Monday, 6 June 2011

Dancing With Myself: MARK TURNER interviews MARK TURNER

G'day Nigel and readers.  All the way from down under, by the wonders of the marvelous interweb; now there's something 'sci fi' for ya!  Worst segue ever, but it gives me the leg-in to add that I'm the editor of Voluted Tales, Oz's newest and smallest (so far) speculative fiction ezine on the 'net.  With a big thanks to Nigel, I'm along today to pimp my wares to the punters and make my little 'zine known to the world.

Tell us how VT came about, Mark.

I've been an editorial staffer with Aurealis magazine for a while, the 'other', bigger, older better-known spec fic 'zine down under.  Aurealis has been going for 20 years now, and runs the Aurealis Awards for speculative fiction.  Their editor, Stuart Mayne, resigned after five years with them at the end of last years, and they're currently in hiatus.  I figured it was the ideal time for me to launch a little enterprise on the side, with the idea of building it into something of my own.

Where Aurealis is a fully print and traditional publication, oriented toward the Aussie market, I decided to try a different spin, and went for a web-based set-up, and international market.  So far, it's had a good response.  Topped two hundred members on the magazine website already, managed to get interviews with some leading lights in the trade, and attracted some top-notch material in the submissions received, more than enough already for the second issue.

So, have you always wanted to edit, or do you come from a writing background too?

I've always written, and read voraciously, tho' I do lean more toward fantasy these days than any other genre in my own work.  But the process of publication, and especially of magazine production, has always fascinated me.  During the '70s when I was a kid, I got hooked on the reprints of the old '30s pulpies, those great old magazines for the people.  They weren't trying to be posh or high-brow, just offered some rollicking great stories that filled our day-dreams for ages afterwards.  If VT can achieve something similar, I'll be well pleased.

But VT doesn't do just sci fi and fantasy does it?  You've run a couple of noir pieces in the first issue as well.  How does that fit with the style of it?

Hey, noir is cool too.  Some of the best stories out of the pulps days were the grand old noir mysteries after all.  Besides, a lot of noir works are pretty creepy, even gory, and can work as great horror pieces too.  While I wouldn't accept just any noir piece, there are many that can fit nicely amidst the rest of the stories in VT, and I'm always happy to see them in the sub's.

You have a piece in issue #1, Nigel, with Fisher of Men.  Tho' this time it's a little departure from noir yourself, more of a fantasy piece, but I liked it as soon as I saw it and knew it'd have to get a spot.

We also have a noir homage to those old detective mysteries of the pulps, with Puzzles by B. R. Stateham, and the truly creepy noir tale from our good mate Ian Ayris, The Whittling Man.

Yeah, Ian's been doing rather well of late, seems to be on every noir site and 'zine' round the traps!

Too right, and he just let us know that his book, Abide with Me, is due for September release.  He's dun good!

As well as the stories, I was also lucky enough to get a couple of fantastic interviews, with Prof. D. Harlan Wilson, whose works are genuinely mind-spinning.  The other interview is with Morgan Grant Buchanan, who gives us some inside  news on upcoming scifi tv series, Barrier, in development, and which he co-produced and co-wrote, and a future Rome, alternate history series of novels and graphic novels in collaboration with Babylon5's Claudia Christian.

Couldn't ask for a more stellar cast for a little magazines debut issue.  I do feel blessed there, and massively grateful to all involved for their interest and often generous support for the venture.

Where does it go from here, Mark?

Issue #2 will begin its reading period in a week or two.  Issue #1 is out on right now, bargain at just $2.99 for a massive 98 pages, and soon to be on other outlets as I'm able to figure out the quirks of all their systems.  Some of them are brain-busters, and each one takes time.

That's the biggest challenge at the moment.  Time.  Doing it as a one-man show for now, so I'm limited in what I can do by the hours in the day.  But, as I look toward the second issue, with all I've learned from doing the first, I'm confident of making it bigger and better.

Nowhere to go but up, eh?

You can find VT's website at

On twitter: as @volutedtales  

And on at:

1 comment:

  1. Voluted Tales fill a huge gap left by Aboriginal SF. Aussies in SF have had a abyssal lack of presence in US readers minds. About time someone put guys like Ian Banks back into the fray. Voluted Tales looks to be the publication that will do just that.
    On a technical note: I'm damned what it is I'm doing wrong trying to register with the VT website. The bludger registry program keeps telling me no. But I'm determined. I'll get there one day.