The popular image of the starving writer, fingers spattered

with ink, eyes red-rimmed and hollow, hunched over a battered

wooden desk in a candle-lit garret struggling to complete his (it

could be her, but I'm talking about the popular image here)

masterpiece may still hold some allure for a few people,

but for most that candle-lit garret has been replaced by a dank,

dark basement, crammed with computer gear. It's a dim, musty

place lit by flickering fluorescents and the radiant glow of a

cathode ray tube. A place where anti-social nerds energized by

junk food and Jolt cola create digital magic on their PCs.


It's sort of like the place where we put Circuit Traces

together. Except we drink coffee and do our computer stuff

with a Mac.


So what's the point, you wonder?


The point is that Circuit Traces, like most online

publications, is kept going by the hard work and unpaid

dedication of its creators and contributors. Making money

on the Web has not proven as easy as some people initially

thought. Just about everyone is losing money -- even the "big"

publications like Hotwired, Salon, and Slate.


All of which is just a roundabout way of saying that making a

living still has to take priority and that's why we haven't put up

a new issue in six months.


But here it is at last. And we're sure you'll find that it was

worth the wait. We think it's the best Circuit Traces yet. No

mish-mash of amateur and semi-professional writing, the

Spring 1997 issue is 100% professional from beginning

to end. Minnesota Book Award nominee, Peter Damian Bellis

has contributed "Blue Henry", a morbid, powerfully written

look at death and the imagination. Ron Torrence takes us on a

dark, surreal tour of an amusement park in "Arcade". And

M.J. Murphy puts a whole new twist on virtual reality in "I Ate

My Girl At Dinosaur World".


We've also put a lot of effort into improving the interface and

layout. Unfortunately, you may find that some pages will load very

slowly. This is mostly due to the use of tables which, while

offering considerable layout flexibility, can hamper fast page

loading since all the data inside the table has to be read before your

browser will display it. We'll be looking for ways to speed things

up, but meanwhile please bear with us.


Naturally, we want the next issue to be just as good, if not

better, than this one. And to do that we need your help. We're

looking for stories -- well-written stories that walk that

imperceptible line between today and tomorrow, stories that evoke

the revolutionary spirit of our times and reflect the madness of the

closing years of this most millennial of millenniums. Beyond

that, we need non-fiction. Articles that go beyond the

self-congratulatory hype of today's media and uncover the

darker side of "The Information Revolution".


So send us your stuff. Thrill us. Amaze us. Shock us.


Wake us up.


It gets lonely here in the basement.


The Editor


Send your submissions to


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