Monomyth is the original magazine in the stable that became Atlantean Publishing. Now almost eighteen years and over fifty issues old, its origins precede the 'Atlantean' name by several years. It is an A4 publication and averages 20-30 pages per issue. Originally monthly(!), the 'zine became quarterly following a long hiatus after the turn of the millennium, and nowadays appears twice yearly. It features mostly short fiction, covering a wide variety of genres but often quirky, offbeat or fantastical.
Due to the length of this page, the sections below have been made collapsible to aid swiftness of navigation. Click on the '–' symbol to the right of a section to collapse it down to a header.
DJ Tyrer is the editor of Monomyth, and originally bore the title of Editor-in-Chief when Richard Burman and Ian O'Reilly had editorial roles (Submissions/Subscriptions Editor and Advertising Editor, respectively) during the magazine's first couple of years in the late 1990s. In the earliest days the founding team contributed almost all the content, but subsequently a huge number of authors have written for it: a complete, alphabeticised list of all contributors to Monomyth can be found on this wiki.
Issues and Covers
In the list below, the link follows the 'absolute' Issue number, as described in 'Numbering Confusion' below. Where a number is italicised in brackets it was not shown on the cover at the time of publication.
- The complete set of Monomyth cover artworks can be seen together in the Monomyth Covers Gallery.
no. or title
|Monomyth 1||1||(1.1)||12/96||Richard Burman|
|Monomyth 2||2||(1.2)||01/97||Ian O'Reilly|
|Monomyth 3||3||(1.3)||02/97||Richard Burman — illustrating his story Seed of Corruption|
|Monomyth 4||4||(1.4)||03/97||DJ Tyrer — illustrating the story Devil May Care|
|Monomyth 5||5||(1.5)||04/97||Ian O'Reilly|
|Monomyth 6||6||(1.6)||05/97||Richard Burman — illustrating DJ Tyrer's serial|
|Monomyth 7||7||(1.7)||06/97||Ian O'Reilly|
|Monomyth 8||8||(1.8)||07/97||Richard Burman|
|Monomyth 9||9||(1.9)||08/97||Ian O'Reilly|
|Monomyth 10||10||(1.10)||09/97||DJ Tyrer — illustrating the story Veteran X|
|(Monomyth 11)||Yearbook 1997||(1.11)||12/97||Ian O'Reilly|
|(Monomyth 12)||11||(2.1)||?01/98||Richard Burman|
|(Monomyth 13)||12||(2.2)||?03/98||Ian O'Reilly|
|(Monomyth 14)||13||(2.3)||07/98||Richard Burman|
|(Monomyth 15)||14||(2.4)||?08/98||Ian O'Reilly|
|(Monomyth 16)||15||(2.5)||?09/98||Richard Burman|
|(Monomyth 17)||16||(2.6)||?11/98||DJ Tyrer — illustrating the story Gene Thief|
|(Monomyth 18)||17||(2.7)||?02/99||Ian O'Reilly|
|(Monomyth 19)||18||(2.8)||?05/99||Richard Burman|
|(Monomyth 20)||19||(2.9)||early 08/99||David Leverton — Infernal Love|
|(Monomyth 21)||20||(2.10)||late 08/99||DJ Tyrer — illustrating the story No Portholes...|
|(Monomyth 22)||Yearbook 1998||(2.11)||?12/99||Richard Burman|
|(Monomyth 23)||21||(2.12)||07/00||David Leverton — Hide and Seek|
|29 consecutive months with no issue|
|Monomyth 24||Number 22||3.1||01/03||Edwin Page|
|Monomyth 25||Number 23||3.2||04/03||Edwin Page|
|Monomyth 26||Number 24||3.3||07/03||Edwin Page|
|Monomyth 27||Number 25||3.4||10/03||Richard Burman|
|Monomyth 28||Number 26||4.1||01/04||AC Evans — The Madhouse|
|Monomyth 29||Number 27||4.2||04/04||Edwin Page|
|Monomyth 30||Number 28||4.3||07/04||Richard Burman — reprint of issue 1 cover|
|Monomyth 31||Number 29||4.4||10/04||Angela Morkos — Shirley Bassey|
|Monomyth 32||Number 30||4.5||11/04||Richard Burman — Target: Earth|
|Monomyth 33||Number 31||5.1||01/05||Ian Brown — The Fall of Atlantis|
|Monomyth 34||Number 32||5.2||04/05||Dave Migman|
|Monomyth 35||Number 33||5.3||07/05||Edwin Page|
|Monomyth 36||Number 34||5.4||10/05||Dave Migman|
|Monomyth 37||––||6.1||02/06||Alan Hunter|
|Monomyth 38||––||6.2||04/06||Dave Migman|
|Monomyth 39||––||6.3||08/06||Liz Clarke|
|Monomyth 40||––||6.4||10/06||Alan Hunter|
|Monomyth 41||––||7.1||07/07||Ian Brown|
