I'm trying to source a copy of VORTEX, Vol 5 from May 1977. I owned that edition for a while as a teenager and was fascinated by the short stories it contained.

Is anyone able to provide a brief synopsis of either of both of the following short stories, to help me piece together my memories about which story is which?

Mark Ambient - Due West: Vermilion Sun on Horizon: Dying


Terry Greenhough - A Gift of Time

  • I've asked the editor whether he's got a copy. He said he'd scan it. As soon as I've got it, I'll add a synopsis.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 19:11
  • Splendid... :-)
    – Gareth
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 10:51
  • If you add an email link to your profile, I'll drop you a copy in private.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 18:03
  • there is an email but I must have marked it private and now I can't find a way to edit that and"un-private" it !
    – Gareth
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 19:24
  • Here is an email [email protected] many thanks
    – Gareth
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


I contacted Keith Seddon, the editor of Vortex Magazine and he was kind enough to scan the two stories for me. Absent permission to post them in full, I've done my best to provide a synposis for each story.

Due West: Vermilion Sun on Horizon: Dying

The story opens with a man lying in the centre of a courtyard. The (vermillion) sun is beating down on him and he appears to be suffering from sunstroke. The story then switches to an experiment being conducted into "entropic decay" with a scientist having developed a machine that can reverse entropy using a "gold hunter" watch which he has liberated from a stately home.

It becomes clear that the watch, the mansion and the laboratory beneath are the setting for a time-travel mystery with multiple parties vying for control of an increasingly psychedelic environment.

At the end, one of the protagonists appears to become frozen in time.

A Gift of Time

A space-drifter is travelling in a cargo hold with an alien and his family. A landing ship causes an explosion and the man is pinned beneath a beam, helpless to act as a fire kills hundreds of other inhabitants.

The alien (basically a giant eyeball on a stalk) uses a temporal superpower to repeatedly reverse time in a bubble around him. The man experiences this as a series of "jumps" backwards in time until he is able to find a set of events that prevents him from being injured in the first place and prevents the fire from spreading into the passenger area.

At the end we see that the alien's own family died in the initial crash and that he has been been working tirelessly despite his obvious grief.

  • That's excellent. Thanks. I'm actually looking for the source of another story but this eliminates Vortex from my inquiries!
    – Gareth
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 18:55

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