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Put together by Alan Rider, Adventures in Reality was a fanzine from Coventry in the early 1980s that both fitted snugly inside the post-punk landscape of the time and did its utmost to avoid many of the tropes most fanzines were given to. Like most of them, however, each edition was produced with a youthful energy and passion itself manacled to an attitude only really emboldened by this cultural shift.
In between diatribes and a salubrious dash of humour, Adventures in Reality proved itself to be amongst the vanguard, running countless reviews, putdowns of the apathy dominating the city, and interviews with all from Attrition and Human Cabbages to Wah! and SPK. Somewhere along the way an excerpt taken from the lyrics of The Jam’s poignant ‘That’s Entertainment’ also appear, as indeed do cartoons, various lists and suchlike. Everything adds up to an intoxicating mix absolutely perfect for the time that spawned it.
Over the course of its 13 issues, plus a few other related titles originally published anonymously and designed to upset rival fanzine editors and their own supporters, Adventures in Reality proved itself to stand above its immediate competition so well it made a formidable impression not only nationally, but also internationally.
This compendium gathers all 13 issues in their entirety, as well as the other titles and additional ephemera, alongside insightful introductions to each of them, an interview with Alan Rider, a foreword by Matthew Worley, blurb by Nicholas Bullen (himself inspired by AiR enough to start his own ‘zine), and several other bonuses.
Collected in an A4 book similar in size to the Grim Humour one also published by Fourth Dimension, this makes for a perfect return trip to a time long gone still of interest to either those informed by it or those who wish to navigate their way to why it was so unique in the first place.
As Alan himself says, “Fanzines were never intended to form a part of mainstream pop culture.They were underground, counter culture, an alternative that existed to shine a light on new music in a way that commercial publications could not and would not. Wilfully obtuse, Adventures in Reality sought to seize that ground, breaking the mould of what a post-punk fanzine was expected to be and by doing so, adding an extra dose of subversive originality to the pool of UK underground alternative music culture.”
Almost 500 pages total.