|Monomyth 42||––||7.2||10/07||Ian Brown — Merlin's Study|
|Monomyth 43||––||8.1||02/08||Ian Brown — St. Carannog subduing the Somerset Dragon|
|Monomyth 44||––||8.2||12/08||Ian Brown — Guinevere|
|Monomyth 45||––||9.1||11/09||Alan Hunter|
|Monomyth 46||––||9.2||12/09||Alan Hunter|
|Monomyth 47||––||10.1||07/10||Ian Brown — Invisible Knight|
|Monomyth 48||––||10.2||11/10||Ian Brown — Bookworm|
|Monomyth 49||––||11.1||06/11||Chris Catt James|
|Monomyth 50||––||11.2||11/11||David Leverton — 'collage' of earlier issue covers|
|Monomyth 51||––||12.1||07/12||David Leverton|
|Monomyth 52||––||12.2||10/12||Eleanor Bennett|
|Monomyth 53||––||13.1||05/13||Ian Brown|
|Monomyth 54||––||13.2||09/13||David Leverton — Elizabeth (Panopticon)|
|Monomyth 55||––||14.1||09/14||Ian Brown|
|Monomyth 56||––||14.2||12/14||Christopher Catt James|
|Monomyth 57||––||15.1||09/15||Christopher Catt James|
|Monomyth 58||––||15.2||12/15||Christopher Catt James|
|Monomyth 59||––||16.1||08/16||Christopher Catt James|
|Monomyth 60||––||16.2||12/16||Christopher Catt James|
|Chris Catt James||4|
- As of the fifty-eighth issue, thirteen artists have illustrated covers, an average of just over 4 apiece. The complete league table is at right:
- Richard Burman is the most prolific cover artist to date with twelve appearances (and several appearing again in the Issue 50 collage!). His design for issue one has become the most-utilised piece of Atlantean Publishing cover art, appearing twice on different Monomyths, for a third time in the issue 50 collage, and reused on each of the three editions of Arcady.
- Despite being probably the two artists most regularly used by Atlantean, AC Evans and Chris Catt James have only supplied one Monomyth cover each.
- Many of the early issues' covers (at least as late as 2.12) incorporated the Monomyth Monolith.
- Curiously, whilst allowing for some uncertainty over the definitive release dates — now lost to posterity — of most 'Year Two' issues (2.1-2.11), it can be said that volume 11.1 was the first issue released in the month of June for 14 years!
- Of those eleven issues belonging to the second 'year' (nominally, 1998) of Monomyth, probably only six managed to actually appear within that twelve-month calendar span: its remaining four regular issues and Yearbook all went out during 1999. The only issue (2.12) actually dated 1999, meanwhile, came out in mid-2000.
- The practical reason for retaining the originally intended release dates on covers (up until 2.12), no matter how far out these may have been when issues finally appeared, is that they were intrinsic parts of the designs. That is, rather than scanning in a stand-alone artwork then dropping this image file into a cover layout, at the time proposed illustrators were simply given a blank cover sheet with the Monomyth masthead, issue number and scheduled date already printed on it, to draw directly onto, which would later be photocopied as it was.
- As can be seen, the early covers alternated between Richard Burman and Ian O'Reilly, with the occasional DJ Tyrer illustration. David Leverton's cover for volume 2.9 was the first by someone other than these three Founding Editors. Things changed from 3.1 onwards, following the hiatus.
- Edwin Page became the first person to supply two or more consecutive covers, volumes 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3.
- Ian Brown is the only cover artist to have supplied four in a row, covering two whole years from 7.1 to 8.2.
- At the other extreme, the record for the longest gap between cover appearances is held by David Leverton, from volume 2.12 to 11.2 — spanning 27 issues and over eleven years!
- The cover of volume 4.4 is the only one to depict a real person (ignoring the semi-mythical nature of St. Carannog and Guinevere).
- The cover of volume 5.1 (Ian Brown's Fall of Atlantis) is DJ Tyrer's favourite — which is saying something! — and was reused as the cover of his collection The Atlantean.
