Heliotrope

Tagged: Publication

US professional downloadable Online Magazine co-founded by Damon Caporaso, Dave Comery and Jay Tomio, with Tomio as the editor-in-chief. It ran for six issues, each long delayed, from August 2006 to Spring 2009. Each issue was beautifully designed with emphasis given to striking artwork and features, most of which looked better on screen than when downloaded. Each issue ran just two or three short stories, most of which were more fantastic than sf, though Edward Morris's recursive "On the Air" (August 2006) is an amusing recapture of a possible radio programme involving the sf pioneers; but the fiction, competent and reliable though it was, proved to be the lesser portion of Heliotrope which was dominated by its nonfiction. Heliotrope had grown out of the three founders' "Fantasybookspot" critical review website, and continued to publish analysis and promotion of speculative fiction much in the vein of Fantastic Metropolis. Essays in the first issue included Jeff VanderMeer's exploration "The Novella" (August 2006) and Heidi Wessman Kneale's perceptive "Where's the Sci-Fi" (August 2006). Michael Moorcock seemed to become a spiritual guiding light. He contributed an essay "Plus ça change?" (Fall 2007) which compared the current state of sf with that in the 1960s, whilst the fifth issue was a Moorcock special, with a reprint of Neil Gaiman's Elric novelette "One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock" (Spring 2009), a Jerry Cornelius story by Rhys Hughes, and five essays about Moorcock and his work. After five issues Heliotrope closed down; in some ways it had already closed in on itself, becoming an enjoyable if introspective magazine. [MA]

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