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the grey area
The Grey Area - letters to The ZONE                                                           email: editor@zone-sf.com
Pigasus Press, 13 Hazely Combe, Arreton, Isle of Wight, PO30 3AJ, England
correspondence about The ZONE #9 ...

"Best of luck with the novel?" I'm finished with one and working on three - heeeee. The Dean Koontz interview came out great.
Mike McCarty

I liked the cover. Steven Hampton's article tackled an interesting subject. Haven't read everything yet - you get a lot in.
John Light

Ta for the new [The] ZONE - excellent issue. A Reasonable Facsimile and This Intergalactic Zapper For Hire were terrific stories. Good interviews - Howard Waldrop's The Ugly Chickens is one of those stories that still haunts me, years after I first read it. Anyone who writes longhand and types is ok by me (my first drafts of poems are in pencil for heaven's sake!).
   Must agree with Alan Hunter about your classification of poems as prose - in this issue you list Nancy Bennett's excellent poem, King Of Stars And Shadows as prose, though Steve Sneyd's equally excellent poem is given as such. Where I do part company with Alan is his insistence on rhyme and meter for 'proper' poetry. While I have some sympathy with this argument, I have to admit that free verse has established itself as a form of poetry in its own right - and even without it, three quarters of English verse is in blank verse anyway - unrhymed iambic pentameter (and Milton was moving into a form of free verse in Samson Agonistes in the 17th Century).
John Francis Haines, Warrington

[The] ZONE 9: interesting interview with Pat Cadigan; thoroughly enjoyed the Neal Asher; King of Stars and Shadows - excellent, reminds me of Patti Smith at her best. More later.
Andy Hedgecock

Thanks for the copy of The ZONE number 6 [sic], which arrived yesterday. Very nicely put together.
Hugh Cook, Japan

Reading issue nine of The ZONE during my nightshift dinner break meant I had a longer break than is normally allowed and I never ate a thing. Purchasing it for the Koontz interview I soon discovered all the other gems within. Hampton's asteroids I found was no medical condition but just the kind of article I like so am looking forward to his Jupiter missive, your piece with Jeff Young on Asimov's Nightfall caused me to do a double take and read it again and Steve Sneyd's poem really surprised me because I enjoyed that too. King Koontz was the big draw for me though and I was not disappointed, but I soon realized that I need many more books to complete the collection and would like to add one to the McCarty list. In 1983 Mr. Koontz wrote Darkness Comes, which is not only omitted from the list but is also one of his better novels in my opinion. Still at only forty-five Dean R. Koontz could have many more to come. Regarding your editorial comment I must ask if a pig had wings why would it want to fly?
Stephen Lee, Isle of Wight

...This was an excellent issue. In fact, I would venture to suggest this is your best issue to date. The ZONE covers such a wide range that I usually skip through the items of less interest to me, but this time I was persuaded to read every word, and enjoyed it all. The clear layout and increased font size could well be partly responsible, but the competence of your contributors must take most of the credit.
   The fiction was well varied, even featuring some humour and, for a change, I was able to understand it all - including the contribution from Steve 'punctuation is a dirty word' Sneyd.
   The interviews were all fascinating reading. What I like are the authors prepared to let their hair down and reveal their sources of inspiration, methods of working etc. I am sure many aspiring authors can gain help and encouragement from such revelations.
   The two articles were interesting and informative, displaying yet again the competence of your regular contributors, and the numerous reviews were as helpful as ever.
   Yes, all in all, my vote for your best issue.
Alan Hunter, Bournemouth

I've just finished reading The ZONE 9, and I'm just writing to say thanks. The interviews were fascinating. The only reservation I would have is that the fiction seemed to have the same streak of humour running through all of it and so individual stories lacked definition.
   Nevertheless, a great mag. I'm looking forward to the next one.
J.P. Catton

Thanks for your excellent magazine; I think the quality of the artwork on the covers is particularly good.
Nicola Caines, Midlands

Really enjoyed #9, especially the interview with Howard Waldrop. I only wish I could get hold of some of his work - it's hard to get and expensive!
John Travis, Yorks

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