When Monomyth began, ten issues and a Yearbook were published for each of its first two years. Despite containing new material, including instalments of ongoing serials, the Yearbooks were not regarded as 'proper' issues and so were, at the time, considered distinct from the main series and were not numbered. After the 'zine's return from its 2000–03 hiatus, though, a belated recognition of the pair as issues in their own right meant incorporating them retroactively into the count — causing the running total to instantly jump upward by two. For a period, covers then carried both an Issue figure (this new absolute total) and a Number figure (just tallying the regular issues, as before) side-by-side, to represent the before-and-after systems.
This led to much confusion, especially where the new count is applied retrospectively to the earlier issues as well — because the tally now known as Number had always been referred to as "Issue" on the covers prior to the change: e.g. Monomyth 16's page on this site calls it 'Issue 16 or Number 15', yet the cover image clearly shows "Issue 15"! For the sake of keeping to a consistent reckoning, this wiki files the early Monomyths under their 'absolute' designations. For those that came before the first Yearbook there is obviously no alteration; however, the ten that followed it each have an official Issue number higher by one than their original designations (as with Issue 16 just mentioned), and the single instalment that came out after the second Yearbook yet before the change in system has an Issue number higher by two.
In part to clarify just which issue was being spoken about, an additional and wholly different designation was also introduced at the same time as the above change was implemented. This is the Volume figure, which tried to sidestep the complexity by breaking down the overall total by annual batches — so the format used is [year of release].[issue from that year], starting with 3.1. Again, these can be retrospectively applied to the earlier releases too, so the fifth issue may be referred to as volume 1.5, say, just as the fiftieth is volume 11.2.
It should be noted that while Monomyth Year 1 covers the reasonable period of Dec 1996 to Dec 1997, Year 2's eleven releases then took twice as long as planned, the "Dec 1998" Yearbook only completing this set right at the end of 1999. The next issue, which originally should have marked the start of Monomyth's third full year and was still cover-dated Jan 1999 regardless of the delay, did not actually appear until July 2000...18 months late! As it began a theoretical "Year 3", it should thus be known now as 'volume 3.1' — but what ought to have been the rest of this so-called third year was overtaken by the subsequent lengthy hiatus, which saw issues stop appearing altogether for the next quarter of a decade. A relaunch only finally happened in January 2003, and with a brand-new issue freshly dubbed 3.1. That lone previous issue was instead left marooned, as far as the Volume numbers are concerned, so is tacked on at the tail of the pre-hiatus sequence (following the second Yearbook, volume 2.11, which should have closed Vol. 2) as an anachronistic 2.12. Ironically, though, a happy accident born from the cumulative delays eventually holding back Year 3 of publication until 2003 is that the volume numbers' Monomyth-Year has been neatly matched with the calendar year ever since: for example Vol. 11 as a whole covers 2011.
As a result of the ambiguities caused by the different systems, 2004's volumes 4.1–4.5 represented a prolonged year-long celebration of the "thirtieth issue(s) of Monomyth": this sequence captured among its ranks both of the releases that could lay claim to the title, depending on whether one used the Number or the Issue count...!
The tri-fold numbering practice continued for three years altogether, until in 2006, upon the publication of volume 6.1/issue 37, the Number tally was dropped to streamline the situation somewhat. Nevertheless, although volume 11.2 represented fifty literal issues of the magazine, for instance, 12.2 still has the claim (by discounting the two Yearbooks) to be Number 50 under the original system. David Leverton provided a fond article on this Monomyth Numbering Conundrum in the fiftieth (literal!) issue.
Through its early years, each issue of the 'zine was subdivided into sections, with stories categorised into the likes of the 'themed' section, the continuing serials and The Vortex — see below.
The 40 issues of Monomyth's first decade often saw ongoing stories split across more than one volume. In addition to several two-parters, there were a number of serials, defined as those tales appearing in three parts or longer:
- Of these, several have been reprinted in full in later issues: The Case of Ezra Haig-Simpson (in 4.5), The Travelling Salesman (7.1), Puppeteer (7.1), Nova 2 (with revisions by DJ Tyrer, 8.1), Fiorenze (9.2) and Pentacle (11.2).
- The Shadow Stalkers is a linked sequence of five individual stories, including three two-parters and climaxing with Conspiracy, the four-part length of which gives it an individual mention here in its own right.
- Similarly, Doctor X was a loose trilogy of stories serialised in 8 parts overall, of which the four-part The Tandbury Devils was the first and longest.
- The two stories by David Leverton, whilst multi-part, were not officially considered 'serials' at the time and were — somewhat arbitrarily — printed within the 'themed' sections of their respective issues.
- The Keh-la-la-la-la-la-lee-lee Trilogy was credited to DJ Tyrer "with assistance" from several others, as detailed under Contributors to Monomyth.
