“Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” What better use for that cheesy opening line?
It’s been six years since I wrote my last editorial and shut FSFnet (DargonZine’s predecessor) down. In the fall of 1988 I turned the leadership of the Dargon Project and the production of its magazine over to one of our best writers, John White (aka Dafydd). John has done an admirable job keeping the writers writing and reaching new readers. He’s put out several dozen issues totalling over 50,000 lines of text. He deserves recognition and thanks for the effort he’s put into making DargonZine a success.
As he mentioned in his editorial in DargonZine 7-3, I have reassumed editorial responsabilities. What’s that mean? Well, because all the Dargon Project authors collaborate on the actual job of proofing and critiquing stories, you shouldn’t expect to see major changes in the content of the magazine. The job of the editor is primarily the production side of things: compiling and distributing issues, publicizing the zine, managing the infrastructure necessary for author collaboration, and some direction setting.
There are many changes in the works on this production side. We’ve developed DargonZine readers’ and writers’ FAQs to periodically post to likely Usenet newsgroups. We are hoping to set up an automated subscription bot, and exploring other interfaces beyond ASCII text. We’re also hoping to find a site to sponsor us and provide us a permanent home and FTP site.
This issue is an example of another thing we’ll be trying to get away from: one-story issues. In the future, there’ll be more, smaller stories per issue, and more serialization. No more gargantuan single-story issues.
We’re also working to have our newsgroup, rec.mag.fsfnet, revamped. A vote is currently under way to permit us to rename the newsgroup to rec.mag.dargon and make it an unmoderated newsgroup, so that it can be used not only for distribution of issues, but for feedback and discussion between the readers and the writing staff. The text of the “Call for Votes” appears at the end of this issue; *PLEASE* take the time to send an email message to <firstname.lastname@example.org>, with a body text of:
I vote YES on rec.mag.dargon
Then, get everyone you know to do the same. Every ballot is crucial, so please do whatever you can to get YES votes.
IMPORTANT!!! IF MORE thAN 1/3 OF THE VOTES RECEIVED ARE ‘NO’ VOTES, OR IF WE DON’T RECEIVE 100 MORE ‘YES’ VOTES THAN ‘NO’ VOTES, WE WON’T BE ABLE TO MAKE THIS CHANGE!!! PLEASE VOTE!!
In addition to the visible changes, we’re also working on many things behind the scenes. The biggest of these is a huge database of Dargon’s people, places, and things, that cross-references them with the stories in which they appear. It’s quite an undertaking, but it’ll be a priceless help for our writers, both old and new.
Bitnet readers may notice that issues are now being delivered to them as email, rather than via SENDFILE or DISK DUMP. We apologize for any inconvenience, but for technical reasons I am unable to continue to support those file formats.
Thanks to those of you who sent feedback regarding “Love an Adventure”, which was printed in 7-2 and 7-3. It was the first sexually explicit story we have ever printed, and your comments give us better insight into our readership. Your continuing feedback is enthusiastically encouraged.
Let me close with a familiar refrain to those of you who remember the days of FSFnet. DargonZine is as much your creation as it is mine or John’s or the writers’. Your interest and participation are what determines whether we are successful or not. And as we prepare to celebrate the tenth anniversary of FSFnet’s first issue with a blockbuster two-issue reprint of the “Best of Dargon”, we gratefully acknowledge that you, the readers, have made FSFnet/DargonZine the longest running electronic magazine on the Internet.
However, it is imperative that we continue to solicit new readers, and there’s a very serious need for new writers. Although we plan to increase our visibility, it’s important that you, the reader, do what you can to help us spread the word to people who might be interested.
And VOTE YES for rec.mag.dargon!!!
With that said, this issue features another story by Max Khaytsus, our most prolific writer in recent years. I had the pleasure of meeting Max and nearly all of the current Dargon writers on a road trip I took this spring, which was a wonderful experience. Max impressed me as articulate, opinionated, and very detail-oriented, and we had great fun terrorizing the staff and patrons of the Johnson Space Center. “…I Shall Repay” takes place during the war between the kingdoms of Baranur and Beinison, and recounts the shipboard exploits of his longstanding protagonist, a certain Rien Keegan…