DargonZine 20-1. It’s the start of 20th *volume* of fiction about the Duchy of Dargon and its inhabitants — not even counting several volumes worth of Dargon fiction in FSFnet — and here I am writing the editorial to kick it off. How did that come about? Ornoth Liscomb has been our Editor and project leader for most of the life of the ‘zine, except for a few years in between when he graduated from college and lost access to what passed for the Internet in those days. Remember back when the Internet wasn’t a part of almost everyone’s daily lives? Yeah, DargonZine has been around for that long. But after all of that time, Ornoth has decided to step down, and Jon Evans and I are going to try to fill his figuratively humongous shoes. The literal ones are pretty big, too, but I’m not going anywhere near those.
Actually, Ornoth announced his decision to step down last June at our annual DargonZine Writers’ Summit. It’s just taken all of this time for Jon and me to sort out all of the things that Ornoth does and figure out how we’re going to do them. One of the things that fell to me is to plan the working sessions for the next Summit. The Summit, for those of you that don’t know, is the annual gathering of DargonZine writers. It is a blend of social activities and work. The work is a mix of writing craft and actual writing for DargonZine, with a smattering of historical learning. Each year, the Summit is held in a different location and hosted by a different member, usually in or near that person’s hometown. For more information and photos from our past Summits, look here: http://www.dargonzine.org/summit.shtml.
One of the many leadership duties that Ornoth turned over to me was planning the Summit working sessions. This year might be even more of a challenge than those I’ve observed. The Summits I attended had working sessions where several Dargon writers presented papers about writing topics, such as grammar, character development, dialogue, and use of humor. The thing is, the writers that are attending this year have all been with the project for a long time, and they have seen a lot of that before. Further, we are currently a little short of writers, so we’re going to focus on collaborative writing, to ensure that we can keep bringing you plenty of stories about Dargon.
Don’t worry, though; we have lots of stories to bring you in the near future. This issue features the fifth installment of Nick Wansbutter’s outstanding Great Houses War, as well as something of mine that tells a parallel story to “What Price the King?”, a story by Mark Murray that was published in DargonZine six years ago. Speaking of Mark, we mentioned in our last issue that Carlo Samson — who has been collaborating with Mark in their electronic magazine Arcane Twilight — has returned to help us with our graphics requirements. Well, Mark Murray himself has also returned to the fold, and is currently working on several stories that we hope to have printed in the future.
For now, though, just sit back and relax with this newest — 20th! — volume, brought to you by the fine folks at the Dargon Project.