The Editor’s Rant: Issue #4

by Michael D. Pederson


Wow. There’s so much to cover this month. Since our last issue we have been to Con José (the 60th World Science Fiction Convention) and Dragon*Con, moved our offices, and redesigned our cover. For starters, I want to apologize for the slight delay in getting this issue out. I blame the move. Whoever you talk to, wherever you go, the only opinion that everyone everywhere seems to agree on is this: Moving sucks. I’d like to think that one day in the far future this will be different but I know better. The clones you generate to help you move will still track mud all over the house and demand more beer and pizza. All the good anti-grav units will be rented out and you’ll be stuck with one that tips to the left no matter how many times you kick it. And your matter-transporter will strip the labels off of every one of your boxes, forcing you to guess at which box has that file that really needs to be shipped off two days after you move. Yep, moving sucks.

Amidst all the confusion, however, I still found time to travel out to California for Con José. This was my second World Con—I made it to last year’s convention in Philadelphia but was too busy preparing for the Masquerade to really enjoy the con. (Best in Class – Masters Division if you’re curious.) This year I made sure to get in as much elbow-rubbing as possible (see our con coverage on page 4) which included a panel with fellow ’zine publishers. We sat around for an hour and gratuitously complemented each other on the fine publications we were all putting out. There were also some very amusing discussions on how everyone got started, what their goals were, and how they came up with their names. I thought the subject interesting enough to dig through my archives and present the list of names that were considered before we settled on Nth Degree. If you’re looking to start your own ’zine soon, help yourself…

We started with the misapprehension that we should work the word “zine” in to the title somehow: CognoZine, SceneZine, Zeenic, Zeenix, Zined, and ZineOphobe were the original suggestions that we batted around. Then came a round of reasonable science fiction sounding ideas: Stand By…, Chrome Magnon, Prose and Cons, and Probed were all considered briefly. After that we took a detour into attention-grabbing unusual names: Mike’s Magazine, Anything But Goth, The Hotel Lobby Hot Dog Report, 9 NonGoths, and Meatspace all generated some interest as well.

Some were thrown out because they were already taken, some were just too darned silly. In the end though, we’re happy with our choice. Now sit back, pour yourself a drink, and enjoy the latest issue of The Hotel Lobby Hot Dog Report!


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