Lots of interesting things have crossed my desk this past week. Great new design and technology projects that have kept me here late, updates to the Canadian Beer Review (ok, one of these days I'll stop talking about it...). And I'm anticipating the arrival of my new smokin' PC, so that I can get my grammar mistake filled columns out twice as fast! Gonna be nice to get the thing home and hook it up to the cable modem so I can do this typing there instead of at my nice new office.
Anyway, enough babble. This week DargonZine the e-zine of collaborative fantasy fiction - quite likely the longest running Internet based publication. And another cerebral short'n at the end.
Review - DargonZine
Overall - 5|
Content - 5
Writing - 5
Regularity - 5
Extras - 5
E-zine Description: From the site:
DargonZine is an electronic magazine (ISSN 1080-9910) that prints original
medieval fantasy stories written by aspiring Internet writers. It is the
publication vehicle of the Dargon Project, a collaborative writing group where
authors write in a common milieu, sharing settings and characters. The project
was founded to allow aspiring writers on the Internet to meet and become better
writers through mutual contact and collaboration. DargonZine only prints stories
which take place in this setting. DargonZine is the successor of FSFnet, which
was the Dargon Project's original magazine. Between FSFnet and DargonZine, we
have been continually producing collaborative fantasy fiction since 1985 and are
the longest-running electronic magazine on the Internet.
Frequency of Publication: 12 times per year - see the publication schedule.
e-mail to: email@example.com
Content - 5
A very ambitious project, DargonZine publishes stories based in a shared "place", called Dargon, that is medieval in time period and interestingly doesn't sport as much magic as you would initially expect.
>From the FAQ - "The Duchy of Dargon is a typically small, out of the way holding, situated in the extreme northwest corner of the Kingdom of Baranur. It is separated from the rest of the kingdom by a vast wood and a range of hills, and is ruled by the young Lord Clifton Dargon. Dargon Keep stands on a hill overlooking the town and port of Dargon, which lie at the mouth of the River Coldwell. The port is Dargon's only link to the more populated south, and the town is an active and busy place. Adventure can be found both within the city's walls and in the surrounding wildlands."
Each issue has multiple stories, by various authors some of whom are new, others who are seeming regulars. Each story set in Dargon and its environs describes various characters and their time spent living and exploring there.
Writing Quality/Style - 5
The writing style and quality of prose are as varied as would be expected in a publication that presents collections of authors. The quality of the writing does at least attain a consistent and readable level for most every story I've read since I subscribed.
Regularity - 5
If sticking to a schedule is regular, then these guys are military. Release dates, down to the day, are listed for the next 12 issues.
Extras - 5
Each issue has a great set of publication and copyright info, but lacks explicit list sub/unsubscribe instructions. An excellent Web site provides back issues from the past 15 years, and provides visitors with multiple targetted FAQs and excellent background info on Dargon, DargonZine and the Dargon Project.
Overall - 5
Wow! 15 years of original fiction is impressive. The organization and consistent level of publication needed to drive a publication like this is amazing, especially given that it is, I assume, volunteer based. (I couldn't find anything that stated this, but I could find no mention of cash changing hands either, so I assume that it's volunteer staffed). If you're interested in the concept, visit the Web site and read a couple of issues. And then subscribe if you have the chance.
E-zine Title: STARDUST
>From the site:
The STARDUST spacecraft will blast off on a small Delta rocket
in February of 1999 - its destination: the comet Wild 2 (pronounced vilt 2). To
gain energy for the long trip to Wild 2, the spacecraft will loop back to Earth
and use our gravity field to slingshot toward the comet. The encounter with Wild
2 will take place in 2004, at a distance of about 400 million kilometers from
Earth. Enroute to the comet, the spacecraft will make two loops around the sun
and collect interstellar dust particles.
This moderate traffic notification list keeps you up to date on the status of the STARDUST project as described above. Each mailer contains a project status or related news items and technology information. The spacecraft was launched successfully on February 7th and this list will keep you up to date on its progress.
Frequency of Publication: As needed
Subscription Instructions: Visit http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/mail.html