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Murky Depths #7
Edited by Terry Martin
Cover Artist: Chris Moore
Review by Sam Tomaino
Murky Depths  ISBN/ITEM#: 1752-5586
Date: 24 February 2009

Links: Murky Depths Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Murky Depths #7 – The Quarterly Anthology of Graphically Dark Speculative Fiction features stories by Jason Palmer, CS McGrath, Bill Ward, Willie Meikle, Ian Rogers, Kevin Brown, Paul Milliken, William Douglas Goodman, James Johnson, and Luke Cooper.

The new issue of Murky Depths, sub-titled The Quarterly Anthology of Graphically Dark Speculative Fiction is #7 and, continues to mix stories and art.

The fiction in this issue begins with "Scratch" by Jason Palmer, a story that will literally make your skin crawl. In a near-future where everyone is infected with a disease that causes you to scratch a "cigar burn" scar until you scratch your skin away, Turner tries to live his life. This one was really creepy.

Next up is a graphic story with no words called "A Brief History of Dogfighting" by James Johnson. It follows that kind of aerial combat from its WWI beginnings into the distant future in a very nicely done piece.

In "The Longest Road in the Universe", CS McGrath gives us an epistolary tale about a man named Jens who is searching for the alien Bodhu who dominated mankind and then abandoned them. He is still devoted to them and the letters between him and his family are very poignant.

In Bill Ward's story, Skip has "A Healthy Outlook" and is very upbeat. The nice little sting comes at the end when we find out about his situation.

Willie Meikle contributes "Viewer's Choice", a unsettling but effective story of a man who sees something different in his television set and how that affects his life. That is followed by "Bite the Bullet" by James Johnson, the second graphic story. Here a man finds a new meaning for the phrase in the title. This one was OK.

"Psong" by Ian Rogers follows a psychic contract killer. He uses his power for his job and for other more important things. All in all, Rogers contributes a good story here.

Kevin Brown's "Survivalist" is a chilling little short-short about an eternal warrior and how he keeps it that way.

"Bait" by Paul Milliken takes place in a seaside town, experiencing strange fish killings. The owner of a bar has hired a strange young boy to help out. One customer takes a dislike to the boy and thereby hangs a scary little story which interprets the title in a surprising way.

Luke Cooper is next with another graphic story, "Flashback", which he writes and draws. Detective Daniel Goulding is a corrupt cop, taking bribes from drug dealers. Wounded badly, he receives a very different kind of heart transplant and goes about his job in a different way. This was another good piece from Cooper.

The issue concludes with "Haruspex" by William Douglas Goodman. Daniel's brother Gregor died in a horrible accident but he begins having strange visions after the funeral. His dog dies and he finds he can read something from the body. Things take a surprising and grim story in the conclusion to this well-written tale.

Murky Depths is a good little horror magazine and once again, I recommend that you subscribe.

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