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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Derek Smith's "Mobile Phones Are Addictive" (A); download; sci-fi, humor: A take on Wikipedia & nutty claims about cell phones.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Ashley Arnold's "Gernsback's Monkeys" (B); download; humor: Genetically engineered monkey slaves of Mr Gernsback wish freedom.
- 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.
- 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.