Paradox – The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction – Issue 11 – Autumn 2007
by Christopher M. Cevasco
Edited by Christopher M. Cevasco
Cover Artist: Louis Welden Hawkins
Review by Sam Tomaino
Paradox ISBN/ITEM#: 1548-0593
Date: 26 October 2007
Links: Magazine Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Paradox has carved quite a niche for itself as a "magazine of historical and speculative fiction". Number 11 is another perfect issue with all the stories getting a Very Good from me.
The issue starts with "Love, Blood and Octli" by T.L. Morganfield. In what appears to be an early Aztec village, a young girl encounters a god named Ehecatl, who gives her the name Ayomichi. He teaches her how to give names to people in her village and she becomes a wise woman for her people. Soon other gods show up and even her benefactor changes, eventually becoming a name more familiar to us.
Darrel Schweitzer contributes two fine poems and a one page story concerning the empress of the Romans and her encounter with an old lover. While this is the only story without an overt fantastical element, it's quite enchanting (and amusing) indeed. Michael Livingston sets "The Angel of Marye's Heights" during the Battle of Fredricksburg. The angel Gabriel seems to be inhabiting a Union soldier of the same name, but there is more to the title than that.
"I Read the News Today, Oh Boy" by Richard Mueller is a pretty pure science fiction tale. As a near future heads towards Armageddon, David and Jeannie find that a friend of David's seems to be moving back in time. Can they use this to their advantage? In "Fort Bliss", J. Kenneth Sergeant tells us why the Vietnam War was really fought. The enemy was someone else entirely. Matthew Kirby's "Letters on Natural Magic" is told from the point of view of an intelligent chess machine who meets Benjamin Franklin in Paris and another man, forgotten by History. Last, there is "The Wizard of Macatawa" by Tom Doyle. The "wizard" is L. Frank Baum who is writing his first Oz book. But a device he has used to observe Oz gets him (and some kids from 1979) into trouble.
If your interests are of a historical bent, than Paradox is for you. Even if you are not into history, you can learn something.