Kaleidotrope – Autumn 2012
Edited by Fred Coppersmith
Cover Artist: PhotoFunia and Remi Treuer
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 28 October 2012
Links: Kaleidotrope / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Kaleidotrope Summer 2012 is here with more if its unique stories and another funny little comic strip.
The issue begins with "I Am a Being Under Enchantment" by Patricia Russo. The title is what an ugly, disgusting beast says to Valeria after she has fled the place she lives to escape from her roommates who are having another one of their arguments. The beast tells her that a big woman had changed him into this thing when he was out jogging. She asked him a question that he could not answer. He can't even remember the question. Classically, the spell will be lifted if Valeria kisses him. Valeria needs answers to her own problems. Can one problem solve the other? I would have liked more of a conclusion to this story, but it was interesting enough.
If you thought that "Someone is Eating America's Chessmasters" by Mary A. Turzillo might be a humorous story you'd be right. David Weiskopf is beaten by the alien saurosapien Zoyxaquitl in what he thinks is a friendly game of chess. It isn't. The alien intends to incorporate (read: eat) him and David just escapes in time, fleeing New York City for Cleveland. He meets an old friend named Larissa Goldov and they figure out that he has been eating chessmasters to gain their expertise and strategies. Can David and Larissa figure out how to beat him before he becomes Master of the Chess World? Don't worry about it being impossible for this to happen, just join in the fun of this story.
Next up is "A Time Before" by Vincent Pendergast. This one is a brief tale about someone who collects busted watches from a place where a disaster has occurred. The hands all point to 3 and 11. That's about all the detail we get. This has a nice mood but little else.
"Rule 88" by Andrew Kaye is a brief tale that opens with "The Rogmars had 144 Rules at their preserve on Rogmautha." Aaron, Gordon, and our narrator know the rules that their hunting party must follow. We are told some of them. When we are told "Rule 88" it provides a sting to the great little story.
In "The Unwinding House" by Jared Millet, Aaron is a graduate student who accompanies his adviser, Doctor Danson, to the site of a blast that has wiped out the town of Camden, Colorado. In a strange house next to the blast zone, there is a time anomaly. It is running backwards. What is really going on is even stranger. This all results in a fascinating little tale.
"No Woman, No Plaything" by Lisa Shapter is set in a far future of colony worlds with very different social arrangements. Resada Gestae is sent to a world to find out how they are doing things and, at first, finds nothing odd. But oddities do pop up and Resada must take action. All in all, a pretty good story with some clever invention.
"Hostile Universe" by K. Eason is the story of a group of future soldiers sent on a search and salvage mission to a planet where a ship has crashed. The odd thing is that, while in orbit, ship's sensors detect something living down there. What (or who) could it be? This was a good enough story but got too caught up in future military jargon.
"Fall from Grace" by David Tallerman is a grim tale. Sarah is sent into an area ravaged by war and famine. She sees horrible things: people dead and dying. But it is what she last sees that is the true horror. Very effective.
The issue ends with "Dead Merchandise" by Ferrett Steinmetz. Sheryl is a woman on a mission. Her husband and sons are dead. Her world is destroyed. All this is because of "ad-faeries", driven by a vast computer system that invades one's memories to get them to buy stuff. She wants to destroy the computer center in her town to stop all of this. This seemed like an ordinary story, until I got to the end. It made this story something special and even more horrifying.
G.W. Thomas gives us yet another "Chuck the Penguin" comic strip. More funny stuff.
Kaleidotrope is still a great little magazine. Check them out at www.kaleidotrope.net. They have continued their hilarious Horoscopes section. Don't skip that.