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The Alienist, longtime member and co-founder of Candelabra (now called Candelabra Productions: Ascension), is now putting together his own ezine. This will appear in HTML and possibly in print locally in Philadelphia.

Here's the concept of the ezine as it stands now:

I was at first going to make it something of a sci-fi/fantasy zine. However that's been done, done, done. Instead, I'm going to make it a different sort of 'speculative fiction'. It will use any setting as a backdrop, but it will put human beings (or at least personalities, perhaps personified animals or whatever types of characters/analogs the writer chooses to use) in bizarre situations that one wouldn't ordinarily imagine. I get fascinated with stories I hear of people getting phone calls from people known to be dead, people who start assuming personality traits of recently deceased twins (I've seen this personally), the irony of some of the stories that come out of US Civil War history, that sort of thing. Weird tales, basically, with any useful backdrop
the writer chooses.

Setting isn't important. The story and the characters are. I'm going to call it 'Simony', which is a theological term for 'the power of deity put into the power of physical objects, often sold'. DON'T MISTAKE THIS FOR A RELIGIOUS BENT: You'll remember that the Catholic
Church, of which I have the shits along with institutional religion in general, used to sell relics (Saints' bones ad nauseum, etc.) and still does. This is a point of argument for protestants, who point out that Simon, who was a follower of the Apostles (during Acts, post resurrection) who was converted from sorcery, tried to buy God's power from the Apostles when he saw them heal people in the name of Christ. So, the zine will have stories that hold mystical power. I might institute a ground rule that, depending on the setting or theme or circumstance in the story, a particular physical object must appear somewhere, however insignificant but connected, and that it be imbued with power relevant to the story, just to provide unity with other material in the zine and keep a theme and atmosphere to it.

What do you think?

The Alienist

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The following comments are for "Accepting applications to join new zine group"
by The Alienist

I think its an interesting prospect, however, I also believe it is too limiting. It is gonna be very difficult to find and create quality writing that fits into that box. I think a year or two down the road you're not gonna have anything to publish.

That's not to say its a bad idea for a book of short stories, but for a periodical (magazine or website) I think you may be starting with a well that is a little too shallow.

But hey, I've been wrong before--many, many times. Damn, I'm such a loser.

( Posted by: Richard Dani [Member] On: November 21, 2001 )

re: Accepting applications to join new zine group
I thing this is a decent idea. As long as the world was developed a bit, it could go on a while. I do feel it's rather specific, but it could be very interesting.

What would be very neat would be to have a an item per issue. Say if the zine was monthly, one issue would have an ancient necklace as the item. Each writer must write a tale around that item. Before hand everyone could decide what the item was, what it did etc. Then each writer could write a story around it. Someone might choose to flash back to the item, others might tell of where it is now.

That could give each issue a common thread, but each story would still be indipendant. It would just sort of time them together a little.


( Posted by: Chrispian [Admin] On: November 21, 2001 )

Many different objects
Thanks for your ideas and offerings.

My idea is for a set of objects, like runes or something, not simply one object. Each one is for certain themes and has certain inherent powers appropriate for the type of story someone wants to do. The first so many writers who jump on will be my core writers, and they'll help me develop the concept of the entire set of objects via chat and email. I'm going to share in the creation. :)

Remember those runes in Gauntlet Legends? :) I'd kinda like them to look like those, but they can be interpreted in different ways. In one story, the symbol appears on a standing stone, in another on a necklace, in another, a coin... and so you see.

( Posted by: The Alienist [Member] On: November 21, 2001 )

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