Mind Boggling Science Fiction
Mind Boggling Science Fiction is a one-off magazine which I self-published for the 1995 World Science Fiction Convention, which was held in my home city of Glasgow. Its purpose was to showcase some of my shorter fiction but, for a bit of fun, I decided to make it a pastiche of the sort of pulp science fiction magazine, mainly originating in the USA, that was prevalent in the 1930s and 1940s (eg Astounding Stories, Fantastic Stories of Imagination etc). The stories were all mine, but all except one of them appeared under various pseudonyms in order to preserve the illusion of being a magazine.
Needless to say, the two interviewees are real people. Alasdair Gray, the celebrated Glasgow writer and artist is best known for his novel Lanark, but he has written several other works likely to appeal to readers of speculative fiction, as well as to the public in general. He discusses these in his interview, and he also generously consented to my using some of his artwork, which added a touch of class to the publication.
The other interviewee is Duncan Lunan, the Scottish science and science fiction writer. His subject here is an early exposition of a fascinating medieval mystery concerning the Green Children of Woolpit. Since my magazine appeared, Duncan has continued to develop this topic in talks and articles, culminating in his book Children from the Sky published by Mutus Liber in 2012. Further information can be obtained from Duncan’s website.
The magazine didn’t sell a huge number of copies, but I had great fun producing it and it gave me a crash course in handling Microsoft Windows, which was new to me at the time. Since this was a one-off publication, and not really a magazine at all, I explained in my editorial that I was not open to receiving contributions from other writers. I tried to reinforce this message by adding the following legal disclaimer: “Unsolicited manuscripts, depending on their quality, will either be burned or plagiarised by the editor.” I thought this made my position fairly clear, but I still received a couple of unsolicited contributions. One of them was a story entitled “Hopkins’ Octopus” by someone calling himself Eddie Vortex. In his covering letter the author claimed that the story contained an element of “satiere” (sic) and was also “kind o’ cute.” Despite my threat I returned these manuscripts at my own expense along with a nice letter explaining the situation.
The many people who missed out on this exciting publication can now download it in full HERE.