Third Annish


Don’t Be Dismayed

       It’s just our third anniversary edition, that’s what “Annish” means. Every five years, encompassing fifteen issues at our tri-yearly scheduling, we produce an anniversary edition which signifies how long we’ve been producing the magazine. We commenced net publishing in January 2003. People doubted that we’d even be able to last past the first issue, but we have kept up our regular schedule for quite some time now, and even intend to keep that schedule happening. When I think how it’s been fifteen years since the start of the magazine, it puts me in mind of how I was an infant in a cradle at the beginning of a span of time of that length, and at the end of the same span I was a fifteen-year-old, a teenager in my second year of high school, five feet nine in height. Another span like that and I’d be commencing my middle ages.  Und so weiter, as the Germans have it. I got the idea when I was born that the world was all set to take care of me, but by the time I was fifteen I had gotten the information that I was going to have to do something. I haven’t ever done anything that counted, but that’s all one and the same to me.

     Surprising Stories came to me when the potentialities of a computer were being explained to me. I mentioned the idea to my brother and he said he thought it could be done. So we got together the first issue. Having experienced that success, we just kept on doing it. What were the rewards of our endeavor? Well, nothing, but who said there were rewards for an endeavor? We didn’t think there was, we just knew that the concept existed. But getting anything back for our netzine would be like getting something for existing---as I said, there’s a short count on that. One is lucky if there is not a charge imposed for existence, the same way there is for getting a house; but one can point out that nobody owns existence, so nobody is entitled to charge anybody any money for just being alive. That lack of entitlement is what keeps them from doing it successfully. More’s the pity for them, for they have a little trouble getting together the wherewithal to continue existing themselves.

     Surprising stories, though a netzine of speculative fiction, has an existential attitude, and much of our material is themed to consider existence per se , which is not done enough in our world, or perhaps somebody would have some answers to any questions that are raised about it. As the song says, we come into this life as riders on the storm. So perhaps this netzine’s raison d’etre, reason for existence, is to pass the time in a life which provides nothing, considering existence, to create some of what we can not actually have, such as thought about anything except surviving  to the morrow. At least it is a tax free undertaking, or should that be enterprise.

     I was thinking that perhaps there should be something special in our anniversary edition, but then the other editions are all about as special as we are able to make them, and it’s probably best to consider the mere expression of consciousness of there being landmark editions to be what is appropriate to an anniversary issue. Hey, maybe the other people out there don’t even intend to read the issue, and so have no concern to what we choose to put in it.

     I assume that there are people trying to get as much of existence, for instance history, to slide upon us as they are able and that is why we are always being asked what we can do about things. There seems to be a lot of wonder in this century as to what it’s all about. It’s said, “If you don’t know what you’re doing you’d better ask somebody”, but to do that is to find out that he doesn’t either. The question of what we’re all doing here and how well we like it is too big to be answered.

     So, except for our index, and parade of cover art, the annish is just about the same as our regular issues; maybe even more easy-going, for an anniversary might be just the time to take a pleasant rest.