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Mag Bag #12

First Published:
Sonic Screwdriver #106

Publish Date:
February 1998

Do you like bumper crops? Well, no fear, there’s one here as we gaze into over a dozen different zines in this month’s Mag Bag!

First up, the short trip north to find the Time-Trekkers and the 28th edition of their Ultrawarp. As those names suggest, they cover a stack of sci-fi and related things: there’s a couple of Timestorm reviews (including the compulsory Michael Hutchence hanging joke) and a number of other tidbits as well. It’s got a more newsletter than zine feel, but well worth it (and the never-ending story has! Praise the Lord!).

Let’s pop over the Tasman Sea for a sec as we have a look at another zine that features decent chunks of Who along with other genre shows and series: Aukon. Issue 3 has, along with the latest Who news and reviews and a report on a visit to the Doctor Who Longleat exhibition (now recovered from K-9 burning it down!), pieces on the latest Bond movie, Event Horizon and the upcoming Avengers movie. A most informative 40 pages!

Broadsword continues on strong, this time with a few big chunks of fiction, three of which are absolute must-reads — indeed, it’s a great shame that none of the BBC books so far have come anywhere near Jon Blum’s depiction of the Eighth Doctor in his tale "Model Train Set". Can but hope for the future, we guess! Overall, though, a tad disappointing give the previous standard set by Broadsword. Continually re-inventing oneself can be a difficult task!

Onto Black Light, not that a lot of people will be seeing it much any more: as from the next issue it will go quarterly, and all Melbourne members will have to pick their copy up at Gallifrey meetings. If they happen. If you can guess when they’ll be on if you miss getting the previous issue. Geez… Anyway, this issue’s main features are a look at the recent(?) re-releasing of the Star Wars movies and a three-page rant by Sean Brady against John Nathan-Turner and his (mis)handling of the Sixth and Seventh Doctor eras. I hope it made him feel better because it seemed rather pointless.

Over to Western Australia, and I’ve come upon the January 1998 issues of Gallifreyan Graffiti, quite a contrast from when I last saw an issue (and possibly the next one, with a new editor due shortly). Anyway, it’s back to slim pickings — but at least the club seems an active one. Also picked up at Timestorm was the latest progress report for Swancon 23, the legendary SF annual convention of over there. It’s a weird one!

Onto the Timestorm edition of Happiness Patrol, with its ideal cover for autographing. It’s up to a decent length now, and packed full of entertaining and/or provoking pieces. Best of all are the story which re-unites the second Romana and Benny, and the incredibly encyclopaedic piece on Chris Cwej with exact references and page numbers. Wow! You can also check Happiness Patrol out on the Net at http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Lair/8022/Index4.html

Data Extract continues on as always; highlights are an extraordinary series of photos of Sophie and husband Vince from Timestorm — what are they doing in them? There’s also a new and quite interesting interview with Peter Davison from the American con Visions ‘97 in the latest issue (#133).

Dark Circus, one of the all time classic Australian zines, is back! Unfortunately, with its first issue of this second try, it makes a very poor comparison to the original, especially visually (the content is alright, though I hope they follow the original zine’s practice of steering away from fiction and towards articles.) Such are the hazards of relaunching a name! Anyway, issue 2 is now out and I’m assured is much better — more on that one next time.

To see the letter column war to end all letter column wars, you must grab the latest Chameleon Factor from the South Australian Club: the various rants cover four pages of close-packed text! Sensational (if rather pathetic) stuff! Elsewhere, we’ve got the makings of a solid zine: K-9 bagging, story bagging/praising, interview with author Justin Richards, a bit more K-9 bagging, and then a really cheap-looking back cover collage to top it off. And issue 49 of their newsletter Wall of Lies is a must-have for the committee run-down accompanied by silly (though probably quite accurate) text and photos.

While at Timestorm I got up to date with the latest zines from Queensland. And there were a stack of them! First up were issues 20 to 24 of Mistfall, which are increasingly very much worth getting apart from Peter Shaw’s art — so you can take that as a massive recommendation! Great stuff — but the sooner the story that sees various Doctors killing off ex-Mistfall editors finishes, the better! The Queensland club have also recently "recovered" some classic zines from the early Eighties: issues 5 of both Adventures in Time and Animal Husbandry along with I’ve Got A Big Scarf, What About Me Hat? With remarkably prescient (but seemingly stupid) lines, a crap typewriter and tongues very much in cheek, these A5 zines guarantee a laugh! And then they have a newsletter called Chromakey as well!

