A voice crying in the wilderness.


The fanzine, hilariously billed as being for the Atari ST and ZX81 (this was a feebly satirical gag based on the fact that several magazines at the time were for both the ST and Amiga formats, including the cleverly-named ST/Amiga Format), was the brainchild of me and my equally-unemployed chum Simon Reid. (Where are you now, guy?) At the time we were spending most afternoons round at my house playing all these great new state-of-the-art computer games anyway, so it wasn't much of a jump to start cutting up bits of old newspapers and magazines and glueing them together again in the wrong order alongside the reviews that I was starting to bang out on my typewriter.

Review material was supplied by Woody not only keeping up a constant supply of US Gold games, but also getting her friend, the equally lovely Pam Griffiths of Ocean, to do the same for their new titles, and after that it was easy. ("Hello, Software Publisher X? Can you send us free review copies for our fanzine, please? Woody and Pam at US Gold and Ocean are already doing it, and they're much-respected and loved industry figures, so we must be legit, right?")

In no time at all, we had a first issue, which we managed to duplicate about 60 copies of thanks to my dad's mate Walter Chapman (after whom Digiworld character "Chapman Tillman" would be named in tribute many years later) letting us use the photocopier at the offices of Chieftain Forge for only the cost of the paper. The first 20 or so went off to the software publishers (so they'd keep the review copies coming), and I managed to persuade a few games shops in Bathgate (where we lived) and Edinburgh to put the rest on their shelves, for a 50% share of the takings. To our surprise, they nearly all sold, which made us just enough money to buy some more paper, and so a viable business model was born. (Soon the editorial team would expand to also include my then-girlfriend Lesley and then-chum Bert, but that's another story altogether.)

In all we published four issues of BP (one of which was featured in a fanzine review in the excellent Zero magazine, written by games-journalism legend and soon-to-be-colleague Jonathan Davies, which enabled us to bump the print run up to 80 copies thanks to the extra orders) and a copy of Issue Three was sent to Future Publishing when they advertised for some non-specific staff in Autumn 1990, and the rest is history. History which, staggeringly excitingly, you can now view from the comfort and safety of your comfy armchair here in the plush offices of World Of Stuart, in the form of scans of all 42 splendid pages of the final issue, published just before Christmas of that same year before I packed all my belongings into a Presto carrier bag and hopped with Lesley onto a train to the seething metropolis of Bath, from where life would never be the same.

Click the link to read the final issue.

It was 15 years ago, so shut up.



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