Dargonzine 31-1 Editorial



One of the advantages of writing fiction in a medieval setting is the ability to know and understand all the technology in as much detail as you need. A quick Google search can reveal the secrets of making daub and wattle, or how to shoot a heading with an astrolab, or how to rig a sail, allowing the writer to use as much, or as little, technological detail in their writing as they desire. After all, the so-called “Dark Ages” were really not all that dark, and did happen long enough ago that most all of the really important secrets have gotten out and are now public knowledge. I am not saying that good research begins and ends in a search engine, but we really do have the sum of the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, and it can really add the proper flavor to historical fiction. The great thing about writing fantasy fiction, in contrast, is that you get to just make stuff up. Do pigs really fly? Sure they do, if you can convince the reader that they do! Suspension of disbelief is what every reader of fantasy fiction brings to a story, and as long as the author honors that commitment then amazing things can happen. The joy of reading a good fantasy is the mystery and the wonder of magic. Not knowing how the trick works is not just the joy of watching a stage magician but also the joy of reading a fine bit of fantasy fiction. As members of the Dargon Project we try to keep the wonder in magic as we write. The Dargon Project, of course, is not just the fiction we write. It is also the act of editing that fiction, of polishing that fiction, and of publishing that fiction. All of these activities are facilitated and enabled by the magic of modern technology. As authors we collaborate online, sharing ideas and prose and criticism by email and chat. We use spelling and grammar checkers, and we maintain an online glossary to allow us to check for continuity and odd little details of the established Dargon canon. Finally, we publish online, maintaining the DargonZine.org web site. Depending on when you read this editorial, you may have noticed that this issue of Dargonzine was not published in the usual way. That is due to an artifact of the electronic publishing we use, WordPress. We find ourselves in the throes of an involuntary site migration, and it is not going as quickly as we wish. If you have any resources or advice to share, we would appreciate you sharing with us. We are not proud, just overworked and undereducated in the particulars of this technology. This issue of DARGONZINE features fiction by myself (Jim Owens) and by Joe Carney. Joe is providing “Port of Call – Dargon”, is a tale of sweet romance twisted with a wee bit of adventure, magic, and pirates. I am providing the next chapter of “A View From Above”, which follows the southern adventures of Simon Salamagundi. Enjoy.

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