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Issue #14 - Suspense & Decision PBM magazine
Work on Issue #14 has already started. I haven't made a lot of progress on this next issue, yet, but I do have things under way, already.

Here's hoping that the magazine's readers found something in our last issue to enjoy, and I invite one and all to send me something to include in a future issue. Art, articles, photographs, and various other things such as thoughts, feedback, and memories from days of PBM gaming past all make for a more interesting magazine to read.

If you would like to be worked into a future front cover for Suspense & Decision, then be sure to send me a photograph of yourself that the cover artist can use as a visual reference. You could end up as a hero, as with Jim Gagliardi on the front cover of Issue #13 in the role of his Tom Krieger character (aka Baron Mazas) from the game Phoenix:BSE, which is run by KJC Games over in the United Kingdom, or you could end up as the victim of some strange beast from who knows what kind of setting. This concept is aimed at giving the magazine a more personal feel, one which plays on our sense of humor. I think that it's a good way to promote PBM gaming with one's friends.

You may not know it, yet, but Bernd is still out there. He may contact with me shortly after I published Issue #13, but before he knew that it had been published. I don't know, yet, in what capacity that he will be returning, but you are likely to begin reading something from Bernd, again, sometime soon. For those who may be new and not know who Bernd is, Bernd was Suspense & Decision's assistant editor, previously. He may be, again, but he's also been ruminating about possibly starting up his own game-related zine. Either way, it appears that the future will hold more of Bernd for you, rather than less of him. Rather than de-Bernd, there will be re-Bernd.

Though Suspense & Decision has had rough spots that it has endured (the delay in publishing Issue #11, and Issue #12 being completely lost to the sands of time, as I look back over the span of time since Issue #1 was published, the magazine has had its high points, also. I really do think that we get a few things right, even though I never seem to manage to do a good enough job of proof reading each issue before publishing them for your reading pleasure. Personally speaking, I like the fact that the magazine is free. I also like the fact that the magazine embraces some kind of free advertising model. I wish that more people took advantage of it, but so far, it hasn't proven to be unduly difficult to give ad space away, if I spend any time, at all, making game companies aware of the chance to advertise for free.

The forum here has died off, in recent months - again. It goes through phases of growth and death, it seems. If you would like to see this forum become a more thriving place, then contribute to the overall effort by posting a message or starting a new discussion thread, each time that you visit here. It's when site visitors notice that something new has been posted since their last visit here that the forum seems to enjoy its greatest spurts of growth.

One of the changes with the return of Suspense & Decision that I will be making an extra effort to focus upon is in the area of dialogue. That's the primary reason that the Down the Whirlpool section of Issue #13 was as long as it was. It wasn't just about beating poor Rick McDowell of Alamaze fame over the head. Rick feels that my writing style is almost as acerbic as his own, but he likes acerbic, so as the saying goes, all's well that ends well.

The big picture, which is what my increased focus upon dialogue is geared towards, isn't about any given individual, although from issue to issue it might very well seem that way, if you lose sight of the big picture. My core aim is to generate and to grow a sense of dialogue across the PBM community and PBM industry. It's about getting people talking, about getting people to participate in dialogue about things PBM related.

Think about it this way - when was the last time that various personalities in the PBM industry gathered at a PBM convention and discussed things related to PBM games in person, face to face? There aren't any PBM conventions, anymore. Paper Mayhem magazine is gone. Flagship magazine is gone. The various PBM magazines that Bob McLain was involved with in the past are all gone, now. I'm not saying that' its Bob McLain's fault, of course (even though we might could do an article on that possibility in a future issue). Rather, I think that a variety of different developments down through the years have harmed, negatively impacted, or taken their toll - both individually and collectively - on play by mail gaming, and some of those developments may get overshadowed by other things (like the advent and growth of the Internet).

Maybe I should save some of this discussion for future issues of Suspense & Decision magazine, though. If people don't send me anything to include in Issue #14, then I'm going to have to fill the pages with something, after all.

Anyway, give me some feedback on Issue #13, what you liked about it and what you didn't. Let me know if you're glad that it's back, or if you dreaded the day of its return.

Regardless, it has returned, and as I said in Issue #13, it's returned with a vengeance! To find out what that means, though, stay turned, and join us in the next issue - and in issues that will extend out on past Issue #14.

As always, happy reading!

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Issue #14 - Suspense & Decision PBM magazine - by GrimFinger - 08-29-2016, 01:53 PM

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