Weird Tales – March/April 2008 - Issue 349 – Vol. 63, No. 2
Edited by Ann VanderMeer
Cover Artist: Newel Anderson
Review by Sam Tomaino
Wildside Press ISBN/ITEM#: 0898-5073
Date: 27 June 2008
Links: Magazine Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The March/April 2008 issue of Weird Tales has some fine stories by seasoned pros and talented newcomers.
The fiction begin with a beautiful, lyric tale from Tanith Lee, "The Heart of Ice". Nirsen is thrown out of his town, falsely accused of rape. He awakens to find himself out on the cold and snow but finds his way to the palace of the Ice Maiden. He spends the winter there and emerges deeply changed. Next we have the first published story by Ramsey Shehadeh, "Creature". An amorphous beast with psychic powers approaches a town. He encounters a poor, little girl who is looking for her mother. There are those that would harm the girl and he becomes her protector. Shehadeh has written a touching, very compassionate story and I will be looking forward to more from him.
Sarah Monette's "The Yellow Dressing Gown" is one of a series featuring Kyle Muchsion Booth, a curator at the Samuel Mather Parrington Museum. Booth is the narrator and starts out telling of his dislike of a fellow curator, Michael Overton, part of the Decorative Arts department and an expert on eighteenth century textiles. Overton acquires the dressing gown of a mad artist and such begins a eerie tale very much in the Weird Tales tradition. We are told that Monette has published a collection (called The Bone Key) featuring Booth's exploits and, based on this story, I might have to look that up.
"The Talion Moth" by John Kirk tells of a mysterious man named Harry Talion, While he was born in New York City, Talion is a sorcerer of an ancient religion of Tibet, from before Buddhism. He is summoned to Sikkim, on the border of India and Tibet to free the soul of a farmer who has died. What follows is an imaginative, exciting battle with demons and is quite a good read. Rachel Swirsky's "Detours on the Way to Nothing" is a haunting little piece about a man who argues with his girlfriend and storms out one night. He encounters a strange bird-woman who fulfills his fantasies. But she has reasons for taking other forms that have nothing to do with him. This one was brief but very effective.
The fiction in this issue concludes with a rare treat, an Elric of Melnibone story from Michael Moorcock called "Black Petals". Elric, accompanied by his friend, Moonglum is seeking the ruined city of Soom. He is seeking a special flower that can restore his strength to him, in lieu of taking souls with his sword. He joins a group of people seeking to rescue the King of Uyt who is missing after an expedition to Soom. As he always does, Moorcock creates interesting characters, fierce beasties and a rousing great story worthy of his iconic character.
The new Weird Tales is really hitting its stride. The Elric story alone makes this worth picking up but the rest of the stories are worth it, too.