A Letter from the Editor:

Welcome to another issue of Avalon Mists. My 18th! Which means I've now officially been responsible for more issues than either of my predecessors, though I did have to switch to quarterly to preserve what remains of my sanity.

This issue is also possibly my last. Thereíve been some complaints, you see, about how Iím ruining this formerly family-friendly webzine. 

(For an update on the current situation, click here)

I took over this project in the autumn of 1997 from Leva Mevis, who in turn inherited it in 1996 from Jill Morrison, who began it in 1996. For the majority of this time, the stated rating of Avalon Mists was G. When Leva passed the torch to me, I did warn her that I would try to maintain it, but in all likelihood Iíd eventually wind up relaxing those standards.

Why? Well, partly because Iím who I am. THE Christine Morgan, purveyor of garg-smut. Famous, or infamous, for writing dirty fanfic. Really, by the numbers, the dirty stuff makes up less than half of my total saga, but when that saga is 80-some stories long, that still makes for a lot oí smut and makes some folks think it's all I can do (oddly, though, I've somehow managed to get four books and one short story sold that don't involve erotica ... must be a fluke). 

My reason for the slow change of Avalon Mists comes partly, also, from my observation that this fandom consists of far more adults than children or even teens. And given that the show first aired seven years ago, even the kids who were fans back then are getting on in years. So it seemed to me that there was a general level of maturity to be found in this fandom despite the fact that the source was a Ďcartoon,í ergo a Ďkiddie show.í 

I still believe that, despite having witnessed (and occasionally participated in) countless flame wars and instances of petty backbiting that defy the label of maturity. In my opinion, the theme and concept of the show and the issues it addressed had even more appeal to adults than to children. Itís romantic, itís dark, itís sexy. Many of the best writers and artists in this fandom have recognized that and expanded upon it in their own works. 

However, there are those who feel differently, and the issue here isnít my stories or my personal take on the fandom. Itís my handling of Avalon Mists. 

Apparently, in the eyes of some, last issueís ďTitaniaís Secret CatalogĒ was a new low even for me. Apparently, it came as a grotesque shock to some long-time, loyal readers who never miss an installment yet somehow were unaware that the Challenge for that feature was posted three months before and Iíd been mentioning it in various comment rooms and forums long before that.

I have been, for several issues now, bending that G rating. Weíve had stories with violence. Weíve had stories with strong language. Weíve had art with nudity. This has been a gradual but ongoing process and Iíve never tried to hide it or deny it. The ďTitaniaís Secret CatalogĒ was merely the latest in a continuing trend. Yet it drew considerable fire from a particular few sources.

Having had run-ins with these particulars before, Iíve not responded to this until now. But one of them does bring up some points in a rant of his that I feel I should address. Iíll just skip over the spite and outright lies about my personal life and focus on the matter of his claim that he submitted a story, I rejected it for adult content, and then I turned around and posted this smutty Catalog. 

True or false? True, partly, in context. The story he sent was in December of 1998. Three years ago. When I was still fairly new to Avalon Mists and was still trying to uphold the tradition. Also, at the time, that person and I were still on decent terms, so it was not a matter of me wielding my editorial powers like a club to get back at him. So itís hardly as if I turned down his story six months ago. Just wanted to make that clear. 

But the main problem here does seem to be what some see as a negative trend in the quality of Avalon Mists and my own abilities as editor. Obviously, Iíve harmed and upset fans whoíve been faithful followers of Avalon Mists all along. Therefore, I am hereby prepared to hand it over to someone else. 

I want to offer first dibs to Sevarius Jr. and Pistoff, who, Iím sure, can continue Avalon Mists in the clean, G-rated, wholesome family entertainment standard in which it was originally founded. Iíve had all the fun for four years, but if Iím no longer doing a decent job of it, then itís better for all if the webzine is in the care of those who can.

So, gentlemen, I charge you with this Ė just say the word, and itís all yours. Iíll step down. Since you know so well how it should be done, hereís your chance to prove it. All I ask is that you let me know by the end of this year, so I can inform Chris Rogers, and then you can get in touch with him to be set up with password access. 

Should SJ and Pistoff decline, or if I fail to hear from either of them by January 1st (given SJ's quirk of never directly addresing or responding to me, we'll have to wait and see what happens), itís open call for other volunteers willing to take on the job of editor. 

Contact me at christine@sabledrake.com if you think youíd be interested. 

In the meantime, I want to extend a huge thank-you to all the people who've helped over the years to make Avalon Mists the success it's been. I am consistently amazed, awed, and delighted by the quality of the submissions. Especially the Fanfic Debuts; under what bushel have these people been hiding their lights all this time? The art, the cartoons of Michael Heitz, and the many fun features that contributors have put much time and effort into have really made this a 'zine I've been proud of, and pleased to run. 

If, by some miracle, no one does step forth to replace me, I will continue putting Avalon Mists together on a quarterly basis. The next one would then be at the beginning of March, so the deadline will be Feb. 23rd. However, this may be subject to change if I'm no longer editor. Stay tuned. 

Christine Morgan
November 30, 2001