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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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Gareth Lyn Powell Interview: Interzone, Elastic Press, Silverstrands, Pendragon Press


gareth lynn powell interzone british scifi science fiction authorAn Interview with Gareth L Powell: 4 September 2007

Gareth L Powell is a speculative fiction writer from the UK. Critics have likened his work to Richard Morgan and Charles Stross. Recently, he has been published in America, Europe and the Middle East, and his work translated into Polish, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish and Portuguese. Earlier this year, his short story The Last Reef made the long lists for both the BSFA and BFS awards for Best Short Story, and placed highly in the 2006 Interzone Reader’s Poll.

Gareth keeps a blog at: http://garethlynpowell.blogspot.com, with links to online examples of his work.

Well Gareth, it seems like it’s been a very busy year for you since we last spoke. Could you tell us about the books you’ve signed deals for?

Since we last spoke, I’ve been fortunate enough to sign deals with two very cool independent presses, Elastic Press and Pendragon Press. Elastic Press are going to publish my debut short story collection, The Last Reef and Other Stories, in August 2008. This collects together many of the stories I’ve had published in print and online magazines over the last four years, including the two stories that have appeared in Interzone.

Then in 2009, Pendragon Press are going to publish my first novel, Silversands - a breathless cyberpunk yarn, shot through with planetary politics, espionage and subterfuge. I’ve also just released a collection of poetry, entitled: Los Muertos. This is my second poetry collection. It includes around forty poems, new and old, and can be ordered via my website.

I understand you’ve also been busy academically?

That’s right. Somehow I found time to take the Institute of Direct Marketing’s Certificate in Direct and Interactive Marketing, and pass with credit – an achievement I’m still very proud of.

Has that experience helped shape the way you write your fiction?
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Fiction Magazine Issue One Review


scifi horror fantasy magazine cover fiction magazineFiction Magazine : Issue One

Reviewed By Gareth D. Jones

With the recent demise of both Scifantastic and Here and Now it was time once again for the doomsayers to emerge from the woodwork and proclaim the imminent end of the short fiction market. Fortunately we’re able to counter that with the launch last month of Hub, the forthcoming Murky Depths and this week issue #1 of Fiction magazine.

The team behind Fiction also come with that essential element for the launch of a new magazine – boundless optimism. In the editorial on the first page they acknowledge that the full-colour glossy paper hasn’t actually materialised, but throughout the magazine there’s a vibrancy and positivity that it can only go from strength to strength. The editorial and reviews are written in a friendly, informal style, and there are plenty of comments thrown in between to make you feel really involved in this new endeavour. The whole mag has the feel of a website brought to paper and, like the other two new magazines, this gives it a style and feel that stands out as something different.

So what of the fiction, which is, after all, the title of the magazine? There are three stories in this issue, a little mean I thought, but they are all of decent length and make the magazine a respectable 60 A5 pages.

The first story, Sam, is by Terence W Martin, who is coincidentally the editor of Murky Depths and who even more coincidentally lives about ½ a mile from me. The eponymous Sam is a mysterious old man who befriends and adopts an orphan boy. The two obviously have some kind of connection, and Sam is more than he seems, but while several years are briefly condensed there is still a good feel for the relationship that develops between them. What Sam wants out of the relationship and who he actually is are not startling when revealed, but the story comes across with a warmth and a sense of history that make it a pleasant read.

Paul May’s Motorway Madness is set on the automated motorways of the future. It mixes gadgetry and gimmicks with the old adage of a woman scorned; for the unfortunate chap driving along in his automated car his ex-lover happens to be one of the designers of the system. The tension builds nicely and the pages flashed by as quick as the billboards, keeping me hooked to the end.

An entirely too plausible crusade in the not too distant future is the setting for Martin McGrath’s Soldier of God. It’s full of action and adventure and portrays an air of cynicism and irony that lend it a convincing voice. It adds a nice variety to the collection and I’m looking forward to seeing what they bring us next time.

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