I have fallen behind in my Cirsova reading. With the name change and the change in focus, I decided to jump ahead from the last issue I read (issue no. 3 from volume 1) to the newest issue.
Formerly, Cirsova: Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, the new title is Cirsova: Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense. The name change signifies both a shift and focus and an attempt to more squarely brand the magazine based on its content: as a modern day pulp magazine, something “adventure” conveys better than “fantasy and science fiction.” Per the editor, he sees Cirsova as more of an Argosy than a Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
So how well does the issue reflect that? The Tarzan fragment (more on that in a bit!) is an obvious aide. Tarzan is speculative fiction, if not obviously so. But it doesn’t fit into any of the modern SF genre categories. In addition to the Tarzan story, I would group 3-5 of the other stories into the “adventure” category rather than one of the more usual and modern SF genres. Not a sharp change, but not an insubstantial one either and probably just what the editor was looking for—he never intended to drop the fantasy and science fiction entirely. There are still plenty of examples of those, including a wonderfully bizarre and grotesque Vancian tale, a novelette that would have been at home in Weird Tales, and a couple science fiction that would have fit right in during the Golden Age of Science Fiction.
The big news here, of course, is the Tarzan fragment. The story of the fragment is as good (better, honestly) than the story in the fragment. The fragment lay undiscovered for decades. When it was discovered, several writers passed on completing it. Michael Tierney (a Cirsova regular) agreed to do it. Before he did, though, Burroughs’ grandson Danton, also the president of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., died. When Tierney resumed discussion of the fragment with ERB, Inc., they initially did not realize that he was talking about a fragment rather than a piece of Tierney’s original work. Eventually the confusion was rectified and, remarkably, the original of the fragment, thought lost in a fire, was discovered. (You can read the full story here.)
The finished Tarzan fragment is also responsible for what is probably my second favorite Cirsova cover.