Critical Wave

Critical Wave
Critical Wave #6, published 1988. Logo and typeface designed by Kevin Clarke; illustration by Iain Byers, based upon a design by Steve Green.

Critical Wave, later subtitled "The European Science Fiction & Fantasy Review", is a British small-press magazine, initially published and co-edited by Steve Green and Martin Tudor during the period 1987-96. There was also a short-lived US edition in the late 1980s.

Many authors and artists contributed to the original 46 issues[1][2], including Graham Joyce, Michael Moorcock, David A Hardy, Stephen Baxter, Colin Greenland, Charles Stross, Joel Lane, Iain M Banks, Arthur "ATom" Thomson, David A. Hardy, Iain Byers, Dave Mooring, Jim Porter, Sue Mason, Michael Marrak, Harry Turner and Kevin Cullen. Once Critical Wave became fully typeset, Kevin Clarke joined as resident designer.

Despite the immense enthusiasm displayed by many of its readers[3][4], Critical Wave only continued to appear with extensive financial input from its editors and key supporters. It eventually buckled under the pressure of increasing print costs, postage and bank charges, and announced its closure in late 1996.[5][6]

In September 2008, Green and Tudor announced their intention to relaunch Critical Wave online, via eFanzines. The new version would return to their very earliest concept, a regular news-oriented "fanzine of record" covering British science fiction conventions, awards and publications. The first edition of the new series appeared on 14 November 2008. A major computer problem has delayed the appearance of the second online issue, which was largely completed by late December 2008; as of August 2010, it remained unpublished.


  1. ^ Complete bibliography, 1987-96
  2. ^ Partial alternative bibliography, covering 1987-90
  3. ^ Humorous poem by Dave Langford which incorporates a dig at the magazine's initial news style: "Steve Green's and Martin Tudor's Critical Wave is famed for clear-eyed sf commentary, soberly put, such as ALIEN SCOTTISH CONVENTION FOUND ON MOON TURNS INTO ELVIS AND EATS OWN FOOT."
  4. ^ Review in The Proper Boskonian #38 of Critical Wave #45/46, 1996: "...really a quite respectable British news and reviews zine with a raft of good contributors writing well on many interesting topics.. go and read the thing, chances are you'll find much to like."
  5. ^ Review by Andy Hooper in Appratchik #65 of the final issue: "Reading all the news in CW at once is a good way to depress yourself; seeing all the losses fandom has suffered in the last quarter stacked end to end gives me a serious chill."
  6. ^ News report by John Gosling on suspension of publication: "After nine years, 46 issues and an estimated 4 million words in print, Critical Wave, one of the most respected sources of science fiction and fantasy information in the United Kingdom, will cease publication."

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