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The Monomyth HiatusEdit

The Monomyth Hiatus is the name given to that epoch in the history of Atlantean Publishing's oldest magazine when it was out of publication for an extended period in between July 2000 and January 2003. It was without any date of expected return for almost the whole of that time, yet without ever being officially cancelled.

BackgroundEdit

In the early days of Monomyth, the editorial team's aim was to put out approximately one regular issue per month, to the tune of ten per calendar year, with each December featuring an additional 'Yearbook' to wrap up the annual activity. Although the magazine was, then, the sole title being produced by what would later be called Atlantean Publishing, an unavoidable combination of factors led to actual publication dates swiftly beginning to fall short of this ambitious target rate once the second full year, 1998, got underway. As the average gap between releases inexorably lengthened, this 'year' doubled in duration: its eleven releases were only completed just as the magazine's third real-life anniversary came around.

MM21

The fateful last pre-hiatus issue

With production dragging ever further behind schedule, yet with the average page count continuing to increase, a tipping point was reached with number 21. Both the thickest-ever issue and the most belated, it had over 80 pages including two supplements, and, despite being defiantly dated January 1999 as originally intended, only arrived in the summer of 2000. Following this release, editor DJ Tyrer had to bow to the increasingly insurmountable setbacks and make a choice: of either drastically pruning the number and size of issues, or else simply letting the 'zine cease to exist. Number 21's editorial indeed suggested that it would be the first of a mere five to appear that year, a sensible downgrading of ambition to allow the production line to better shape itself to circumstances. In actuality, however, the following months and years were to see considerably more radical developments.

The hiatus, and replacement titlesEdit

Aborted anthologies advert

An advertisement from not long pre-hiatus, for upcoming anthology releases – all the publications with dates listed as "tba" were unfortunately to be aborted due to the hiatus

DJ Tyrer's ultimate solution to the now overwhelming cumulative delays was to allow Monomyth to go completely dormant. This meant placing a good number of plans on hold (including more than one serial story only just begun) and abandoning others entirely, but did mean that the magazine technically remained merely quiescent rather than extinct. By putting it on ice in the short-term, he removed the pressure derived from publicising a schedule and attempting to keep to deadline – which left the possibility intact that the 'zine could be saved in the long run. Without any fixed date for its return, though, the backlogged contents of the in-pile were forced to creep out elsewhere, where and when they could.

To fill the void, which came to be known as the Hiatus, a family of smaller publications sprang into existence beneath the Atlantean Publishing banner: poetry/brief fiction magazine Awen had already started what was previously intended to be only a very limited run, but together with satire/humour 'zine Garbaj and short-poetry chapbook Bard established a continuing life of its own, while the year 2000 rolled over to 2001, and then that year gave way in turn to 2002. The most pressing concern remained, however, that the more topical reviews, news and letters needed a means of publication before they got stale: The Monomyth Supplement, designed as a 'stopgap' outlet for these, was the result. Its parent title, meanwhile, remained in a state of indefinite suspension.

End of the hiatus, and afterwardEdit

MM24

The first post-hiatus issue

A string of world events had come and gone as the new millennium started to progress: the Sydney Olympics were a joyful celebration of global sporting endeavour; there was a second successive Labour landslide election victory for Tony Blair in the UK; the September 11th attacks on New York and beyond changed everything; new wars began in Iraq and Afghanistan; a football World Cup was held in the Far East courtesy of Japan and Korea; two out of three Lord of the Rings films were released to huge worldwide success and acclaim, as were the first two globe-trampling Harry Potter movies, and fantasy fiction as a genre – something Atlantean had dealt in frequently from the beginning – was suddenly all the rage. As it turned out, though, a full two-and-a-half years would elapse without any sight of Monomyth. Yet with the backlog of submissions under control, and a more manageable schedule implemented, the great Hiatus did finally, after some 30 months, come to an end. A greatly slimmed-down new Monomyth eventually entered circulation in January 2003, almost 4 years on from when the original number 22 was first planned to arrive. It appeared with a new 'absolute' numbering scheme (taking into account the two prior Yearbooks) that made it "Issue 24", otherwise known as "Volume 3.1" – see the Monomyth page for a guide to the numeration.

This marked the beginning of an unbroken period of further output that continues to the present day, which has seen more issues produced since the hiatus than were before it, albeit at a much-reduced rate. The offspring publications continue to thrive alongside the magazine that spawned them, and the milestone of Monomyth Issue 50 was reached, with attendant celebration, in late 2011.

Many of the distinguishing features of Monomyth since its return (slimmer issues, a slower release schedule, the changed numbering system, a greater variety of cover artists, new logotypes, no Yearbooks, no themed section and no reviews), and of the press as a whole (a multiplicity of magazines and other titles, despite the demise of various projects previously in planning; a much greater emphasis on poetry), divide the histories of both the magazine and Atlantean Publishing quite neatly into Before-Hiatus and After-Hiatus eras, with distinctly different styles and outputs. Some features, on the other hand – the likes of Monomyth's very existence, in itself, and the distinctive 'no-frills' look common to Atlantean products – provide notable continuity across the full seventeen years that the press has been going.

Other uses of the termEdit

When used without other context, Hiatus always refers to what is otherwise known as the Great Monomyth Hiatus, as above. However, the term has also been applied to the three-year gap (September 2005 to September 2008) between the fifth and sixth issues of Awen Online, the further year-and-a-half gap between the move of Awen Online to its then-new home in 2009 and the first post-move issue in 2010, and again to the two-year gap following its next transfer to the present Atlantean website in 2012. The term has likewise been applied to similar gaps in the publication history of Review Supplemental.

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