Issue #1 - Quarter 1 2009

Introduction, How Fuel Cells Work, Dawn Of A New Music Industry, and XKCD #408; Overqualified.

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Welcome to The New Call. It's a new broadside publication, focusing on contemporary issues relating to science, technology, art, music, culture, and anything else I can find room for.

Broadsides were the literature of the street before the newspaper was born. They offered information and opinions in a cheap, quick manner. But just because something's been superceded doesn't mean it's entirely obsolete. Just look at candles; inefficient, expensive, dangerous, and not very suitable for purpose when compared to your average 100W bulb, but which will you light to get you and that special someone in the mood? eBooks are quite impressive, but as thrilling as I find technology, I'd rather take a second-hand paperback on the train or to the beach. And so, in this age of newspapers and blogs, perhaps there's room too for this almost forgotten media form.

Warren Ellis has said some interesting things about this here and here and here, and it's him who first got me thinking. But the real breakthrough was when I had one of those special moments of clarity and genius and came up with the name The New Call. I understood what it meant for about half a second, and now whenever I try to think at it it slips out of focus. But it was the catalyst; with the name I knew what I had to do and the rest just flowed in that beautiful way that good ideas do when you're in the zone.

So, that's what this is all about. I'm publishing it for free. Gonna aim for one sheet per quarter for a start, and when I'm happy with the layout then I'll upload here.

But uploads and PDFs are not what this is about. The whole point of this is to have something tangible and physical that you can pick up and read on the bus or in the park/coffee shop/pub. To that end I'm going to get some photocopies done and distribute them in some shops I know, if they'll have them. And here's the thing; I encourage you to do the same. If you like this then print off another copy for a friend. Print off half a dozen and leave them on a table in the break-room or canteen at work. Hell, copy five-score and put them out in your shop for your customers if you want.

Do with the material as you will. All I ask is that you link back here, or attribute the relevant content creator properly. And enjoy. Remember, the media is something we all have access to. Celebrate that (and if you make your own broadside then let me know). Finally, if you've got something you could contribute and it'll fit into 250-ish words or a quarter of a side of A4 then email me at and we can talk.