I'm in Smoke #16 waxing psychogeographical about the Central Line. Specifically, I've written an elegy for the Leyton Roar, an important part of the Underground's aural architecture, which disappeared in mysterious circumstances some time ago. If you're not familiar with Smoke, it's a quarterly(ish) zine about London, with fiction, humour, photography, illustrations, and short observational pieces. You can get it in Foyles, the Tate Modern bookshop, places like that - but I'm horrified to read in an announcement this month that fully half of the shops that used to stock Smoke (and zines like it) back in (say) 2004 have now closed, including Borders; obviously their sales have suffered. This apocalyptic state of affairs has forced them into a major retool, and it looks like they're toying with a new format or direction. I look forward to seeing it, but the news is a horrific reminder of just how bad things have got for independent culture in the city.
I was due to discuss some of the problems facing print, and the evolution of electronic media, at the British Creative Exchange event "Creative E-Zines & Design Publications in Progress". However the event has now been called off, because the chairman was injured in a car accident yesterday. Those of you who had already bought tickets should be able to get them reimbursed fairly quickly. The BCE tells me that they may reorganise the event at a later date.