Entry updated 20 December 2019. Tagged: Publication.
UK Semiprozine, irregular, three issues, published by Richard Newcombe, W Publishing, Peterborough; #1 (Summer) 1989 in pocketbook format edited by Maureen Porter (with help from the Peterborough Science Fiction Club); subsequent issues, #2 undated (Summer 1990) and #3 December 1990, A4 format, edited by Paul Cox. Besides fiction it ran film reviews by Kim Newman and book reviews by various hands. Despite the obvious efforts that went in to developing this magazine, it failed to make an impact and seemed uncertain how to present itself. Although Porter's editorial in the first issue declared it a magazine of "science fiction writing" the cover of the slim and easily overlooked pocketbook presented more of a fantasy image, one compounded by the fairy-tale like opening to the first story, "Cinderella's Sisters" by Brian Stableford. The rest of the issue, however, was significantly different and the stories, by James White, Stratford A Kirby, Richard Paul Russo, David Mace and Alex Stewart all had in common the interface between humanity and science. Particularly pertinent was Mace's "The Purpose of the Experiment" which suggests that, as in some laboratory experiments, that with Earth had been corrupted. With the second issue, which had been edited by Porter, but finalized by Cox, the magazine shifted to an A4 format with an overtly sf cover illustration and the magazine boldly labelled "Science Fiction". This format showed more promise, well illustrated and easily readable, with good stories in issue #2 and #3 by father-and-son team Sean and Barrington Bayley, Storm Constantine, Garry Kilworth, Kim Newman, David Redd, Andy Sawyer, Ian Watson and Dean Whitlock (whose "The Smell of Cloves" in issue #2, about the struggle of a small planetary colony, was the most powerful item The Gate published). The Gate fell foul of the economics of the British magazine distribution system and although issue four was typeset there was insufficient finance to print it, though hopes remained for several years. [MA]
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