Apr/May 2004

Review Editor's Note: An Open Letter

by Kevin McGowin

2003 marked the beginning of my tenure as Review Editor at Eclectica, something I've grown to really enjoy and which I hope lasts long and flourishes. It was also a red-letter year for us in terms of reviews, and I'm proud that some of my own, such as the ones of Chuck Palahniuk's novel Diary, Anne Rice's Blood Canticle, Simon Wincester's The Meaning of Everything (on the history of the OED) and especially Donald Ault's collection of interviews with the late Carl Barks, Conversations, have been so internationally well-received.

As Review Editor, I've tried to work as best I can with the materials available to me, and my own editors, Tom Dooley and Julie King, have been superlatively supportive as I've done or am trying to do, as I see it, five things: bring back the Film Review (however that manifests itself), keep the door open on music reviews, and, in my own reviews, publish a (subjective, of course) "retrospective" of a major novelist each issue: so far, Dickens, Faulkner, and (in this issue) Kurt Vonnegut.

The other two things I've taken steps to include are reviews of general Theology and of Children's Literature (plays, too)! In this, my "open letter" to publishers, authors, and potential reviewers, I'd like to say three things. One, send me books (I prefer hard copy), do it "early" (not at deadline), and I'll do my best to work yours in. Just query me by e-mail first, please. I travel a good deal, and my snail-mail address is constantly changing; God willing, Angela and I will Stay Put at one address, In Due Course.

Second, books and/or reviews of the above general topics are especially welcome right now.

Finally, want to be an Eclectica reviewer? Write us, and attach a writing sample!

For those with comments about this or the Review Section in the previous few issuesówrite us also. That's what the "Scrawl Wall" is for, in part.

Thanks to all the authors and publishers, both large and small, electronic and small press, who make all this possible. We're glad you're here, and appreciate the hard work you doówe know what it's like.



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