With this issue, DargonZine begins its twentieth year on the Internet. While I’ll save the hoopla for the actual 20th anniversary of our founding, which occurs at the end of the year, I thought I’d answer a question that some readers may wonder about. If this is our 20th year, why does this issue begin Volume 17, rather than Volume 20?
Back in 1984, I founded a magazine called FSFnet (short for “fantasy and SF on the Internet”). Although FSFnet’s focus was on printing original fiction by aspiring writers, it also had book and movie reviews, articles about wargaming, and so forth. In fact, FSFnet had been going for about a year before our contributors began working together to write stories set in a common land called Dargon. At first, this collaborative “Dargon Project” was a small part of what FSFnet printed, but it gradually became the overwhelming majority of our material.
I produced 47 issues during FSFnet’s three and a half year run, but in the middle of 1988 I graduated from college and temporarily turned everything over to Dafydd Cyhoeddwr, one of our veteran writers. When he took over, he stopped printing reviews and articles and non-Dargon fiction, thereby focusing the group exclusively on the very successful collaborative project that we’d begun. He also changed the name of our publication to DargonZine, and sent Volume 1 Number 1 out at the end of 1988.
Since then, we’ve consistently and consecutively numbered our volumes until today we begin DargonZine’s 17th volume in the 19th year of the Dargon Project, and our 20th year of consecutive publication since the founding of FSFnet. So that’s how we arrive at our 20th year, while printing Volume 17.
And we begin this first issue of Volume 17 with the second chapter in Dave Fallon’s intriguing “Knight of Castigale” series, which was begun in DargonZine 16-5. Dave has admirably persevered with the Castigale arc despite the departure of several of his collaborators. Editorial
Speaking of which, you might recall that last summer we lost two of our long-time writers: Victor Cardoso and P. Atchley. Each of them left a story behind for other project members to complete, and the first of those stories appears in this issue. “Touching Ol” was originally written by Victor shortly after the 2002 Dargon Summit trip to Scotland, and has been recently completed by his old friend and fellow Dargon writer Rich Niro. Ms. Atchley’s story has also been completed, and will appear in our next issue. I can also share with you that after a half year’s break, Victor just recently rejoined the group and is actively working on a story that he’d begun prior to his departure, so hopefully you’ll see more of him in the near future.
This issue concludes with the first chapter in Dafydd’s “Talisman Ten”. The Talisman epic began back in 1999 with “Talisman Zero 1″, and has been the work of a lifetime. “Talisman Ten” will contain the final three chapters of this 38-chapter novella, and it will be the highlight of our spring issues.
And I am happy to remind you that we have enough stories completed to fill our next two issues, so there will be no delays in getting those out to you. And shortly thereafter we hope to begin bringing you the massive nine-writer collaborative story arc that we began writing at the 2003 Dargon Summit.
It truly looks like it’s going to be a remarkable year, and I hope you enjoy the stories we have to share.