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Fortean Bureau

Entry updated 16 February 2021. Tagged: Publication.

US semi-professional Online Magazine of strange, weird and unusual speculative fiction, dedicated to the type of story that would have interested Charles Fort, renowned collector of unexplained phenomena. It was published and edited by Jeremy and Sarah Tolbert from Laramie, Wyoming. It began in August 2002 and maintained a monthly schedule until December 2004, when it became quarterly, and ceased in April 2006 after 34 issues. It did not always adhere closely to Forteana, though its contents were often eccentric and occasionally absurd. Issue #19 (February 2004) was devoted to beers and issue #21 (April 2004) to "Grocery Lists of the Stars". Slightly more relevant was the third issue (October 2002) which was inspired by the work of H P Lovecraft. Although the Tolberts had said that the magazine would not publish Heroic Fantasy it did run occasional fairy tales or Arabian-style fantasies. The magazine's fascination for the strange, often tinged with a vein of Humour, attracted several better known writers including Tobias S Buckell, Jay Lake, Marissa Lingen, Nick Mamatas, Patricia Russo, Ekaterina Sedia and Lavie Tidhar. Occasional stories would delve deeper into the unexpected, such as the apparent regimentation of society in "The Set of All Even Primes" (#17, December 2003) by Jay Lake or the significance of numerology (see Mathematics) in "The Gimatria of Pi" (#25, August 2004) by Lavie Tidhar. Although often light-hearted, Fortean Bureau could at times be unsettlingly profound. [MA]

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