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Electric Velocipede

Entry updated 20 October 2021. Tagged: Publication.

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US Amateur Magazine normally published twice yearly from Fall 2001, by Spilt Milk Press, Somerset, New Jersey, and edited by John Klima. It began paying contributors a token fee from issue #10 (Spring 2006), thus technically making it a Semiprozine, though it won the Hugo award for Best Fanzine in 2009. Until the double issue #21/22 (Fall 2010) it was available in print form, bound in an intermediate (half-legal) size (8.5 x 6.9 in; 215 x 175 mm), saddle-stapled. From issue #14 (Spring 2008), when Night Shade Books took over as publisher, it adopted a standard digest format with colour covers. There were three double issues, #15/16 (Winter 2008), #17/18 (Spring 2009) and #21/22 (Fall 2010). From issue #23 (Winter 2011, the only issue of that year) it became an Online Magazine only; publication ceased with #27 (Winter [November] 2013).

Electric Velocipede rapidly gained a reputation for its rather eccentric, often surreal cross-genre fiction and poetry which has attracted a number of experienced authors including Neal Barrett Jr, Paul Di Filippo, Charles Coleman Finlay, Jay Lake, Jeff VanderMeer, Leslie What and Liz Williams as well as newcomers, such as Monica Byrne with her debut story "The Comedy at Kualoa" (Fall 2010), Jay Caselberg, Sheila Crosby, Hal Duncan and Edd Vick. Amongst the weird and the bizarre, Electric Velocipede did publish some rather more standard sf but often with a fresh treatment by new writers. "Whispers" (Fall 2003), a rare short story by Michael Kanaly, has Clones grown on Mars as organ banks, but Kanaly adds a twist of the mystical in questioning how sentient the clones have become; this issue also included Jason Erik Lundberg's debut story "Songstress". In "Choice Cuts" (Spring 2004), Edd Vick creates an overpopulated future where mind transfer (see Identity Transfer) has replaced the need for new children. Vick, who has also appeared in Asimov's, contributed several striking stories, of which "Moon Does Run" (Fall 2006), which was nominated for a Hugo, is perhaps the most notable. It tells of a customs-shed Robot that has been frequently reprogrammed and becomes confused, remembering a time when it was something else. Most of the stories in Electric Velocipede, whether sf, Magic Realism or just plain bizarre, are of the type that remain in the memory long after reading, because of their compelling fusion of the unusual with the commonplace. [MA]

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