Weird Tales – Jan/Feb 2008 - Issue 348 – Vol. 63, No. 1
Edited by Stephen H. Segal
Cover Artist: Saara Salmi
Review by Sam Tomaino
Wildside Press ISBN/ITEM#: 0898-5073
Date: 24 April 2008 / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The new Weird Tales is here with its Jan/Feb 2008 issue and stories by W.H. Pugmire and M.K. Snyder, Karen Heuler, Cat Rambo, Calvin Mills and scary little first sale from Matthew Pridham.
It's been a little while since I've reviewed the "new" Weird Tales so I thought I'd give the Jan/Feb 2008 issue a look. These are not traditional horror stories but they all got a Very Good from me.
The issue begins with "The House of Idiot Children" by W.H. Pugmire and M.K. Snyder. Rav Samuel Shammua is a "facilitator" in a Hebrew school for autistic children. Things are going well until one of his students draws a mysterious symbol and he becomes obsessed with finding out the meaning of it. Karen Heuler's "Landscape, With Fish" is next. The fish in Tom's pool seem to be leaping out of the water and annoying his neighbor, Willis. This, however, is only the start of very fast evolutionary changes.
The talented Cat Rambo begins "Events at Fort Plentitude" in some obscure past called only the eleventh year of "Duke Theo's Reign". The story is told from the point of view of a soldier who has volunteered for duty at a remote outpost. A harsh winter sets in and there is famine and a deadly fox woman that lures men to their death. Rambo crafts a fine, atmospheric tale. In Calvin Mills' "The Stone & Bone Boy", Maria and Tomas Ramos' baby boy. Augustune starts exhibiting a strange condition when he is only 14 days old. He starts expelling bits of stone and bone from his mouth. This continues at a regular pace and Maria becomes obsessed with it, contacting doctors and the newspapers. Once more we get a strange, eerie tale.
Matthew Pridham publishes his first professional sale in "Renovations". This is a long tale and takes up most of the issue. It's told from the viewpoint of a haunted house, which seems more like a possessed house. The house has been lonely and vacant for a long time. When ghost hunters show up, events are set into action leading to horrifying conclusion. Weird Tales was right to take a chance on devoting so many pages to a first-time author. I will be looking forward to a promised prequel.
I still miss the traditional tales but this issue of Weird Tales is still worth reading.