Issue Four | Spring 1995
Out, Vile Jelly!
What with Mark Wigoder-Daniels’s article on tomb robbing and Bob Dushay’s underworld adventure, I’m beginning to think it’s time for a Ditlana. This will be my last Issue as editor. Next Issue The Eye will be in the capable hands of Steve Foster, who co-refereed a Tékumel campaign with me that ran for ten years. Steve’s got out of that boat on Jakálla wharf more times than he can count!
The e-mail address for the Tékumel usenet group is alt.games.frp.Tékumel. The following web pages contain Tékumel maps and other goodies worth downloading: http://wings.network.com/gopher/Tékumel/Tékumel.html and http://www.io.com/user/slocum/Tékumel.html.
Some superb art this Issue thanks to Martin Helsdon, whose work appears on pages 4, 17, 19, 24 and 37. We hope to have more by Martin next Issue. The cover and decent art elsewhere is Russ Nicholson’s. The crappy stuff is by me.
I spent much of 1994 working with Jamie Thomson on Fabled Lands, a new series of fantasy gamebooks. No, this isn’t a plug. I wanted to share with Eye readers my annoyance that the fourth of these books, which was to have been called ’Devils & Howling Darkness’, fell afoul of the moral minority and had to be retitled ’The Plains of Howling Darkness’. Actually, it wasn’t even as dignified as that. A few school book clubs got a bit nervous about the name and the general feeling was that it wasn’t worth risking the umbrage of the pinheads out there. This is the same reason that Virgin Games don’t stock The Book of Ebon Bindings—to save having to deal with complaints from "anti-Satanists". (I can’t bring myself to call them Christians because Jesus wouldn’t have given a toss.)
The title of one fantasy book isn’t important. (And no, of course it didn’t have anything to do with Satan. The "devils" referred to were just how city dwellers regarded the people of the plains.) The point is, though, that liberals have to make a stand. Between fascists, the far right and the PC brigade, there’s a danger of tolerance getting squeezed out altogether. In a democracy it’s all too easy for the people who make the most noise to trample on the rights of others who aren’t interested in lobbying for ever-increased censorship and legislation. So those of us who believe in a free society should remember that there’s always some guy who wants to take away your right to watch, read, say or think whatever you want. To stop him you have to be twice as determined as he is.
This Issue is dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi and Salman Rushdie. Live long and prosper.