- Part 1 of Electric Legacy initially appeared in the final issue before the magazine's long hiatus, and so was printed again in the first issue after it to avoid leaving a 2 ½-year gap in between its first two instalments!
- Volume 7.1 marked the point where Monomyth's publication rate was reduced by half, from four issues per year to its present two. With much longer gaps between instalments subsequently, serials proper are no longer run, although the Mirror Quartet featured an ongoing, if loose, storyline across 2012–13, before The Legend of Hengist and Horsa began the first proper serial in nine years in issue 15.1.
From volume 2.1 until 2.12, issues were themed (with the exception of the Yearbook, 2.11). The themes were:
|2.1 — Fate and Fortune||2.2 — Dark Possibilities||2.3 — Survival|
|2.4 — Poetry and Song||2.5 — Spirit World||2.6 — Life|
|2.7 — Environment||2.8 — Humour||2.9 — Horror|
|2.10 — Horror||2.11 — unthemed (Yearbook)||2.12 — Games|
Themes had also been scheduled for the remainder of the year beyond the 'Games' issue, but were left unused when the magazine was put on hold. Theming was dropped at the post-hiatus relaunch, although it was revived for Awen Online.
With the introduction of theming, issues were divided into three parts — the regular features with the serials, reviews, etc; the themed middle section; and The Vortex, which featured Doctor Who fiction, articles and reviews. The Vortex ran from volume 2.1 until 2.12, although Doctor Who content had begun in 1.9 (with the first part of The Tandbury Devils) and would continue past the cessation of this section as a specific entity.
Poetry was relatively uncommon in Monomyth prior to the Hiatus, but soon after the relaunch a succession of Featured Poets appeared in the magazine. There was no featured poet in 3.1, although Chris Goodrum supplied two longer poems and accompanying artwork. Subsequent issues featured the following:
|3.2 — Steve Sneyd||3.3 — Elaine Day||3.4 — AC Evans|
|4.1 — Andrew Detheridge||4.2 — Aeronwy Dafies||4.3 — DS Davidson|
This was a named section in volumes 4.4 and 4.5, which featured several poets' work grouped together. A prototype of sorts existed in the form of volume 2.4, which had as its theme 'Poetry and Song'. From the following year, poetry still appeared regularly, albeit in varying amounts, but was no longer grouped into a themed section.
The earliest side-project from the Monomyth team was Doctor Who-inspired short fiction collection A Universal Tapestry, produced by Richard Burman and including contributions from DJ Tyrer, released to celebrate the programme's 35th anniversary in late 1998. Next was DJ Tyrer's Green Goblin Games Gazette: "4G" was intended to be a roleplaying fanzine, but the events of the hiatus meant it never saw the light beyond an introductory 'issue zero' bundled with the final pre-hiatus Monomyth, volume 2.12.
The first planned direct offshoot of Monomyth, which also sadly didn't come to fruition thanks to the 'zine's 2000-2003 pause, was Ten of the Best... Short Stories, an intended compilation of highlights from its first two years of publication. Anthologies of the first- and second-year serials were also on the drawing board for a long time, well into the new century, but have similarly failed to come about for a variety of reasons.
With issues reaching an extreme length by the turn of the millennium — growing to reach an unsustainable 80+ pages before the hiatus — and some contributors receiving an entire complimentary magazine for just a few lines' worth of work, there was some discussion of providing an alternative outlet for content too short for Monomyth. Thus it was that Awen was created in 2000 to allow the publication of poetry and short fiction. This was planned initially only as a short-term sequence, but the subsequent hiatus would make additional titles a continuing necessity, as a backlog of work awaiting publication began to build. Awen would become permanent, while The Monomyth Supplement was created to allow the timely publication of news and reviews, as well as providing an additional outlet for short fiction and poetry. These two in turn inspired the creation of further 'zines, and a variety of booklets and anthologies and eventually broadsides, accounting for Atlantean's present output.
Logo and Tagline
The main exception was for the years 2003-05, when a new version (second right) was introduced after the return from the great hiatus, featuring a stylised, tall-but-narrow with drop shadows look. From volume 5.3 onwards, though, the present incarnation has reverted to an elegantly simple take on the original (third right) look.
The print version of the cover for issue 50, which also marked the 15th birthday of the magazine — and of Atlantean Publishing, by extension — used a specially-created 'anniversary' variant (fourth right) of the current logo.
Also associated with Monomyth is its long-running tagline, "Coming at you from the horizons of the small press", which similarly helped to inspire celebratory logotypes for the anniversary, as seen at bottom right.
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