Gordon Van Gelder, Publisher/Editor, of the magazine offered over a dozen copies of the October/November 2008 issue to bloggers. I was one of the lucky ones. I’ve heard of the magazine for years and read some of the contents but never actually read an entire issue until now.
This is one of those magazines meant to be read when large chunks of reading time is available. There are certainly some short stories and poems available but the work is best enjoyed after the experience has settled. The editors do a nice job of accepting items of various length and putting it all together in a way that isn’t exhausting to the reader. For example, the issue begins with Albert E. Cowdrey’s short story “Inside Story” which is followed by Charles de Lint’s book reviews. Some readers would have problems shifting from Cowdrey’s post-Katrina New Orleans to Tim Sullivan’s asteroid geological trip turned disaster tale if they were placed together.
There is a lot to like about this particular issue.
- “Inside Story” by Albert E. Cowdrey – Post-Katrina New Orleans is in need of all the residents it can keep. For some reason, residents of the FEMA trailers keep disappearing. Detectives Fournet and Tobin are going to look into the matter.
- “Days of Wonder” by Geoff Ryman – The featured society in this story migrates according to the seasons and amount of food available. As often happens, a clash between a dreamer and the others brings about change.
- “The Visionaries” by Robert Reed – How is it that a poorly written novella can garner the main character professional pay rates for the rest of his writing life? What makes the main character so special? Could a conspiracy be underway?
- “Private Eye” by Terry Bisson – This tale has a noir feel featuring a private eye and an internet worker bee. While their professions could be far off in the future, the interplay between these New Yorkers is unquestionably present day.
- “December 22, 2012” by Sophie M. White – White’s poem is less than a hundred words long but that doesn’t diminish the laugh it brings at the end.
These are just some of the highlights. Each piece holds it’s own. I found some new books to add to my TBR pile through the book reviews. The film reviews let me know about another horror movie I won’t be seeing. (I’m a bit squeamish with horror movies I’m sorry to report.) This issue should be available at your local newsstand or bookstore until the end of October. It’s also available on Fictionwise in electronic format, or you can purchase it online at their web site.