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This first issue of Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction is dedicated to anyone who ever cried because they felt sad.
Being sad is a feeling, and the stories in this magazine will often be about feelings. Feelings. The way people feel, and the way that some people don’t. If you have ever had a feeling you will understand what I am talking about. If you have never had a feeling maybe the stories in this magazine will awaken one in you. That feeling might be disgust, boredom or ennui, but it might just as well be desire, excitement or amity. We shall find out together.
In this first issue of TQF I am pleased to present the first portion of my second-favourite ever novel, Professor Challenger in Space. It is not the first time it has seen publication, having previously seen print as a special folderback edition, then as a paperback, and then as a rocket ebook. But I make no apologies for recycling the same old material – this is after all one of three issues of TQF being produced retrospectively for the year of 2004, in order to bed down the format and give us all a running start at the first issue proper.
I could have course have pretended that these issues had been produced at the appropriate points of the year gone by, and thus given myself the opportunity to be regarded as a great prognosticator in the mould of Arthur C. Clarke. For example, in this spring issue, I could predict that, against all the odds, the European Championships this year will be won by footballing minnows Greece. But I won’t, because the theme of this issue is honesty – honesty and trust – and feelings.
I have another excuse for re-using my crusty old Professor Challenger novel, and that is that it finally went out of print last year, and so is at the moment only available second-hand (there are usually a couple of copies available via Amazon.co.uk).
I will not go into too much detail here about the aims of this magazine – that should really be saved for the first bona fide issue – but this issue might still be the first for someone, and to that person I say, “Hello. This is a slightly silly magazine, full of stories which may not be to your taste, and for that I make no apology. The only true purpose of TQF is to make me smile. If it makes anyone else smile (for whatever reason), that is wonderful. Smiling and happiness are good things, as long as they are not at another’s expense. But I make no allowances for you, either in my writing or in my editing of the stories selected for publication herein.”
One might hope that the person in question has the patience for long expository speeches, but that would of course be to set us on the road of making the allowances proscribed by my own exposition. Perhaps I have been too harsh. – The Editor
This issue is also included in the bound volume of the 2004 issues: Theaker's Quarterly Fiction: Year One (#1-4), available to buy now!