What, may you ask, is a pseudomonth anyway? What the heck is "Jaugustuly"? Or "Jelluary"? Or "Aujulygust"? Or (with an expression on your face that can only be described as "aghast") "Aghast"?
Or this issue's "Augury"? Isn't that a real word?
Augury, of course, means "divination from auspices or omens," and whatever that means, it fits this issue perfectly, although your interpretation may be different. Of course, this is just a coincidence. In the alternate universe where the electronic heart and soul of Bewildering Stories resides, there are no months as you know it. There are only pseudomonths. Actually, the denizens of the alternate universe (oh, we don't call it "the alternate universe"; that's just a convention for your sake, dwellers of the material realm...) think of them as gzmlukariik, but since you can't pronounce that (and it's lousily rendered in the Latin alphabet besides), we offer you the word pseudomonth instead, for your convenience.
Basically, a pseudomonth is a period consisting of twenty-eight (28) conventional Earth days. Not sidereal Earth days, alas. We would have defined it as such if only we weren't bewildered ourselves as to how to get all the mathematics worked out. It seems a period of 28 sidereal Earth days is equal to 27.923550925926 conventional Earth days, and over time, you'll be bewildered as well!
Therefore, we've defined a pseudomonth to be 28.076658376284 sidereal Earth days. So a pseudomonth is in effect, so to speak, for 28.076658376284 complete revolutions of Earth in relation to the celestial sphere.
And to make matters even more complicated, a new pseudomonth starts every seven (7) days! Or every 6.9808877314813 sidereal days. Which means that there are actually four (4) pseudomonths going on at any given moment. At this moment, for example, Augury has just started, Aghast has begun its second week, Aujulygust has entered its third week, and Jelluary is in its fourth week. Jaugustuly has expired its 28-day period of pseudomonthly fame and cycled off the main page to retire in our Archive.
What? you exclaim in bewilderment, agony, and/or shock. Why not just call it a weekly magazine, you presumptuous hypocritical idiots?
Well, we don't want to call it a weekly publication. It wouldn't be bewildering enough, would it?
Copyright © 2002 by The Invincible Spud and Bewildering Stories.