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The Fix: Short Fiction Review Magazine


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Short Fiction Review Magazine, The Fix, Relaunches Online

TTA Press, publisher of renowned short fiction showcases Interzone, Black Static, and Crimewave, also published The Fix. The latter in its print incarnation, provided critical analyses and reviews of an extensive range of short fiction.

Now, The Fix has relaunched in a new, online format, once again providing a venue for critical coverage of speculative short fiction across the full spectrum of magazines, webzines, anthologies, and single-author collections.

Publisher Andy Cox predicts that The Fix will grow into the hub for aficionados and practitioners of short fiction to visit for news and commentary relevant to the community.

Managing Editor Eugie Foster, arriving to helm The Fix fresh from a distinguished career as managing editor of Tangent Online, plans to spotlight short fiction in all its myriad mediums: print, online, audio, and film.
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Dark Tales: Issue 11


dark tales issue eleven wizard artwork cover unicorn fantasy art artwork magazine coverDark Tales : Issue Eleven

Reviewed By Gareth D. Jones

Another large helping of dark and disturbing fiction arrives in the form of Dark Tales #11. The whole issue is entertaining and varied in contents, and looks and feels quite smart too.

The opening story this issue is A. Reader’s Half Life, which is the name of a drug that reduces the patient’s age by half. Sounds like miracle, but as is usually the case there are unforeseen and rather unsettling side effects. The story is well written, and does a good job of outlining the true horror of the situation, with a profoundly thoughtful ending. At least, I thought it was the end, only to find another few paragraphs over the page that I thought rather blunted the impact. So, choose for yourself which end you think best.

Niall McMahon recounts A Dream of Faces, the touching tale of a young boy’s encounter with a terribly scarred burns victim who touches his life for a while. His initial reactions, the subsequent development of their relationship and her ultimately profound effect on his life really are engagingly told. The feelings of both come across well and ensure that the story will stay with you.

Debt is a story of lycanthropy by Andrew J Oliver. It’s only short, so there’s no real development of the characters or motivations beyond a brief setting of the scene. It’s also written in the second person, which I always find a little odd, but that’s just a matter of taste. The confusion and disorientation are conveyed well, but no real explanation is given. The success of the story then depends on whether you like reasons for the strange goings-on, or whether you’re happier with the unexplained.

A man attempting to retrieve his lost wallet from an eccentric old woman is the setting for Davin Ireland’s Growing Season. There’s some good descriptive work of the decrepit house and the overgrown garden, with the old lady becoming more and more creepy. The tale develops well as bewilderment and frustration set in, slowly giving way to horror as the old lady’s true purpose becomes clear. I’m giving up gardening after reading this.
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Fiction Magazine: Issue 4


scifi horror fiction magazine issue 4 four fantasy magazine cover fiction magazineFiction Magazine : Issue Four

Reviewed By Gareth D. Jones

Since issue #3, Fiction magazine has moved to PDF format, with the possibility of moving back to print in the future. I don’t find on-line magazines as exciting as having an actual printed magazine in your hand, but the editors are maintaining the standard of fiction established in their first two print editions.

The first and longest story is An Act of Mercy by Sarah Hughes. It’s a multi-stranded story that initially left me confused due to the similarity of character’s names in different threads (Ryan, Rayne, Reuben). This meant that I had to keep checking back , breaking the flow of the story. Several typos didn’t help too. Getting past these problems, it was an interesting story of viruses, nanobots, androids and a sprinkling of very diverse characters to add to the interest. I’m tempted to say it was almost too ambitious, introducing enough characters to sustain a much longer piece. The complex plot was entertaining though and the android characters were particularly well developed.

Gareth L Powell’s contribution is A Necklace of Ivy, a realistically rendered tale set against the backdrop of a mysterious alien plague sweeping through Cornwall. A young couple are making their way out of the county in advance of an army curfew, but make the mistake of stopping for one last break. The realistic dialogue and briefly sketched description make it a compelling little tale.
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Midnight Street: Issue 9


midnight street artwork cover unicorn fantasy art artwork magazine coverMidnight Street : Issue Nine

Reviewed By Gareth D. Jones

Unlike most of the other magazines I’ve read recently, Midnight Street contains a varied mixture of interviews, reviews, and articles, as well as a sprinkling of poems interspersed among the fiction. It’s an A4 magazine with coloured illustrations on the cover and black and white within.

We start with The Ice Horse, an intriguing story by Mark Howard Jones in which an unfortunate captive is imprisoned inside a giant sculpture of a horse. Why he’s there isn’t entirely clear, partly due to his half-frozen state. The background character of the artistic genius who created the sculpture adds an interesting dimension too as the freezing captive tries to figure out an escape.

An unstable man who suffers from gaps in his memory, among other things, goes Shoplifting in Chris Ward’s story that alternates between humour and pity. As his character becomes more paranoid and desperate, unsure whether he stole the clothes he’s wearing, his situation becomes more and more pitiable. It’s a story well told, aside from the use of profanity that I thought over the top, being used in the narration as well as by the shoplifter. Sorry, alleged shoplifter.

The something in Ken Goldman’s story There’s Something in Autumn Palms Lake quickly turns out to be an alligator. I’m not spoiling the story by telling you that. The reason it’s there, told in flashback, and the final scene, make what seems to be a fairly predictable story into something much more interesting.
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Interzone 212: Charles Stross: Gareth Lyn Powell: Beth Bernobich: Will McIntosh: Tim Akers: Contents


interzone cover artwork issue 212 weird artwork cover science fiction scifi fantasy art artwork magazine coverInterzone 212 : Britain’s Longest Running Scifi & Fantasy Magazine
(Sept/Oct 2007) Due on Sale September 6 2007.

Read to the end for a subscription offer.

Cover Art: Science fiction imagery from a South American perspective by Argentine artist Osvaldo Gonzalez who now works from Florida.

Fiction:
Feelings of the Flesh Douglas Cohen’s novelette is this issue’s debut story. Its theme is the conflicts between desire and instinct for individuals, and society, when change is necessary. Douglas is single, almost 30, and has a BA in English from Hofstra University, Long Island. His day job in New York City involves organizing medical conferences for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. He lives an approximate 40 minute rail commute away in Valley Stream, NY. This is his first published story. Illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe

Ack-Ack Macaque is Gareth Lyn Powell’s second Interzone story and he has sold a novel and a collection on the strength of his first appearance last year. Illustrated by SMS.
On the strength of his original publication in Interzone Gareth has progressed to two book deals; one for a novel (Silversands - Pendragon Press due 2009) and the other for a collection of short stories (Distant Galaxies Colliding - Elastic Press due August 2008). This second story features a one-eyed, cigar-smoking monkey wreaking havoc in Gareth’s home city, Bristol. There’s an interview with Gareth here.

A Handful of Pearls by Beth Bernobich. Beth is new to Interzone but she is making a name in the US magazines. Illustrated by Jesse Speak.
Beth is an author, software engineer and mother of a teenage boy. She studied in Heidelberg and Virginia and now lives in Connecticut, PS will publish her novelette Ars Memoriae as a limited-edition chapbook in 2009 and she has featured in Asimovs Magazine and Strange Horizons.

Dada Jihad by Will McIntosh, author of Soft Apocalypse in IZ 200. Chris Nurse illustrates.

The Algorithm by Tim Akers. After Toke in IZ 210 comes Tim’s fourth Interzone story. Illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe
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