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Talebones: Fiction on the Dark Edge #36 – March 2008
Edited by Patrick Swenson
Cover Artist: Adam Hunter Peck
Review by Sam Tomaino
Talebones  ISBN/ITEM#: 1084-7197
Date: 24 April 2008

Links: Magazine Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The latest issue of Talebones is here with stories by Paul Melko, James Van Pelt, Dean Wesley Smith, Jason D. Witman, Joy Marchand, David Walton and John A. Pitts.

Issue #36 of Talebones has arrived in my mailbox. It's a handsomely produced little magazine and all the stories got a Very Good from me.

Paul Melko starts the issue with "The Cankerman Shower" featuring a rogue named Cankerman who has become part of the crew of a family ship named the Arckifilli. Between planets, they find themselves pursued by another ship called The Granite Star. It seems that Cankerman has made a dishonest deal with the pursuing ship's owner over the matter of hundreds of thousands of marbles. How will they deal with their foe? This one was fun and I hope to see the promised future stories with this character.

James Van Pelt's "Rock House" is the story of a man who visits two old friends, a brother and sister who live in a very unusual house. The house has a unique effect on its books and inhabitants. "The Thickness of a Warp" by Dean Wesley Smith starts in the classroom of a famed professor of physics. He is offering a graduate class to settle a question about how far one could bend time before it would break. Does he find the answer to the problem?

Jason D. Wittman's story in this issue, "In Castle Montresor," is (as one might expect) a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe. In some future, the planet Edgaria has three lords at odds with each other: Usher, Fortunato and Montresor. The story features intrigue and murder in a fascinating milieu. I hope to see more stories set in this universe.

Next comes the third story by Joy Marchand that I read this month. This one is called "The Secret Life of Gluttony" and features Delia, who learns that she can gain knowledge and experience by eating things we don't normally consume, like books. All this began with the eating of a special strawberry. It ends by coming full circle.

"The Rings of Jupiter" by David Walton features a man arriving on a spaceship that is circling Jupiter. His wife is already on the ship along with five men. He is shocked to find out she's pregnant! There is a good explanation that it is his but can he believe that? The issue concludes with John A. Pitts' "Towfish Blues," a story about the hazards of laying cable on a planet subject to sudden windstorms when you are traveling on a zeppelin.

Talebones is a nice little magazine and I recommend it highly.

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