R. E. M.

Tagged: Publication

UK Semiprozine published by REM Publications, London, edited by Arthur Straker, who was also the publisher (co-publisher on issue #1 with Andrew Coates). A4 size. It saw just two issues, the first dated Spring/Summer 1991, the second undated but distributed in November 1992. In his first editorial Straker acknowledged the role that Interzone had played in re-establishing British short-fiction sf, and stated that REM would look to publishing the best of the new writers alongside the older generation. It thus placed itself somewhere between Dream and Interzone and it certainly published many of the same writers, including Eric Brown, Keith Brooke and Simon Ings. The second issue, however, moved slightly towards the more experimental side of sf and fantasy, with contributions from Storm Constantine, Andrew {DARLINGTON} and John Shirley. If anything REM was closer to how The Third Alternative was developing, highlighting the crossroads in British sf in the early 1990s. Unfortunately the desire to run innovative fiction also seems to have affected the magazine's layout, with an overzealous use of new computer design techniques. The first issue suffered from tightly packed small type whilst the second issue varied the type-font for almost every story: Garry Kilworth's exploration of the consequences of a meeting between Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe, "My Lady Lygia", is set in an attractive cursive font, presumably to emulate the period of the story, but serving only to make it harder to read and possibly affecting sales. The fiction was, for the most part, of good quality and included a new Chung Kuo story by David Wingrove, "The Lord Yi Comes" (1992 #2), "Preservation" by Storm Constantine and "Star of Epsilon" (1991 #1) by Eric Brown. A few of these stories have surfaced in authors' collections but most remain little-known. [MA]

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