Welcome to issue 11 of Kindle magazine KZine. Horror writer Conrad Williams provides the guest editorial for this issue's collection of science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror by authors M Bennardo, Jo McKee, Rik Hunik, Maureen Bowden, Katharine Coldiron, Imogen Cassidy, Damien Krsteski, Grady Yandell, Simon Kewin and Eamonn Murphy.
KZine Issue 11: Review of January 2015 Issue
A review of the stories in issue eleven of science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine KZine, available on Kindle.
KZine is a science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine for the Kindle. Published three times a year, it aims to provide original genre fiction for the mobile reader. This issue (Issue 11, January 2015) contains nine stories, the funniest of which was “Leviathan”, the most rounded “Late Night Delivery” and the deepest “So Long as You’re Free”. Honourable mentions go to “Fighting Fair in Lobstertown” and “Late Night Delivery”, but my favourite because of the way it kept me hooked was “The Scramble”.
“Fighting Fair in Lobstertown” by M Bennardo
If you are in a small bar in the middle of nowhere, best not to try the lobster. That is what Joe and Carl discovered in this amusing but unsettling opener. Nasty, but in a sort of they-deserved-it kind of way. And a good last line.
“Late Night Delivery” by Jo McKee and Rik Hunik
Librarians are in vogue these days, and so it seems fitting to tell of a librarian plunged, almost unwillingly, into an adventure when she receives an after-hours delivery of books. Amelia finds herself in a stagecoach battling the forces of evil, forces that want to burn the books. Hmm! A jolly tale, and does anyone know where I can get a copy of the book from the delivery that was left behind in the library?
“Leap of Faith” by Maureen Bowden
People keep disappearing in the shortest story of this issue. But why can Gwen remember them when nobody else can? A clever little snippet.
“On Conti Street with the Kinter Dame” by Katharine Coldiron
A private eye is hired to accompany a woman on a trade in the French quarter of New Orleans with the mysterious Mama Merle. There’s magic, there’s dead musicians, but that doesn’t stop them walking, and there’s menace. And all for a coat. Quite entertaining, but the ending is a bit disappointing; leaving things hanging is fine but the reader deserves some answers at least.
“So Long as You’re Free” by Imogen Cassidy
Sofia Loyola has an accident in space; she lost a leg. But should she replace it with a prosthetic or a cybernetic limb? Though science-fiction, this is more about the dilemma than the technology, and about the type of emotions facing anyone with a severe injury. Sofia is pulled in different directions, but will her decision be the right one? Solid psychological stuff.
“The Scramble” by Damien Krsteski
There is a parasite at work, but one of our own making – nanobots, which scramble brains as people grow older, changing them into someone else. And they stop people working out how they do it. Told as a series of events in the life of a girl as she grows to a woman, the author reveals the truth layer by layer. Intriguing.
“Western Style” by Grady Yandell
A police officer has been murdered and his partner is determined to find out by whom. The evidence points towards a local crime lord, and so he pays a visit. There is a twist in the air; that is obvious. But the author cleverly keeps the reader guessing with real clues and misdirections.
“Leviathan” by Simon Kewin
Oh, I like this. It is 2015, but in an alternative history where computers have continued to get bigger in size as they grow more powerful. When a sceptical government minister is shown round Britain’s computer, he starts to realise some political implications. I challenge anyone not to smile while reading.
“All You Need in Yesterday” by Eamonn Murphy
Survivors in London after a nuclear holocaust fight a daily battle with humans mutated by radiation. Most of the technical and medical knowledge has been lost, but there is hope. Great intellectuals from the past have been stored in suspended animation; they just have to find them and wake them up. A good tale, but the ending was a little predictable.
Also in Issue 11
Horror writer Conrad Williams provides a short guest editorial praising the small, independently published anthologies of the late 1980s and early 1990s, a tradition that KZine follows in this digital age. The very nice cover was by Dave Windett.
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