Other Times

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UK magazine of Speculative Fiction published by London printer Andrew Ellsmore, and put out under the imprint of P P Layouts, a name taken from Philip K Dick's novel, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1964), a deceit developed even further in the second issue where the editor was named as Leo Bulero, the hero of Dick's novel. In the opening editorial the editor, presented only as "Mr E" challenged the reader to look for clues in the magazine to discover its true identity. Other Times, like the title character of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, is playing with illusion and reality. Coming at a time when New Worlds was in one of its periodic slumbers, Other Times set out to keep alive surreal, alternative and experimental fiction, little of which could be described as "science fiction" but all of which had that same disorientation occasioned by a growing sense of alienation with the world. The magazine saw only two issues, November 1975 and February (but undated) 1976. In the first issue there was downbeat, dystopian fiction from Barry Malzberg and Gustav Hasford, a delightful brief fantasia from John Sladek, a comic-strip spoof on barbarian fantasy by Chris Welch, which continued into the second issue, and a portfolio of some of the last artwork by Mal Dean. The second issue got more into its stride and had a greater cohesiveness, with a Una Persson story by Michael Moorcock, an almost identifiable science fiction story by Edward Bryant and a surprising rant by David Bischoff. Other Times could have developed into a significant alternative magazine with sufficient backing. [MA]

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