Visions of Paradise

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Steam Engine Time

Bruce Gillespie is one of the grand old masters of fanzine publishing, and his Science Fiction Commentary is one of the finest serconzines ever. Unfortunately, it is not published nearly as frequently nowadays as it was in Bruce’s younger days.

So a few years ago he started another zine entitled Steam Engine Time with two English co-editors. Unfortunately, they soon dropped out, and this project seemed doomed to a short lifespan. Enter Janine Stinson, herself a fine editor of the serconzine Peregrine Nation, who offered to co-edit it with Bruce. Based on the most recent issue #4, this collaboration is a good one which hopefully will last for a long time.

Highlights of the issue include:
▸ Greg Benford on his visit with Stephen Hawking in which he discusses the effect of Hawking’s presence at Cambridge and their discussion about the “ultimate theory of physics”;
▸ Andrew M. Butler’s views on the recent British science fiction boom, with Paul Brazier’s “dissenting opinion”;
▸ Bruce’s review of The Best Australian Science Fiction Writing, a fifty year retrospective anthology edited by Rob Gerrand, although the review is as much about Bruce’s view of the history of Australian sf as it is about what seems a very worthwhile book.

This entire zine is enjoyable and thought-provoking reading, the type of stuff I originally entered fanzine fandom for (ok, i admit I like the socializing too). It is available at along with lots of other fine fanzines, including much of Bruce’s and Janine’s other stuff. Go there when you have a chance. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.