DargonZine 10, Issue 1

Dargonzine 10-1 Editorial


We’re all familiar with the rates of growth and change on the Internet. Today, more than ever, the Internet faces a bevy of substantive challenges. What is the future of high-speed data transfer to the desktop? How will the network backbone deal with the geometric increase in traffic? What will be done about the lack of available domain names? Will commercial sites be able to recoup their investments in Web sites through electronic commerce? What new measures will be established regarding privacy, copyright, and intellectual property in order to deal with this revolutionary new medium?


It looks like there are a lot of challenges and changes in the works for the network as a whole. That said, I’d like to digress a little bit and talk about change as it relates to DargonZine.


What “DargonZine” is has certainly changed dramatically since it was founded (as FSFnet) back in 1984. Many of our changes reflect the incorporation of new technologies (e.g. Listserv, Usenet News, and the Web) as they became available. But one thing hasn’t changed in those thirteen years: our goal of supporting aspiring fantasy writers. While our methods have changed and evolved over time, we remain firmly wedded to that mission.


DargonZine is neither the most visible nor the most popular SF zine on the Internet. Because we have always kept our mission foremost in our minds, our scope has therefore been much narrower than other magazines, and we haven’t tried to be everything to everyone.


Our successes are less quantifiable than simple numbers of readers. We’ve built enthusiasm in our writers, and fostered lasting relationships between writers. Over time we’ve gathered our “lessons learned” into a set of firm beliefs about what makes good writing. We’ve also created a healthy organizational culture amongst the writers, giving them a real sense of pride and ownership in the project. And in the course of producing one of the largest bodies of consistent, related fiction on the Internet, we’ve had a hell of a lot of fun (which happens to be part of our mission, too)!


While our mission won’t change, we guarantee that DargonZine will continue to evolve in 1997. With the war behind us, we’ll be printing new storylines and stories from new writers. You can also expect a major reorganization of our Web site (we’re specifically focusing on ease of use and making more information available). And although readership isn’t a primary concern, we will probably put a little more effort into visibility in the coming year.


But the event which I think holds the most promise for 1997 is our first large-scale writers’ summit, which will be held this spring. This will be the first “conference” of Dargon Project writers, and there’ll be a lot of soul-searching and direction-setting. And, of course, we’ll be trying to generate renewed enthusiasm and have a little fun in the process. And I promise that a full write-up and our most incriminating pictures we take will be made available on the Web site!


But, as ever, we will be working hard to achieve our mission, and provide you with the best reading material that we can produce.


So we unveil our 13th year with two of the “Old Ones”…


Jim Owens’ first appeared in FSFnet 1-3, back in the spring of 1985, and was one of the founders of both FSFnet and the Dargon Project. In addition to his eleven non-Dargon stories, “Stew A’ La Gundi” is Jim’s tenth Dargon story, and there are more on the way! The Web version of “Stew” is also illustrated with Jim’s own artwork, which we’re glad to promote.


“Last Stand” is Max Khaytsus’ thirty-first Dargon Project story since he joined the project back in 1988. Needless to say, he is our most prolific writer. This story includes a depiction of the aftermath of the Baranur-Beinison war — a reality which will continue to echo throughout several future storylines. Watch for Max’s “Deep Woods Inn” series to begin running in our next issue, which should be distributed in mid-March.


It waits in the dark forest of a new frontier.

It waits for a desert warrior seeking his fortune

and a royal archer to face their greatest challenge.

But most of all, it waits for you.

Dargon: Deep Woods Inn.

In March the wait will be over.


It waits on the edge of good and evil.

It waits for a running noble

and a soldier of fortune to challenge frontier justice.

But most of all, it waits for you.

Dargon: Deep Woods Inn.

In March the wait will be over.


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