Murky Depths #9
Edited by Terry Martin
Cover Artist: Leonard M. Giron
Review by Sam Tomaino
Murky Depths ISBN/ITEM#: 1752-5586
Date: 24 September 2009 / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Murky Depths #9 - The Quarterly Anthology of Graphically Dark Speculative Fiction features stories by Juliet E McKenna, Matt Finucane, Andrew Knighton, Robert E Keller, Derek Cagemann, Craig Hallam, Anthony Malone, Kevin Brown, Richard Calder, Luke Cooper, and Chris Huff.
I always enjoy Murky Depths, The Quarterly Anthology of Graphically Dark Speculative Fiction, and issue #9 is yet another great read.
The fiction in the issue begins with the graphic story "Dead Girls - Episode 1" (story by Richard Calder and great artwork by Leonardo M Giron). The set-up is that DOLL sex-toys were created that became "contaminated by a mysterious virus" which was passed on to their human masters and caused a "pandemic of mutant births". Young girls, when they reach adolescence, might become "half-human, half-robotic vampires called the Daughters of Lilith or Lilim". In Episode 1, a young boy named Iggy is in love with a girl, named Primavera, going through the change and pays a heavy price. I liked this a lot and will be looking forward to more about the "dead girls".
In "Is This My Last Testament?" By Juliet E McKenna, a young man named Stewart is invited to spend the weekend with the family of an old school chum who died in the Sudan serving under General Kitchener. Hoping to make a match with one of the beautiful daughters, he accepts but finds out that the family has a dark secret. This was a well-written piece.
Matt Finucane's "Complaint From The Other World" is a nicely done short piece told from the point of view of a man trying to communicate with an old girlfriend that he thought he had rescued from a strange cult.
"Distant Rain" by Andrew Knighton was a science-fictional tale about a group of people trying to earn money by killing a rogue "rewhale", a genetically-engineered sea beast gone wrong. This was an exciting read about how difficult that task proved to be.
The second graphic story was "The Wrath of God - Part 2" by Luke Cooper, the latest in his series of stories about a human cop and a rogue angel. Detective Goulding has just seen his angel, "Halo Slipping" shot through the heart by Wrath, God's assassin. Let's just say that he doesn't react well. Cooper is crafting a fine series here.
In "Cancelled", Robert E. Keller gives us a future in which, for the worst kind of reality television, a man makes his living being killed and revived. There are objections to this process in this wonderfully grim satire.
"Fast Learners" by Derek Cagemann features a loathsome individual named Lon being taken on a tour of a factory for robotic women who he will abuse. But he finds out how they are taught in a nicely tuned ending.
"March of the Broken" by Craig Hallam is another short tale told from a unique point of view. In "Transported Man" by Anthony Malone, a man finds out that whenever he is achieving orgasm, he is transported to the jungles of Peru. After the first time, he begins to turn this to his advantage. This one had some amusing moments and was very cleverly told.
The last prose story is really a "play, in Several Unspeakable Acts". The "Postosuchus Kirkpatricki" in the story by Kevin Brown is a reincarnated "ambush predator" from a prehistoric age, who is now Mr. Gregory Q. Whimple, "a Mild-Mannered Complaints Officer" with a business that sells electronics and household appliances. Things get quite amusing when his previous life starts affecting his current one. This one was a real hoot.
Last, there's the graphic story, "The Escape Artist" by Chris Huff that features a magician's assistant who wants to solve the mystery of his disappearance. She finds out in another good story.
Murky Depths is a great little magazine of graphic horror. If that's what you are looking for, I recommend that you subscribe.