I was half way through this issue when the sad news reached me that it was to be SU's last. We've been around for as long as the Speccy and seen it through good and bad, thick and thin ... The dizzy heights of the most popular home computer in Britain and, more recently, one of the least popular - the whipping boy. But it still retains an avid following, and why not! Back in the early eighties I bought my first Spectrum (with the help of my mum), a 48K rubber keyed affair and had a lot of fun with it. Then almost a decade later I found myself editing the first (and best) Spectrum magazine I ever bought - Sinclair User: A dream come true.
It's been the same for all of the people who worked on SU over the years. Garth had a ZX81, followed by a 16K Speccy and then a 128. Ed Laurence wangled a +2 out of his parents (and got thrashed by his mom for playing violent games), while Stevie Keen had a 48K just like mine - the list goes on.
Clive Sinclair and his little box of tricks are by now part of British history. They've conquered millions of hearts and minds and in the few years I've been working on SU I've seen the sort of passions that can be aroused by our 'friend'. I don't like admitting it but we've probably been the cause of quite a few felled forests in the last eleven years, as SU Towers' mail bags bulged with letters carrying the views of millions of readers.
The demise of the Spectrum has been on the cards for a long time. They said it would happen five years ago, but it didn't ... four years ago, it didn't ... and so on. Now though, thanks to market pressures, the software base has dwindled so much that the wisdom of keeping a magazine like SU operating had to be questioned. I still have no doubt that the Spectrum will continue to flourish, even in smaller numbers, because of its simplicity and the wealth of software already available for it. I would advise anyone wishing to continue on gaming and writing on their Spectrums to form or contact local or national user groups - in the future they will be your mainstay - remember it's strength in numbers.
The Spectrum is now passing out of its commercial phase and into a special interest phase. If you are dedicated it will survive. Goodbye from the Crew, we'll miss you - SU READERS have always been the best. And now over to Linda B and her hateful publication (only joking) ... Long live the Spectrum!
Looking back over eleven years of publishing excellence SU has had some top people working for it. Let's take a look at those who stayed with us right to the end and what they're doing now.
Big Al Dykes
The big guy has been editor for a full twelve months now and is sad to see the mag go. It looks as though he's destined to work with PCs from now on as he joins Emap's A-Team at PC Review - The best PC entertainment mag money can buy (no way! WAYYY!). It'll never beat SU though.
Garth Sumpter, matchstick man impersonator, culture vulture and Rover wrecker edited SU for two years and has recently been in charge of whipping the Hacking Squad (which he originally invented) into shape. The legend lives on in the hallowed (now hollowed because of his weight) pages of CVG.
In the absence of the lovely Yvette Nichols Sara has been giving her all to designing SU and what a job she's made of it! Other examples of her work may be found in the One Amiga and PC Review. Alby, her pet dog has gone on to grace several international magazine next month pages.
What can be said about Paul that already hasn't. Well, erm, anything really ... you probably haven't heard of him before unless you read NMS or Mean Machines. Suffice to say he's a jolly, long haired northern git who never gets a round in. Bad taste in clothes but good at reviewing games though.
The ladies all swoon at the mere sight of Stevie Keen. Come to think of it so do the men but that's just 'cos he smells a bit. Steve has been the backbone of both Checkout and reviews over the last two and a half years. But poor old Steve hasn't shaken off Garth's shackles yet ... he works on CVG too.
Working behind the scenes of many a review (which is difficult for him, believe me) Tony Kaye has most recently brought you the whole lowdown on Nigel Mansell's World Championship. Tony will either be pursuing a new writing career or joining the Pittsburgh Steelers (or both as a tattoo artist).
Aka Radion Automatic and several other pseudonyms (someone please tell us the real one) is, we believe, currently turning down Hollywood movie roles on grounds of not wanting to co-operate with the capitalist system. Which he already is working on NMS that whacking great Nintendo mag.
Tom was first mistaken for Keanu Reeves - momentarily. He is now widely recognised as a weedy little git who just happened to stumble into Emap when they needed a new slacker. But they got it wrong, he is in fact a superhuman writer and a decent chap into the bargain (see you in the pub later Tom!)
It's high time we revealed the true identity of the Sorceress - she is not in fact a she at all. Every month we get a confused cockatoo to run all over a computer keyboard then ask the PC to make utter nonsense of what it has typed. This gets printed every month and people use it to solve adventures.
In between being a helicopter pilot, fireman and north sea rescue expert young Graham - also known as Specman and Turbo - intends to continue a life of misspelt adventure and computer hacking - he also plans to get married soon, so three cheers for Captain Pokemania. May his hair continue to stand on end.