Welcome to the first edition of this magazine created to promote New Zealand and South Pacific arts to the world.

Many of the writers/artists in this issue have access to email, but aren't necessarily au fait with writing for the World Wide Web. Nevertheless, much of this writing conjures the power of hypertext to cast images and ideas contained in the works onto the screens and into the imaginations of readers. The links within these creations are to more creations that are enlivened by the association with the original work. Hypertext poetry and fiction can work in many ways. Links can come at the end of a piece and compel the reader to move on to the next section; they can be a link to a new work; they can be a creator's note; they can, in other words, reflect the work of the creator as a mode of thought - flitting back and forth, or onward, jumping from connection to connection.

In future issues we hope to present you with a wide range of writers from the region - no different from any other regional literary journal, except that the medium makes a difference. However, the medium isn't the message. Those writers familiar with the new format are of course welcome to make suggestions about the visual layout of their work. Writers who don't wish to rely on the html formatting can submit works without any hypertext links - suggested or provided - and we will publish their work in the original format with the default background lay-out for that issue of Trout. This issue has a light grey paper background.

New home pages are being created every day on the World Wide Web. While we don't claim to be experts on every aspect of html or java script, we are keeping our eyes out around the globe for the latest techniques in formatting which we could use to enhance the presentation of fiction and poetry. In this visual world, where the moving image has become the cultural lingua franca for so many, html presents a fight-back for text-based literature.

Like Tony, I take no credit for the name Trout - although I liked it when I heard it. My favourite piece of classical music is Schubert's Trout quintet. I like the posture of an angler, up to one's thighs in rubber, waving a stick with a fake fly to catch one of the beauties of the fresh water world - I like to think if I caught one that I'd throw it back. It would be a battle with my very powerful stomach, however. I've seen many documentaries with trout on their homeward mating journey, travelling thousands of miles to spawn and die - in a way, this poetry will be travelling thousands of miles too, to join with readers around the globe, originating from a slip of land itself surrounded in all directions by thousands of square miles of salt water.

This is an opportunity to talk about scope, and the limitations of on-line living in New Zealand. We've established this magazine to celebrate the writing and visual arts of New Zealand and the South Pacific, hence we will only take contributions from people living in the countries of the South Pacific, who provide us with material written in English or with the original text and an English translation. We will also take contributions from expatriates outside of the region. Since New Zealand does not have great band width, we will not be able to accept large image or sound files, or any video files. The peculiarities of New Zealand's on-line charging regime means that anyone who views our site incurs a small cost for us. The larger the files on our site, the greater the cost to us, and our sponsors, the Trout providers. Small image and sound files are acceptable.

We hope you enjoy this initial offering from Aotearoa (New Zealand) and the South Pacific. These are just some of the voices and images of our arts, while this is only the first Trout.

Robert Sullivan
January 1997