We’ve had a few late arrivals as I write this column. The first is an, well, interesting fanzine that goes by the name of my daleks are bigger than yours. Methinks somehow it’s a joke being played upon us, but it certainly gives a few laughs! Also just in is the second issue of the relaunched Timing Malfunction by Sian O’Neale for the Supreme Council of Time Lords (they that do the Double Gammas and the like). Has a Timestorm review, news on clubs and zines all around Australia, and the details of who got what votes in the 1997 Double Gammas. Some very interesting numbers there, especially on the Editor vote (ow!) and the way two artists captured three-quarters of the vote in their field, with Peter Shaw ending up pipping Isabella von Lichtan by just the one solitary vote! And Damian Shanahan got zero votes to Rod Scott’s 23…

And finally, we come to Temporal Orbit, which celebrates/examines The Horns of Nimon. Unfortunately it’s all a bit thin (7 pages including the cover) but it’s fun while it lasts!

Maybe, he says, this column should take that tack! Out for now!

• • •

Ultrawarp: $12 for 6 issues. Edited by Simon Mead for Time-Trekkers. PO Box 334, Bendigo, VIC 3552.

Aukon: $NZ4 per issue (cheaper in bulk). Edited by Anthony West. 23C Te Aute Road, Havelock North, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand & bwestbev@xtra.co.nz

Broadsword: $9 for 6 issues. This issue edited by Richard Prekodravac. 153 Wardell Road, Dulwich Hill NSW 2203 & rprekodr@extro.ucc.su.oz.au

Black Light: $13 for 4 issues. Edited by Daniel Klein and Damian Christie for Gallifrey. GPO Box 910G, Melbourne VIC 3001.

Gallifreyan Graffiti: $12 for $12 issues. Edited by Kristine Saunders for the West Lodge. PO Box 190, Mount Lawley WA 6050.

Happiness Patrol: Edited by Sarah J Groenewegen & Mel Fitzsimmons. PO Box Q952, QVB, Sydney NSW 2001.

Data Extract: $12 for 8 issues. Edited by Dallas Jones for the DWCA. GPO Box 2870, Sydney NSW 2001.

Dark Circus: $2.75 per issue, $10 for 4. Edited by Jon Anderson. 9 King Edward St, Croydon NSW 2132.

Chameleon Factor & Wall of Lies: $12 for 3-4 & 6 issues. Edited by Gerard van Rysbergen/James Margitich for the SADWFC. PO Box 3227, Rundle Mall, Adelaide SA 5000.

Mistfall & Chromakey/the ones with the long names: $11 for 3 issues/$1 each. Edited by Trevor Gensch, then Trevor Gensch and Peter Shaw for the Brisbane DWFC/we don’t know who to blame for the silly ones! PO Box 10308, Adelaide St, Brisbane QLD 4000.

my daleks are bigger than yours: Edited by "William", PO Box 41, West Brunswick VIC 3055.

Timing Malfunction: $5 for 6 issues. Edited by Sian O’Neale for SCOT. PO Box 218, Toorak VIC 3142.

Temporal Orbit: $6 for 3 issues. Edited by Matthew Rayner and Brendan Jones (cheques to Matthew). 2 Guildford Place, Leumeah NSW 2560.

End of Review

Here’s the list of the Doctor Who reviews available here:
Benny Adventure: Beyond the Sun
Benny Adventure: Deadfall
Benny Adventure: Ghost Devices/Mean Streets/Tempest
Benny Adventure: The Sword of Forever
Fanzines: Mag Bag #1
Fanzines: Mag Bag #2
Fanzines: Mag Bag #3
Fanzines: Mag Bag #4
Fanzines: Mag Bag #5
Fanzines: Mag Bag #6
Fanzines: Mag Bag #7
Fanzines: Mag Bag #8
Fanzines: Mag Bag #9
Fanzines: Mag Bag #10
Fanzines: Mag Bag #11
Fanzines: Mag Bag #12
Missing Adventure: Dancing the Code
Missing Adventure: Downtime
Missing Adventure: Invasion of the Cat-People
Missing Adventure: Lords of the Storm
Missing Adventure: Scales of Injustice
Missing Adventure: Shadow of Weng-Chiang
Missing Adventure: System Shock
New Adventure: Bloodheat
New Adventure: Death of Art
New Adventure: Dimension Riders
New Adventure: Eternity Weeps
New Adventure: Falls the Shadow
New Adventure: Legacy
New Adventure: No Future
New Adventure: Sleepy
TV: The Curse of Fenric
TV: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
TV: The Happiness Patrol
TV: Season 25 Review
TV: Season 27 Review (the 2005 return)
TV: The Twin Dilemma
→ Or just head back to the Doctor Who Index

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This page last updated by David J Richardson on Wed, 20 Apr 2005.