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Entry updated 19 February 2024. Tagged: Publication.

UK A4-size Slick magazine published by Ben Jeapes, Big Engine Co, London, and edited by Liz Holliday. It saw only three bimonthly issues, October 2002 to February 2003, before the publishing company went into liquidation. A fourth issue was completed but not printed. Although printed on good quality coated paper, 3SF lacked the glitz and sparkle of Liz Holliday's previous magazine Odyssey and, when compared to Interzone, seemed rather tame and uninspiring. Its title, which was disturbingly prophetic since it only saw three issues, supposedly reflected the three areas of interest for the magazine: "Science Fiction", "Speculative Fantasy" and "Strange Facts". There was very little in the way of strange facts, although the magazine did devote much space to reviews, commentary and several interesting Interviews, with Ian McDonald, George R R Martin, Joe Haldeman, Robin Hobb, Tim Powers and S M Stirling. Speculative Fantasy was also noticeably absent, although some of the fiction was fairly traditional fantasy, such as stories by Cherith Baldry and Darrell Schweitzer. Jay Lake's "The Angle of My Dreams" might be classed as speculative fantasy: it was a very moving story of a child's reaction to the space shuttle disaster and his thoughts on Heaven. Which left the science fiction, all creditable without being outstanding. There was an excerpt from Joe Haldeman's new (and just published) novel Guardian (2002; December 2002), there was a brief trifle from Gene Wolfe, an amusing vignette from David Langford showing the basic flaw in the three Laws of Robotics, "The Last Robot Story" (December 2002), and another brief item by Colin Greenland. 3SF lacked any substantial science fiction; the lasting image of the magazine is of something that was just starting to grow but was stifled. [MA]


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