out for a drink on your behalf.




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