Wednesday, January 30, 2008

AntipodeanSF magazine, issue 116 (January-February 2008): Annotated table of contents & review

Hmm... 10 stories, 2 qualify for my best of the year list, 3 more I will recommend without hesitation. Looks like the biggest haul I've yet had of good stories from a single magazine issue.

I also like the USP of this magazine - very tiny stories. No great time wasted even if you don't like something.

Here is the list of stories in the magazine, in order I liked them (best first). My rating is in brackets (ABC: A = worth your time, C = don't bother).

  1. Peter MacGregor's "Ally's Torment" (A); download; fantasy: Gods from the perspective of Aleesha. I could have been more specific with description, but that would spoil the fantastic story ending. Added to my best of the year 2008 picks.
  2. Glenn Davies's "In His Image" (A); download; fantasy: A young man builds & uses a time machine to go meet his dead grandfather, & discovers he doesn't want to return. Beautiful ending, though not original. Added to my best of the year 2008 picks.
  3. Derek Smith's "Mobile Phones Are Addictive" (A); download; sci-fi, humor: A take on Wikipedia & nutty claims about cell phones.
  4. Simon Petrie's "Fomalhaut 451" (A); download; sci-fi: While investigating the cause of an abandoned & dead deep space human habitat, Zia discover the horrific answer. Fomalhaut is name of the star in whose system the habitat is. While the title is obviously a take on Bradbury's famous story, I haven't read the original - so cannot connect the two.
  5. David Such's "Immigration" (A); download; non-genre: To meet their terrorist identification quota targets, corrupt visa officials are looking for scapegoats among innocent citizens.
  6. Alan Dawson's "The Wall" (B); download; non-genre, humor: Mobs are so unthinking - they cry out for manipulative leaders! Reminded me of a very lovely low-budget Hindi movie from 1970s - I think director was I S Johar but I cannot recall the title & neither Google nor IMDB are able to help. It was a parody of Indira Gandhi's government of mid 70s; a walled city called "Jan Gan Man Pradesh" ends up electing a funny ruler who does things like in this story.
  7. Michael Schaper's "A Paper Man" (B); download; fantasy: A woman finally makes some money after the death of her unsuccessful man, using an idea that cames from the way his end came!
  8. Ashley Arnold's "Gernsback's Monkeys" (B); download; humor: Genetically engineered monkey slaves of Mr Gernsback wish freedom.
  9. Shaun A Saunders's "ZAN" (C); download; non-genre: A victim's narration of their torture - with a humorous ending to make it appear an apolitical story.
  10. Ben Payne's "Risk Assessment" (C); download; non-genre: Four independent very tiny stories about life & death situations - where luck determines if someone lives or dies.
Related: All stories from AntipodeanSF magazine.