Leaving Morlock and myself out of it, I thought it was a pretty strong issue also. Tangent‘s purview doesn’t include nonfiction features, but it’s worth noting: John O’Neill’s editorial was a serious look at the pulps, who tried to warn us about “the very real dangers of even short-range space exploration. Things like Venusian swamp worms, Martian plague, and the Red Death of Saturn.” News you can use, indeed. And this issue’s “Java Joint,” founded on a basic human truth that I utterly reject, was especially hilarious.
I thoroughly enjoyed Rich Horton’s article on magazines of the 1970s. I was stunned to discover that Leiber’s “Rime Isle” was serialized in Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy, a magazine whose existence I had completely forgotten; I thought, for some reason, the serial had run in Vertex. Nothing really hinges on this, but “Rime Isle,” although far from the best Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser story, is important to me as one of the small handful of these tales I read on their original magazine appearance in the mid-late 1970s. My recollection seems to have mashed together several of these large-format short-lived prozines into one, sort of like Nomad and Tan Ru. I’m still sure that I read the serial, but not, obviously, in Vertex. It’s weird how memory can mutate first hand experience into something that never really happened. Anyway, nostalgia (and its disruptions) aside, this is an interesting survey of the genre market at a time of transition.
The reviews (of games and books) were also very beefy and satisfying.