Kaleidotrope - Issue 11 - April 2011
Edited by Fred Coppersmith
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 24 May 2011
Links: Kaleidotrope / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Kaleidotrope #11 is here with another fine group of stories.
The issue begins with "Cities of Nostalgia" by Daniel Auesma. People ride the Yann Railroad that "winds its way among the multifolate cities of the world." Three people choose appropriate cities to visit and leave more or less satisfied. There are some who linger and that's not a good thing. This was a lyrically-written little tale.
Rob Lucas is a man traveling "Under Radio Skies" in the brief but effective little mood piece by Adam Hofbauer. We never find out what he's looking for, but get an interesting little look at his psyche.
In "The Weatherman" by Corey Brown, Leonard Mitford is a devotee of Nikola Tesla, who wants to use Tesla's theory of scalar electromagnetism to control the weather in the Key West of the 1930s. He tells everyone that he's building a radio station. The problem is, that he's not very competent at building any kind of machine and that all makes for quite an entertaining story.
Matt Larsen gives us the very amusing "Inversion of the Body Snatchers". In is brief two-pager, we get a look at what might have followed in a world in which those infamous seed pods landed.
The "Rag-and-Bone Man" in Steven Lugo's story thinks he has an idea to stop an alien invasion. He thinks it's better than that of a scientist named Cornell who has a new kind of bomb. Is the rag-and-bone man's way better? That's up for debate. This was a unique look at alien invasion.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia gives us a wonderful fairy story in "Shade of Ceiba Tree". At regular intervals, young girls from Sak Imox's village are sent into the jungle to wait under the ceiba tree. There they are taken by a man who makes love to them and then kills them. When Hun Kay, Sak Imox's sister is taken, she decides to do something about it. She uses a combination of her sister's power and hers in a fitting conclusion to the tale.
Next up is "I Shall Tend the Lilies Now" by Allan Izen. Timothy Clampett thinks he has finally made it when he is offered a post-doctoral fellowship at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo. When he arrives there, he finds that his degrees in Agronomy and Egyptology will both come in handy. What seems to be unique lily seeds have been discovered in a tomb and Clampett has been given the job of cultivating them. That and his other duties seem to him like the job of a lifetime. Clampett discovers just what that means in this well-written story.
"North of Judgment, South of Reason" by Danny Adams is the story of a very unusual warrior. Xavier fights wars involving alternate realities. Universes are created and universes are unmade as if they never existed. Beings called the Collapsers are in control of everything. Xavier eventually tires of this and is given a choice of a new life. Does he choose wisely. You decide in this truly unusual tale.
In "Dead Green Glow" by Cate Gardner, Stephanie Sunday is taken to a very unusual hospital. It's the same one her father died in. Does she have what he had? I won't give away more, but I'll say that this was a clever little two-pager.
When Jarny's mother dies, he wants to take her shell to "The Top Floor" in the story by Richard Cody so she can be reunited with her "angel self". The way is fraught with peril but Jarny perseveres in another well-told entry in this issue.
Bill Ward's "'Lectric Joe" features a story told by an old man named Terrence Murdy to young Skip Reed of the San Francisco Chronicle. It takes place around 1883 in a little copper mining town named Leland "in the Dragoon Range about halfway between Wilcox and Tombstone." Murdy was sheriff of the town when Joe Caxton comes in. He is the fastest shot Murdy ever saw. He never sleeps and he wears out all the women in the local whorehouse every night. You might guess a bit what the ending is but that still makes it a fine tale of a very different old West.
The issue concludes with "Ride the Shine" by Eric Del Carlo. Fel My is a young man attending a jubilee with his family. He lives on a planet in a future in which Earth was destroyed. Their culture is something out of our 19th century. Fel sees what he calls a "shine", some kind of animal he can ride and wants it for his own. When an evil clan starts a war, he gets his wish in this exciting story.
A hallmark of Kaleidotrope is how varied its stories are. This one has a lot of stories you'll enjoy for different reasons. It also has the hilarious "Horoscopes" section, which are great fun to read. I'll say it again, subscribe!