You may have read in the grown up books pages that the online journal I write for, 3:AM Magazine, recently vanished from the internet. It’s a bizarre episode. I felt like the guys in Red Dwarf must have felt, when they lost Red Dwarf. My editor, Andrew Gallix, takes up the story:
3:AM’s servers (located in Dallas, Texas) were owned by a company (based in Saint Joseph, Missouri) whose website was down. Emails bounced back and the phone had been disconnected. We naturally assumed that the owner – whose main claim to fame was his contribution to the penis-enlargement business – had done a runner. But as soon as the word was out, we were inundated with heart-warming messages of support and offers of help via social media, and within a few hours, Twitter had located the owner’s whereabouts. 3:AM readers informed us that he was now the landlord of – or an employee in (there were conflicting reports) – a tattoo parlour. Someone even kindly mailed me an overexposed picture of the aforementioned establishment.
American novelist Steve Himmer spotted that he and the alleged fugitive had a friend in common on Facebook, who was able to send a direct message. London-based author Susana Medina friended him and striked up a conversation. His mobile phone number and personal email addresses were soon unearthed and passed on by amateur sleuths. Blogger Edward Champion conducted a phone interview with the errant entrepreneur in which the latter claimed that he had wound up his web hosting business in 2008 and had no idea that he was still hosting us. He mentioned a ‘server admin in Bucharest’ – name of Florin – who had been handling the company’s ‘lingering details’. If this is all true, and it could well be, 3:AM had been running on some unattended phantom server. I also wonder whom I have been paying all these years.
Mr Gallix is trying to track down the person responsible for the servers. After a few false leads, as well as a disconnected phone and emails bouncing back, he believes he has tracked him down.
‘At this stage, we do not know if we’ll ever be able to speak to him and if he can switch his server back on long enough to allow us to move 12 years’ worth of content to another, more reliable host,’ Mr Gallix said. ‘I should have backed it up somewhere else, but it never occurred to me.’
There’s a happy ending to this as our digital tech guys have been working like demons all summer to get the site back online. It has now been relaunched, with a new design by Rhys Tranter, and pretty much all the content has been resurrected.
So it’s time to contextualise some more links. Here’s my review of Sam Thompson’s Booker longlisted Communion Town: also, I have an essay on John Irving, using his new novel In One Person as my hook. Also, a short story, ‘Say Your Lesson,’ has been published on Squawkback.
The line in my Communion Town review: ‘a womb garden that rivals the real’ is from Jim Morrison’s poem ‘The Womb Garden’, available in the collection The Lords and the New Creatures.
‘Sir, we did not lose 3:AM. 3:AM was taken from us, by person or persons unknown’