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Cheap Truth

Entry updated 14 November 2022. Tagged: Fan, Publication.

US Fanzine (1983-1986) published from Austin, Texas; edited and largely written by Bruce Sterling under the pseudonym Vincent Omniaveritas. Eighteen issues photocopied on US quarto paper, mostly 2pp (ie a single sheet); #9 had an additional 2pp and #15 an additional 4pp for letters received while #16 added a 2pp bonus article. All issues undated except #17, The Last Cheap Truth, with a dateline of November 1986.

Cheap Truth, affecting to be samizdat rather than a mere fanzine, was largely a vehicle for energetic polemics on the contemporary state of sf and fantasy – with best-of-year Anthologies and Military SF being specifically targeted – and promotion of Sterling's enthusiasms. These included the Cyberpunk movement, while faint damns were reserved for cyberpunk's perceived rivals the "Humanist" sf authors (among them Kim Stanley Robinson and Lucius Shepard). Contributors besides Sterling himself included Brian Aldiss, both anonymously and with a signed tribute to the late Theodore Sturgeon; Charles Platt (once) as the anagrammatic Seth L Lapcart; and Lew Shiner (regularly) as "Sue Denim". Transcripts of Cheap Truth have circulated online since the 1980s, when Sterling made issues downloadable via a bulletin board system; the full run was compiled as The Complete Cheap Truth (coll 2019 ebook). [DRL]

further reading

  • The Complete Cheap Truth (Reading, Berkshire: Ansible Editions, 2019) [nonfiction: coll: ebook: assembling all issues of Cheap Truth: edited by David Langford: na/nonpictorial]
    • The Complete Cheap Truth (Reading, Berkshire: Ansible Editions, 2022) [nonfiction: coll: rev of the above: pb/nonpictorial]


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