Welcome to Eidolon

In the Age of the Information Revolution the clamour for attention has become a mind-numbing roar. Advertisers push for your money, politicians pursue your vote, activists bedevil your conscience and the entertainment industry, like a many-headed hydra, demands your undivided attention. The question facing you today is not what to do, but what to surrender. Eidolon intends to be something you can't surrender.


Like any publication, Eidolon is aimed at a particular niche in the media jungle. Eidolon is for you if you are interested in encouraging the development of new writers, if you are passionate about your views on speculative fiction in any media and if you enjoy discussing all of this and more. In short, Eidolon is for people who care about speculative fiction and all its off-shoots.


We are a group of individuals who came together for the first time during Swancon XV, the fifteenth annual Western Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention and who were so invigorated by the atmosphere there that we came away committed to trying to preserve and build upon the feeling of optimism it engendered.

We are committed to promoting the idea of the "pro-fan"; a person who has a love for some aspect of speculative fiction, be it literary, cinematic, game-related or some other facet, and who strives to extend the boundaries of his perception of that passion; a person who seeks to create, to contribute and to objectively discuss.

Why are we doing this? Insanity. Our friends, families and loved ones have callously abandoned us during our noble struggle to produce Eidolon, and this is our revenge. We want to throw our money into the wind in one last mad hurrah before the millenium dooms us all! Or something like that . . .


Naming a work, be it novel, short story, poem or publication, is rarely easy, never trivial and often somewhat heart-rending. The genesis of "Eidolon" was all of the above. The details are unimportant but suffice it to mention that you might have been reading Cassandra, that Basilisk had its adherents and that even Breaklight was toadied about. In the end, Eidolon was perfect.

What, then, is an eidolon? Perhaps the best definition we've come across is Webster's New International's (see box); it encompasses every aspect. An eidolon is a phantom, something at least marginally insubstantial and perhaps hard to get a handle on, it's an exemplar, something that is the ultimate example of its type, it is an ideal, something to aim toward and aspire to, and finally it is a tiny, winged creature found on Greek vases. That's right, the thing on the cover is an eidolon: a mysterious figure depicted most commonly on White Athenian Lethykoi (funerary vessels) and representing, perhaps, the lighter side of the afterlife. A perfect symbol--mysterious, vaguely classical yet slightly impish and impious. We think the name works wonderfully. Pretentious? Nous?
ei.do.lon n, pl eidolons or eido.la [Gk eidolon phantom, image, idol] 1 : an unsubstantial image <free from her troubles among the ~s of sleep -J.C.Powys>: PHANTOM 2 a : an ideal figure <he had created in the Boss an ~ a half century before this machine-age man became triumphant in history -H.S.Canby> or idealised person <Lincoln . . . the ~ of democracy -G.W.Johnson>: EXEMPLAR b : IDEAL <Psychiatry's ~ of the personality completely . . . at home in the world -Bernard DeVoto> 3 : a small winged figure human or combining human with animal elements found in Greek vase painting.


Four times a year we will publish Eidolon. What we ask of you is that you react. If you are a writer, artist or just someone interested enough to comment, we want your contributions. People are investing themselves in this venture and we ask that you respect their efforts by providing some feedback. So, please write down what you thought of that story, article or review and send it to us.

The Editorial Committee would like to thank Terry Dowling, Grant Stone, Leigh Edmonds, Keira McKenzie, Sean Byrne, Gigi Boudville, the Curtin Imagination Association and everyone else who has contributed or supported us in the mad months since XV.

Anyway, enough of this banter. Turn the page.

Originally appeared pp 04-05, Eidolon Issue 01, May 1990.
Copyright © Eidolon Publications, 1990. All Rights Reserved.