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Murky Depths #18
Edited by Terry Martin
Cover Artist: Martin Baines
Review by Sam Tomaino
Murky Depths Magazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 1752-5586
Date: 27 October 2011

Links: Murky Depths / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Murky Depths #18 – The Quarterly Anthology of Graphically Dark Speculative Fiction features prose stories by Sarah Peploe (art by Rick Fairlamb), Anita Siraki (art by Caroline Parkinson), Jeremy Ryan (art by Donna M. Evans), Cark Nida (art by Connor Doyle), Kaolin Imago Fire (art by Ankolie), JC Geiger (art by Huy Trong), Ian Moore (art by Alex Thompson), David Loel (art by Ed Norden), and Chris Lewis Carter (art by Jason Smith). It also features graphic stories by Richard Calder and Leonardo M. Giron (continuing Dead Girls!), Paul Matthews and Dylan Williams, Ricky-Marcel Pitcher and Claudio Griglio and Lavie Tidhar and Neil Struthers.

NOTE: According to Terry Martin's blog this will be the last issue of Murky Depths.

Murky Depths #18, The Quarterly Anthology of Graphically Dark Speculative Fiction, is another great issue.

As I have noted before, the magazine has two formats for its stories. One is mostly text with some illustrations and the other is a graphic story. The text fiction in the issue begins with "Bushmeat" by Sarah Peploe (art by Rick Fairlamb). It features a long-established restaurant that caters to the tastes of a decadent rich. They specialty of the house is endangered species, but the clientele is even more decadent than that. This one ends just right.

"The Dollmaker" by Anita Siraki (art by Caroline Parkinson) is the tale of dollface, working as a prostitute but really a patched together animated corpse. She finds her final rest in this nice little horror tale.

We get a story of a punk gang leader in "Bubo" by Jeremy Ryan (art by Donna M. Evans). Pando has taken over the StreetWolves gang by killing the previous leader, Arcane. He's a pretty good leader but things go wrong in another well-told tale.

"Bat Star" by Clark Nida (art by Connor Doyle) is a story about the end of the world. An asteroid is headed for Earth and our narrator tries to find a good way to go out. He finds a way in this great little story.

In "Hermit Soul" by Kaolin Imago Fire (art by Ankolie), our narrator must find a way for his lover to live when dying of cancer. Nicely done in one page.

"Honest Harry's Budget Boneyard" by JC Geiger (art by Huy Trong) starts out in what seems like a spoof of a used car salesman, but one who sells flesh-eating zombies. Then things take a great little turn which make the story even better.

"Maeve's Moondance" in the story by Ian Moore (art by Alex Thompson) is a blue-skinned person who is Maeve is fascinated by. He has one disability, he has no sense of smell. He becomes a successful businessman and Maeve's boss and we get another nicely done story.

"Technical Problems" by David Loel (art by Ed Norden) seems to have echoes of an epic American novel about a white whale but becomes something else in a very clever way.

The last prose story is "Kill Screen" by Chris Lewis Carter (art by Jason Smith). Our narrator buys an amateur computer game, checks it for viruses, and starts playing. It soon reveals itself as a vile thing and ends about the way you’d think. Good story, though.

As with last issue there are two graphic stories which are parts of continuing stories. I like to review these when they are complete. "Dead Girls, Episode 6" by Richard Calder and Leonardo M. Giron continues to be an interesting new story arc in the Dead Girls series. The next installment of "I Dream of Ants: Episode 3... Dr. Antstein's Brain" by Lavie Tidhar and Neil Struthers is another wild story. "I Don't Remember" by Paul Matthews and Dylan Williams is the story of a soldier in what seems like a 19th century war but it's interdimensional. The last graphic story is "Securing a Greener Future" by Ricky-Marcel Pitcher and Claudio Griglio, a brilliantly done satire that shows that even green can have its drawback.

I don’t think you'll find Murky Depths in bookstores or comic shops in the U.S.! Subscribe!

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