There are those who wonder whether the material that’s been printed in Surprising Stories will ever amount to anything. (What? No, I’m not just guessing about those people with their attitudes.)  It’s a good question. What is being asked is whether this publication has any particular purpose or theme to it, and if so, do we think we have gotten anywhere with the development of this, after eighteen years of publication.

     Well, what did we seek? Mainly we wanted to see what we could put up on the net, and how the results would look to us. Our incentive was just doing something, not being idle. But a magazine is supposed to intermix with its readers, to have something going with them, to flourish in discussing things which are going on. That isn’t something we have had much success with, and it seems to me, and has always seemed to me, that it would be difficult to have much success with these things when using the internet, which is mostly about using the internet, and arranging for the possibility of contact rather than having a full contact.  Net contact may be net contact, but beyond that, in a social sense, it is social estrangement. I know there is some net having a contrary policy to this, such as Facebook, but they are pretty limited in the amount that can go on too, no matter what it is they like; however, they counter the estrangement effect nicely. If there is much reaction to our magazine, we don’t know about it; there is little possibility of “feedback”.  And with people who use the net giving up US mail, there’s not much chance of having any discussion of our net activities. People ask what paper is for, it’s to substantiate the net and record it somewhere where it won’t drift away from us.

     But that’s where reader curiosity may come from. There is little chance to ask about what we have in mind. And so some answer to the question is in order. Our cumulative effect is to have a cumulative effect, and I think we do have a cumulative effect. We have had the policy of doing something, and what we have had here has enough variety to it so that it comes to having done something, obviously when one regards the magazine. A realization has been had, a sense of there being something here that was not here when we started out. And so we with our writers have projected something for US to think about, and from which we may derive further thought. If we are looking at our own magazine, we are not looking at propaganda or other things coming in by way of the media. It is a refreshing aside from the bombardment which the news provides. And if anyone ever asks us about ourselves, we can provide references in what we have put on the net.

     In this issue we tackle the cosmos, after doing a manful wade through earthly problems. If someone ever wants to join us (and a lot of our writers have) we will be considering something that interests us, and not fuel reserves in New Guinea or other things that are brought in to us by magazines not our own or of people with whom we have any familiarity. You might wish to join us in going into matters that interest human beings who are desirous of a place in life rather than being in the military on a jungle mission…we are after things that interest the spirit, and do not regard warfare material as comfortable reading. And we like our spiritual interest to be speculative, not chants about the spirit; in this way we might combine spirit with mind. If anyone else is interested in this, we have an issue here in which our writers are doing just that, and not without developmental results. It’s interesting to see where these people are getting to, it causes thought to occur.

We have put up our encampment in a place where the opportunity for independent thought is at its optimum, the medium of speculative fiction.