Whether you believe in it or not, synchronicity often seems to play a part in the lives of many of us. It was certainly something which Arthur C. Clarke believed in and upon which his life seemed to turn at several points during his career. My son’s first group assignment at Imperial College London, where he is studying physics, was on the terraforming of Mars. Evidently, the professors at ICL aren’t afraid of setting daunting challenges for new undergraduates to tackle in the first few weeks of their university careers. In the same week that my son was set this challenge, I was delighted to receive an email from Kim Stanley Robinson agreeing to an interview in the electronic pages of Odyssey. In his email, Stan mentioned how several past issues of JBIS had helped him to write about the terraforming of Mars in his famous novels on this planet. A minor coincidence perhaps; but as our guest columnist mentions in his latest article in this month’s issue (albeit in a different context): it does make you think.
2012 was a good year for Odyssey. We were fortunate enough to be able to interview Gregory Benford, Ben Bova, and Alastair Reynolds; as well as to produce a Special Edition on the late, and very great, Ray Bradbury. We are delighted to continue this tradition of key note interviews in the first issue of 2013 where we talk to leading author and futurologist David Brin.
The work of artists with an exceptional talent for depicting the future also featured in Odyssey in 2012 and this is another trend that continues in 2013; the masthead of the first edition of the New Year features an eye-catching image by Jim Burns.
I am always acutely aware that Odyssey is a collaborative effort so I would like to start the year by thanking those most directly involved in the production of each issue, namely the proofreading team of Mel Hacker, David A. Hardy, Martin Postranecky and John Silvester. Special thanks also go to Ralph Timberlake for organising the distribution of each issue, and to Andrew Vaudin and Ben Jones for helping with the online posts in the Odyssey essay file.
Of course, the e-magazine simply wouldn’t exist were it not for the extraordinary artistic skill of Adrian Mann, who in prosaic terms is responsible for design and layout but who imbues each edition with so much more besides, an indefinable creative quality that elevates the e-magazine to a professional standard. Last, but not least, I’d like to express sincere gratitude to everyone who reads and contributes to Odyssey.
Whether you believe in synchronicity or not, we hope you will carry on reading and enjoying the BIS e-magazine.
Mark Stewart, FBIS
BIS Honorary Archival Librarian/Editor (Odyssey)