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Dream Magazine

Entry updated 24 August 2017. Tagged: Publication.

UK Semiprozine printed in a consistently neat A5 format, initially of 48 pages but some later issues running to 76 or more pages. It was published and edited by Trevor Jones (1944-1993) in Godmanchester, Huntingdon, and became a Weller Publication from issue #10 (March 1987), the imprint of George P Townsend, who took over as editor from #18 (Winter 1988) when he dropped his own magazine New Moon Quarterly. Dream magazine was bimonthly until #14 (November 1987) then quarterly, as Dream Quarterly, from Spring 1988, with the last two issues irregular. Dream was in some ways a revival of an Amateur Magazine that Jones and Townsend had produced between November 1967 and December 1978 and which had grown steadily more ambitious during that period. The revived version, though typed, was neatly reproduced and showed Jones's conviction and commitment to produce as good a quality magazine as he could. This was not just in its appearance, which further improved with computer typesetting from issue #17 (Autumn 1988) but in the content. Jones was a firm believer in the value of storytelling and was a fan of the New Worlds style of fiction under John Carnell. He felt that British sf had fallen victim to the New Wave and its aftermath and wanted to restore some traditional values whilst also recognizing new talent. For the first few issues the stories were competent but felt too much like 1950s sf. In fact some of the British regulars from those days contributed the occasional story, including Sydney J Bounds and E R James. But fairly rapidly Jones and Townsend developed a growing stable of writers. In order of appearance these included Gerry Connelly with "Draco" (January 1986 #3), Peter T Garratt, who had debuted in Interzone the year before, with "The Angel of Destruction" (September 1986 #7), Ian G Whates with "Flesh and Metal" (March 1987 #10), Stephen Baxter, who had also recently debuted in Interzone, with "The Bark Spaceship" (November 1987 #14), Keith Brooke with "The Fifth Freedom" (Winter 1988 #18) and Peter F Hamilton with "Bodywork" (September 1990 #25). Most of these writers went on to establish themselves in Interzone and elsewhere but it was Dream that gave them space to fledge. Connelly's story of a believed UFO abduction, "The Rzawicki Incident" (July 1987 #12) was at one time voted the most popular story in Dream. Dream ran several nonfiction features including, from issue #16 (Summer 1988) an astronomy column by Duncan Lunan. Because of its regularity and reliability, and its stable of authors, Dream developed a personality and a strong following unusual for British Small Press fiction magazines. It served as a bridge between the old-guard Carnellian sf and the post-New Wave. Although it never acquired the reputation of Interzone, it should not be forgotten as a key market for British sf in the 1980s. The ever ambitious Trevor Jones, despite his increasingly poor health, decided in 1991 to convert Dream into a professional magazine, as New Moon (which see for details). [MA]


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