House of Moonlight



Selected by John Howard

I have been reading HANDSHAKE since it began -- and am pleased now to have this opportunity to present a selection of my personal favourites amongst the poems that have appeared over the last ten years.



INTRODUCTION by John Francis Haines  

HANDSHAKE started in 1992 after discussions between myself and Steve Sneyd, as we felt there was a need of some kind of "British" equivalent of the USA based Science Fiction Poetry Association.

I wanted to avoid all the hassles that setting up an actual "association" would entail -- memberships, dues, etc. -- and we hit on the idea of a zine which would be available free for a stamped addressed envelope, and which would also double as a membership of what became
The Eight Hand Gang -- the name deriving, as an in-joke among a few of us writing sf poetry at the time, from Edward Lucie-Smith's groundbreaking
Holding Your Eight Hands anthology.

After a couple of false starts with chainzines and the like, HANDSHAKE settled down as (mostly) a single sheet of A4 -- originally just carrying news for sf poets, but gradually the odd poem crept in, until I settled on the format of one side news, one side poetry, that persists still.

Because of the irregular publication schedule of the zine, "time-sensitive" material is difficult to carry, but sometimes it can work. I'm still amazed that ten years has now passed and I'm within sight of my 50th issue -- I didn't expect it to get into double figures!

                                                                                                                                   -- Warrington, August 2002


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This selection copyright (c) 2002 John Howard. All rights returned to contributors.