...To paraphrase an old favorite.
Dragging ourselves up from under another long, wet, frigid, and forlorn winter, it’s a relief for those of us in the crispy latitudes to see the sun hauling a little warmth behind it once again.
With the welcome thaw we offer our spring issue of Writer’s Cramp. This year we welcome back five of our stalwarts, Jan Hansen, Charles (Chuck) Ivie, Frank Thayer, Tim LeJeune and Robert Liberty. And we scootch over to make room for one of our newest members of the Crampsite Contributors, Jeff Justice.
These editorials are wont to effuse ebullient at times, over what the editor considers the best fiction and poetry published on the Internet, or in collected print for that matter, but more often than not, the effusion is properly directed and fully deserved.
We have another anthology of excellent literature to offer this season.
First let us consider Jan Oskar Hansen as a phenomenon in the world of poetry. Jan submits poetry on a regular basis, almost, it seems, in time for the change of the seasons themselves, and every time is like opening a long-anticipated gift. The accumulated body of Jan Hansen's work is a trove and each poem is a true treasure, each one shining differently from the others—brighter, warmer, sometimes harsher, but always with its individual radiance. This issue we present, Romance on the High Seas. You will travel through these gems more than once to savor the images and familiarity of sense, to catch the sparkle of clear, crisp language. These journeys with Jan Hansen are, like the warm seasons, always welcome.
And Charles Ivie is back with us with two remarkable tales of otherworldly speculation. The first is entitled Teliskop. It is a serialized story worthy of inclusion in the pages of that once dominant giant in the world of eerie fiction, Weird Tales. Teliskop takes place in the here and now of a world that seems remarkably like our own, but surely these things cannot be? WC will be publishing new chapters each issue to keep you on the edge of your page.
Teliskop is a novelette in the tradition of Writer’s Cramp from yesteryear and brings us to the second of Chuck’s submissions, the final chapter of Time Camera. Readers of the WC will recognize that title from 2001 through 2003 as a continuing saga about what happens when the future and past are warped beyond repair; and like Teliskop, may indeed be a possibility. We must bear in mind that no matter how speculative Mr. Ivie’s tales may seem, he is writing from years of study and experimentation as a scientist with the Jet Propulsion Labs and NASA, so maybe he knows a thing or two beyond general classification. Finally the complete version—all in a piece.
Next we welcome back one of our newest members of the Crampsite, Jeff Justice. You may have noticed a slight similarity in the last two titles, well that similarity continues with Jeff's inclusion in this issue, Robot Invasion. We actually played around with the idea of changing the title to something more eclectic or erotic or irreverent, but sometimes the author knows best how to name his own work—and the title's simplicity and directness alerts the reader to exactly what to expect from the story in hand. However, readers of WC learn early never to expect the simple and direct from our authors and it's best to prepare for the zig and the zag. Be warned.
In keeping with the theme we've decided to reprint Frank Thayer's excellent 50s-style Space Opera, Enslaved by Venus. hearken back, those of you old enough to remember black and white television, to the stories from Amazing, and Astounding Stories and even the venerable and aforementioned Weird Tales, and get ready for the same adventure and excitement as an Earthman, visiting our neighbor planet, finds himself definitely out of his element.
Then there's the anachronistic Deke Gibn from one of our favorite old hands, Tim LeJeune. With all of Tim's fiction and poetry, you really have to participate to enjoy the view. Visit the Archives to find more of Tim's incredible fiction.
Then there's Robert Liberty, who surfaces with something new and something that's seen less time in the crisper, if you see the analogy. First there's Thalan—Weirprince of Dunsany, a true Space Oater, replete with a flying horse, an alien menace and home-grown pretenders to the throne. Oh, did we mention the horse also talks? Well it certainly does! This is another serialized entry to WC and subsequent adventures starring Peg, the flying, talking horse and Thalan, the ripped, handsome young prince, will continue to grace our future pages.
And finally, in keeping with the sci fi, sword and sorcery theme, we bring back that giddy chestnut from Mr. Liberty, There's a Planet in My Soup. You just have to read this end-of-the-world beauty to believe what this guy tries to get away with. It's a crime.
As always, ... enjoy.