Before the customary editorial speechmaking, let me get one bit of business out of the way. If you’re a Hotmail or MSN mail user, you probably didn’t receive our last issue: Volume 15 Number 8. That’s because on September 30th, when the issue was distributed, Microsoft was experiencing a service problem that returned all DargonZine mail with the error message “service unavailable”. This is actually the third time in the past year that we’ve experienced a widespread outage when distributing issues to Hotmail users, and I’m hoping that this month’s mailing will go through properly. If you’re a Hotmail or MSN user, be warned that you’re likely to occasionally miss DargonZine mailings due to their system problems.
If you did miss 15-8, I urge you to fetch it from our Web or FTP sites (listed in the masthead above), because the stories in this issue are continuations of stories that we printed last month.
Of course, Dafydd’s ongoing “Talisman” series continues with part three of “Talisman Nine”. The earlier parts appeared in our previous two issues. I hope you’re up to speed on the whole Talisman epic, because we’re making the final turn and heading for the home stretch.
And this issue contains the second half of P. Atchley and Dave Fallon’s “Heir to Castigale”. This story began in our last issue, and is something of a departure for us. Allow me to explain …
One typically expects a well-written story to tie up all its loose ends, leaving the reader with no unanswered questions. And, for the most part, that’s what DargonZine’s writers value and try to provide in their stories.
But “Heir to Castigale” is very different. Castigale is our newest “communal event”: something that will provide an interesting way for several writers to collaborate, and also give Dargon a more unified feel for our readers. As you read the story, you’ll notice that instead of having all its loose ends neatly tied up, “Heir to Castigale” leaves a troublesome mess of unanswered questions. That’s because the authors wanted to provide plenty of “hooks” or “points of entry” that other writers could pick up and run with. They’ve established a framework that other writers will be building on in future works, which we’ll bring you just as soon as they’re ready for publication.
So if you haven’t read the first part of “Heir to Castigale”, go fetch yourself a copy of DargonZine 15-8 and get caught up! And as you read the chapter that appears in this issue, consider what’s been left out, and what you’d like to see more of. I guarantee you’ll see additional stories that will flesh out the unspoken details of this plot, and there’ll be plenty of surprises along the way.
I hope you enjoy it!