Good things come in shrink-wrapped packages. In this case, each exquisitely edited and illustrated issue of Slightly Foxed, a literary magazine independently published in England by Gail Pirkis and Hazel Wood. June marked the 50th anniversary of the quarterly publication whose title is a cheeky double play. “Slightly foxed” is the term used in antiquarian circles to describe the spots found on paper in old books as well as a person’s mindset after spending time looking for something to read in a mass bookshop, as the Slightly Foxed editors stated in its first issue.

Maybe it was the ghost of Mary Shelley or the larger-than-life memories of Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott and Jane Austen — all writers published at legendary independent book publisher John Murray, where editors Pirkis and Wood met years ago before the shop was sold to a larger corporation. After that, the two book lovers sought to recreate the same small-house feeling via Slightly Foxed, where readers could hold bound paper as opposed to something digital and be transported by a story that wasn’t necessarily cracking the top 10 best seller lists.

Dedicated to good writing and editing, each issue features a series of essays by the days’ best and brightest writers musing on any subject. Critiques can be on books old and new, and are sometimes written by SF readers who happen to be very, very, very  good writers. Illustrations are done by equally talented artists like Quentin Blake, famous for his covers of Roald Dahl books. SF also began publishing out-of-print memoirs by such noted writers as Graham Greene in colorful cloth hardcover, as well as children’s books.