The sci-fi fanzine This Way Up formerly known as Antenna, has folded after many years of publication for the most bizarre of reasons - an apparent national shortage of A5 envelopes! This Way Up was posted for free to anyone who sent the price of a stamp, in an A5 envelope as it was a nice, handy A5 format.
However, This Way Up's editor John Connors tells me they've finally jacked it in, because he can't get A5 envelopes for love or money. This may have something to do with the Post Office's decision last year to encourage even less people to use snail mail by making it as complicated as possible. The This Way Up team "can only find C5 envelopes which look the same as A5,
act the same as C5 but cost more to send in the post thanks to the PO's strange charging scheme introduced last year."
John Connors' "slightly sinister fanzine empire" (TWU's own words) will shortly launch two new publishing projects and I hope to be on board in some way. Started primarily as a vechicle for long, rambling rants about Doctor Who, a programme which at the time hadn't be on TV for over a decade, This Way Up was frequently "Fanzine of the Month" in the column of the same name by SFX, Europe's biggest sci-fi magazine. I used to admire its "no editing" policy, which let people go on and on about Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon for fifteen pages and the pants Tom Baker-era story Horns of the Nimon for another ten pages after that, with an apparent decision made not to bother with any kind of layout. In an age of increasingly all style and no content, you just had to respect it's "we don't care" attitude to writing, and only writing. And then, just when I was getting tired of the no-layout no-editing policy, voila! Out of nowhere pops a layout artist and designer who does a nice job of design, layout and cutting stuff to fit. This Way Up, casualty of the national A5 envelope shortage, you will be sorely missed.