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Weird Tales #339
Zine  ISBN/ITEM#: WT0605
Date: May 2006 /

From release/information:

Weird Tales – March-April 2006 - Vol. 61 No. 3 - Issue #339 - ISSN 0898-5073
Table of Contents: Fiction: So Coldly Sweet, So Deadly Fair by Gregory Frost * Birth by Michael Siefner * The Waiters by Tony Richards * Venice-Rome-Direttissma by Charles L Harness * The Dead Of Winter by Stephen Dedman * Fimbuldinner: The Last Supper by Kelly McCullough * The Flight Of The Angel by Cherith Baldry * The Uninvited by Kelli Wilkins * The Lost Room by Fitz-James O'Brien * The Grave Of My Beloved by Ian Watson & Roberto Quaglia Verse: Reptiles by Wendy Rathbone * Angel Tears by Jill Baumann * Illustrated Limerick by George Barr * Justinian's Demon by Darrell Schweitzer * Coffin by Catherine A. Callaghan * Still Awake by Kane S. Latrantz * The Widow by Chris Ferrier

I am really enjoying reading Weird Tales again and am kicking myself for not doing this sooner. The March-April 2006 issue had two stories which I thought Exceptional and the rest all got a Very Good rating.

The first of the exceptional stories is "The Waiters" by Tony Richards. A man winds up with the job of visiting an elderly aunt in a nursing home. He's been told that her mind is not quite right but his first visit makes him uneasy. She is in fear of people she calls "wait-ers" who apparently have nothing to do with a restaurant. He finds that she is more lucid than was apparent at first. I won't give away the rest of the story but this one really chilled my bones. The other story that I was especially impressed with was by the late Charles Harness. "Venice-Rome-Direttissima" shows that age had not dulled his talents. An American engineer must assist a railroad in Italy that must dig through a mountain to make rail travel safer. There are legends that a demon will be released if the mountain is excavated. Harness gives us one of his typical wonderful endings to this story. He will be missed.

Of course, the other stories in this issue were all very enjoyable. "So Coldly Sweet, So Deadly Fair" by Gregory Frost is a atmospheric tale about Dr. Abraham Van Helsing's first encounter with vampires. Frost deftly recreates the epistolary style of Dracula and tells us why Van Helsing is so committed to wiping out the undead. "Birth" by Michael Siefner is another cautionary tale about a man named Clemens who is all alone at Christmastime and ventures out into the countryside. Big mistake. "The Dead of Winter" by Stephen Dedman is a nice little story about a couple that winds up investigating urban legends like The Vanishing Hitchhiker and The Phantom Biker. How the story comes together is an utter delight.

"Fimbuldinner: The Last Supper" by Kelly McCullough is a hilarious tale. A King reluctantly lets a magician he's had trouble with before host a huge dinner in his palace. What happens is distinctly unexpected but a real hoot. "The Flight of the Angel" by Cherith Baldry is a beautifully written tale, set in old Venice in which a man must foil an assassination attempt on the life of the Doge. "The Uninvited" by Kelli Wilkins is a chilling little story about bad children. "The Lost Room" is an old tale by Fitz-James O'Brien but is certainly worth reprinting. "The Graves of My Beloved" by Ian Watson and Robert Quaglia is a modern tale (written in an old-fashioned style) about a man who can only afford a "virtual grave" for his beloved.

Weird Tales is definitely worth a subscription!

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