Nine-Year Old Here and Now Wings Way from England

It came as rather a surprise, the Facebook message from Frank Roger on July 7:  “Dear James, I noticed you had a story in British magazine HERE & NOW, issue 7, back in 2006.  I had several stories in that issue, but never received a copy.  Did you, and would you have a spare copy?  If not, could you send me Xerox copies or scans of this issue’s table of contents and the pages with my stories?  Thanks in advance!”  This one took a bit of detective work — nearly ten years old?  But I finally ran it down.  It turns out I’d never received one either.

So both of us, it turns out, were detectives, both of us finding that issue 7, to be out in December 2006, was the final one that HERE AND NOW had published.  But its then-editor

Cover illustration Here & Now #7

Cover illustration Here & Now #7

Jenny Barber is still an active writer and even had a blog with archives from back then, such as they were, but with space for comment which Frank and I both used.  “Hi Frank, I did a little detective work but it looks like you’re ahead of me in finding the ’HERE AND NOW Archive.’  Unfortunately, I never received a copy of the magazine either, so I’ve also left Jenny Barber a message (plus a friend request on Facebook), but it’s probably a bit past bedtime in England so won’t expect to hear anything until tomorrow. Sorry.”

And, long story short, July 8th dawned, and during the course of the day Jenny emailed us both.  Physical copies were still available and, with the receipt of a mailing address, copies would be put in the mail.  And so, today, mine has arrived including the story that I had in it, “Oriental Mist,” a breezy romance concerning pheromones and Chinese cooking  — spicing up one’s marriage, as it were, and dinner as well.  Although perhaps a bit out of date in terms of some of its social mores (one might note that “Muffy’s” dress shields are a little quaint for even then), might it be time for me to find somewhere that might reprint it?

Thus is the writing life — but one final item too.  During the course of the “conversation” Frank congratulated me on my sale of “Victorians” to Flame Tree Publishing’s CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES (see July 6, June 21), noting that he’d sold one of his own to a companion volume, CHILLING HORROR SHORT STORIES.  So now in a few weeks perhaps there will be two books that one might consider buying.

And also, a big “thanks” to Jenny Barber!


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