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Universe Pathways : English Edition 2

universe pathways greek scifi english versionUniverse Pathways – English Edition #2: July 2006
Guest Reviewer : Gareth D. Jones

Universe Pathways is a Greek Sci Fi magazine that also accepts and translates English stories. This year they have begun producing a semi-annual English edition that includes English translations of some of their Greek stories. With one of my stories due to appear in the Greek version later this year, I saw the 2nd English issue as an opportunity to preview the quality of both the magazine and of the translation; after all I won’t be able to read the Greek version.

At 350 pages this can hardly be called a magazine. Aside from the articles, interviews and reviews there are 37 stories and poems. Call me a heathen, but I’ve never got poetry, so I won’t comment on the poems. That still leaves a lot of reading matter, making this a great book to take on holiday and flick through.

There are no bad stories in the collection, but I had the impression some of them were just there to add to the page count. The size could easily have been reduced without jeopardising the quality. Several stories stood out as worthy of mention though:

Darfang, by John Cowen, is the claustrophobic tale of a miner trapped underground on an inhospitable planet with a ravenous beast. Along with him is the native who has ‘volunteered’ to kill the creature and save the day. The atmosphere and emotions are well conveyed and the interplay between the characters is particularly convincing.

Vortex Mirage, by Matthew Lowes is a well-realised vision of the moon in the not-too-distant future. Although essentially a hard-SF story, there is enough human interaction and a sense of wonder to make it stick in the mind.

A World for Georgiana, by Vasilis Afxentiou is set far in the future when sentient plants inhabit the Earth. The writer has evidently given much thought to their society and physiology, far more than this short piece can do justice to. There’s definitely potential for more here, and I hope the author has further plans.

Crop Circle Formation, by Joao Ventura is a very short, but very entertaining explanation of the phenomena. In fact, it’s so short that I can’t really say anything else without spoiling it for you.

Asterisk for a Spy, by Lance Hawvermale had me captivated from the beginning. A sentient computer struggles to adjust to its newly acquired humanoid body and is torn between sacrificing itself for its masters, or preserving itself and betraying its creators. The writer gets us right inside its mind and really drew me in to its plight.

The Curious Case of Thaddeus Carver’s Shadow, one of three good stories by Sean Gilbert, is a Victorian era tale that evokes an air of Sherlock Holmes. The rather creepy incident meant that I had a real struggle not to keep looking over my shoulder as I read the last few paragraphs.

As for the Greek contributions, for the most part I couldn’t tell whether they were translations, or just happened to be written by people with Greek-sounding names. Which bodes well for the translation of my story in September.

18 Comments For This Post

  1. addyabraham Says:

    I saw the second English issue as a chance to review the nature of both the magazine and of the interpretation; after all I won’t have the affordable whiteboard animation capacity to peruse the Greek variant. At 350 pages this can barely be known as a magazine.

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  1. Universe pathways | Sellami Says:

    [...] Universe Pathways : English Edition 2 | SciFi UK ReviewAug 10, 2006 … Universe Pathways is a Greek Sci Fi magazine that also accepts and translates English stories. This year they have begun producing a … [...]

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