Fox is Fuselit's 12th issue. It kicks off with the Scavenger Challenge; four Fuseliteers were given an item or topic relating to rubbish and asked to use it as the inspiration for a short piece of writing. Then there's new poems from, among others, James Midgley, Brooklyn Copeland and Joe Dunthorne, plus short stories from Astrid Duffy, Mark Brown and Mark Wagstaff.
On the CD, we have tracks from Foxes! and Jim and Sam plus a PC game by Cliff Hammett, unavailable anywhere else.
Fox's cover is handmade Indian cotton rag paper, each issue individually inked with distinctive vulpine features. It comes in a brown paper bag, into which eyeholes have been cut, so your fox can peer out. It also features a fox-tail bookmark tied with ribbon and colour illustrations on a double-layer of acetate.
A good excuse to use delicious, rough, tawny hand-dyed Indian paper from the local art shop, Fox was the first issue made in Whitechapel, our current home. With two scalpelled eyes peeping from inside a torn envelope, along with a Tippex and pen muzzle, it was a labour of love to make. Fox was first Fuselit to include a writing challenge, for which poets whose work we liked were invited to respond to the idea of a piece of rubbish dug from a bin by a wily dog or vixen. This would later become the bonus booklets that would inspire the anthologies of Sidekick Books. Fox was one of our most popular submissions calls – people just love old vulpes vulpes! E. Kristin Anderson and Rob Mackenzie were both excellent contributors, as was Claire Trevien. Mark Wagstaff’s short story ‘Pin Up’ was a great spin on the theme and artwork from Graham Carrick set the whole thing off beautifully. Fox’s launch happened at the Betsey Trotwood, and featured readers doing micro-sets to slides, including the brilliant W.N. Herbert, as well as indie-pop from (who else?) Foxes!
Although nearly every issue has featured some sort of slow evolution, I think I would count Fox as the beginning of the modern Fuselit era, when we finally started getting a real handle on layout and a good balance of content. That hand-painted cover seemed to get people talking, and a Norwich events magazine called Mad Dog ran a feature on us. As I recall, we didn't have nearly enough magazines to sell at the launch though.