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Zines, Magazines, and Short Fiction Review- 03/2005  Next Month / Last Month
Send your zines to: Sam Tomaino c/o SFRevu P.O. Box 7615, Newark, DE 19714

Amazing Stories Magazine - Feb 2005 by Kim Mohan (Wizards of the Coast 01 October, 1991 / $3.95) - The February 2005 issue of Amazing Stories has only two stories worth reading, although some of the reviews and articles are good. ?The Woods? by Benjamin Percy is the longest (around 5,000 words) and the best of them. A man, his grown estranged son, and his dog enter a forest to do some hunting. They find something they are not looking for and that is a bad and a good thing. The other story I enjoyed was ?A Vampire and a Vampire Hunter Walk Into A Bar? by Keith R.A. DeCandido. The title explains the plot. De Candidio pokes fun of the vampire genre in an amusing little story.

The other stores are not bad. They are just not that great. ?Aothorwerx? by Greg van Eekhout starts out with an interesting premise, android replicas of dead authors, but ultimately goes nowhere. ?Steagle?s Barbershoppe and Smoke Emporium? by Jay Bonansinga about a returning Iraq war vet is very predictable. ?Mortal Dance? by David Gerrold is one of their stories in which the author is challenged to come up with a 1000 word story based on a painting. Gerrold?s story of a mating dance isn?t very interesting. Amazing Stories will go on hiatus so the publisher can use the break to ?explore unique opportunities to revamp and reposition? it. I hope it comes out a bit better.

(see review)

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - April 2005 by (Spilogale Inc / ) - The April 2005 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is excellent with all the stories being (at least) very good and one being exceptional. Oddly enough, the exceptional story is the last one on the book. "The Harrowing" by M. Rickert starts out with a man who has been drifting for a long time and whose life has taken a bad turn. He meets another who tells him a story about that man's past. It is wrapped up in the idea that between His death and resurrection, Jesus went down to Hell and released all the evil souls there (the Harrowing of the title). These souls still walk the Earth and could be inside the fellow sitting next to you. What makes the story truly great is the ultimate effect that this all has on the narrator.

The other stories in the issue are all very much worth reading. "The Secret Sutras of Sally Strumpet" by Paul Di Filippo concerns a writer who creates a pseudonym for a Bridget Jones type novel. When he needs to produce such a person, somehow she appears. "The Gospel of Nate" by Michael Libling tells about a world in which machines can find our past lives. Nate's girlfriend, Sam, discovers she's Jesus (and Buddha and Abraham and other founders of religions). Then, the story gets really bizarre. "Domovoi" by M.K.Hobson is about the spirit of a building (the Russian word which is the title) and how she objects to being refurbished. "The Secret of the Scarab" by Ron Goulart is another of his Harry Challenge stories. Harry is trying to find out why people who discovered a Pharaoh?s tomb are being killed. In "Black Deer" by Claudia O'Keefe, a woman searches for a black deer that she saw long ago. She finds something that she was not looking for. "A Friendly Little Oasis" by Harvey Jacobs is about a vampire who has moved to a small town. "Finding Sajessarian" by Matthew Hughes is another one of his stories about Henghis Hapthorn, who is challenged by the Sajessarian of the title to find him when he makes himself scarce. This makes for a delightful story and makes us wish for more Hapthorn stories.

All in all, this is another great issue of this magazine.

(see review)

Sci-Fiction by Ellen Datlow (ed) ( 1/26/05-2/16/05 / ) - Sci-Fiction ? Stories Reviewed:
?A Man of Light? by Jeffrey Ford ? 1/26/05
?Matricide? by Lucy Sussex ? 2/2/05
?Hell Notes? by M.K. Hobson ? 2/9/05
?Jane? by Marc Laidlaw ? 2/16/05)

In the past month there have been some fine stories at Ellen Datlow?s Sci-Fiction corner of The best of them is an exceptional little tale by Lucy Sussex called ?Matricide?. It begins with a woman in a very odd airline terminal. Is this some way station between life and death? We learn details of her story as she reviews her life and the meaning of the title becomes clear. It is not something I expected. This short story packs a lot of punch and is a splendid example of what can be accomplished in a little over 6,000 words.

?A Man of Light? by Jeffrey Ford is a very good story about a man named Larchcroft who has discovered how to manipulate light so as to achieve miraculous results. Just the right make-up can use light to make a woman look young again. The story takes place in a past that obviously never was. A reporter is granted an interview with Larchcroft and learns his secret. This makes for a very chilling tale.

?Hell Notes? by M.K. Hobson is a little lighter in tone A man finds a Chinese restaurant that makes wonderful twice-cooked pork. He finds that this is due to a temporary chef he calls Glorious Lin. To his dismay, Lin must go back to her old job after a week. I won?t give that away but how the narrator makes his and her situation better is delightful. I think it was no coincidence that the story was published on Chinese New Year!

I am sorry to say that ?Jane? by Marc Laidlaw was a bit disappointing. The young girl of the title lives with her family in a remote location. When visitors from the city come, her life is disrupted. The story is just too short and while the reader can surmise much of what the situation is it?s not clear at all why anything is happening.

Nonetheless, I still look forward to reading a new story every week from the best source of short science fiction on the web and quite possibly anywhere.

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