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Where Angels Fear to Tread


Raymond Coulombe

Fools rush in. On April 1, 1999, Quantum Muse published its first issue. We understood the full significance of it being April Fool's Day. We've never taken ourselves too seriously ever since.

The original founding editors were Mike Gallant, Tim Goyette, and myself, Raymond Coulombe. Over the years we've found that three editors greatly increases the chance of an issue actually coming out. Take this hypothetical example: Editor 1 gets arrested, Editor 2 scrambles around cashing in empty beer cans in a sad attempt to raise bail money. Editor 3 actually puts the issue up, cursing 1 and 2 the whole time.

Next month, repeat.

Artistic talent and web design was provided by Mike's long suffering wife, Becky. Her Web Fu was strong. It had to be as the rest of us had no idea what we were doing. Against long odds, Mike and Becky are still married. (Dammit Bruno, I said I'd pay you that $20!) She's featured as this month's artist.

After some years, in a fit of sanity, Tim left the merry band. For a while he was replaced by Jason Scherer. Eventually Jason too left. It's Okay to come out of hiding, Jason, Mike really wasn't going to do the things he said he'd do.

Mike and I soldiered on. On the home front, I was bolstered by the unflagging support of my lovely wife Cindy. Some convention goers may remember her dressed in the Q-Babe outfit. She sure looked hot in it. Convention goers were shocked how she carried on with that big disreputable looking guy. That biker looking dude she was hanging on was me.

Eventually, it occurred to Mike that he had to earn a living. His involvement dropped to a minimum, while he went to paramedic school. During that time, Cindy and I were living on the road in a tent. These were the "Gypsy Years" of QM. As long as I could eventually get to an Internet connection, the issue would go up. I'd read the submissions, edit story selections, and write an editorial. I'd e-mail those files to Becky -often from a Bar in Key Largo. She'd select the month's artist and do the Web Goddess magic. My wife would try to keep the books straight and handle swag shipments. The ladies got stuck with the worse jobs of QM. (Much to everyone's surprise, Cindy Q-Babe is still with me.)

Just as Mike was finishing up his paramedic training, I was burning out. Soon after, I left the zine. Mike soldiered on for a bit but it really can't be done with just one editor.

Hiatus. QM took a short nap.

Tim Goyette came back into the picture. During his years wandering the wilderness, he learned web skills, and developed an idea to remake the zine. Instead of making it a top down operation, Editors, then writers, then readers, he made QM a community. Writers critique and help other writers. They do more than submit a story and forget about it. It's the writer's who mainly influence what gets published every month. How cool is that?

Since Tim was willing to do all the hard work with the new QM, Mike and I were happy to get on-board. Of course, Tim's smarter than us, he designed the site so the writers really do the bulk of the work.

Not many e-zines last for 11 years. If we'd planned to get rich, the zine wouldn't have outlasted the bursting of the Internet bubble. Even during the wild years of the Internet boom, no one was crazy enough to throw money at QM. Never having had any money, when it went away we didn't much notice. Of course, two out of three editors do like to tip a bottle back. There's a lot of things we don't notice.

To this day my lovely wife and I can't go into a bar without conversation making its way to QM. There's something in the atmo. Remember writers, if anyone questions your professionalism, be ready to show your flask or AA card. I once carried a flask of 190 proof alcohol in my bag as a press credential. Worked at Philcon.

It's been a great ride so far.

Thank you writers!

Thank you readers!

Thanks Tim and Mike!

Most importantly, much thanks to our long suffering wives.

2010-04-29 19:13:34
Congrats on making it 11 years. Great site.

2010-04-07 17:42:21
Here, Here said Tim. To the readers

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