The thirteenth issue of science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine KZine, produced for Kindle, contains eight stories by Maureen Bowden, Liam North, Michelle Ann King, Jackie Bee, Tyler Bourassa, Steven Mace, Gustaf Berger and Derrick Boden. The cover art is by Dave Windett and the editor is Graeme Hurry.
KZine Issue 13: Review of September 2015 Issue
Not unlucky for the reader, as issue 13 of science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine KZine for Kindle has an enjoyable mix of stories
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 13, September 2015) contains eight stories and it is hard to pick a winner out of the ones that shine. Two stories – “Deluge” and “Similon” – are particularly good and “Smash and Grab” stands out. But “The Vacancy” is this issue’s pick of the bunch.
“Calculated Flight” by Maureen Bowden
Some people just don’t appreciate the help of others, as an alien from Cassiopeia discovers when she lands on Earth to assist a scientist. He keeps her prisoner, but can she escape? This story is told a little too fast. The ending could be dragged out to create a bit more suspense. There is scope to learn a bit more about Cassie too. That said, it is entertaining.
“Similon” by Liam North
Simalacra look like human beings yet are as bright as a sofa, but they can handle simple tasks and they are good for sex. However, life changed for Anna Meadows when she spotted a particularly good model on a sale at a flea market. She soon learns not all sims are what they appear to be when she discovers a dead detective in her home. An intriguing tale, well told with emotion and skill.
“Smash and Grab” by Michelle Ann King
Johnny is a bit of a loner, which is why being custodian of his six-year-old daughter Shannon is not what he wants, and so he decides to pack her off to her aunt. Johnny also has a gift; he can collect emotions and sell them on. The author gives an enjoyable glimpse into Johnny’s mind as he explores his decision to give up Shannon, and there is a nice twist at the end.
“Sylvia” by Jackie Bee
Bo is frustrated with Marcus. He is ignoring the GPS – called Sylvia after his ex – and taking his own way. He’s already lost the cops who gave chase after they robbed the bank. The GPS though is suitably annoyed in this short but funny tale.
“The Crippled Heart” by Tyler Bourassa
Everett was a soldier discharged due to injury, but when the promised pension never materialised he took in with a gang murdering, robbing and raping their way across the country. Everett did his share, but the memories of those he killed haunted him. However, when they took a rich woman hostage, things changed. The story starts off well but becomes a bit soppy and predictable.
“The Vacancy” by Steven Mace
Malcolm Smith is unemployed, but when he made his weekly trip to the Job Centre he was given the chance to interview for a job as a night supervisor. After a rather one-sided interview with the mysterious director at the gothic Mandrake House, he was hired. The work was weird to start with and became weirder, that was until the police knocked on his door. A delightful horror story that has the reader guessing all over the place.
“Victor Manure” by Gustaf Berger
An odd little tale about a neighbourhood poker game. Is one of the players on trouble? Who are the guys in a car parked opposite the house? What did the half-overheard conversation in the toilet mean? Clearly, the reader is meant to ask and not get answers. That’s OK.
“Deluge” by Derrick Boden
Global warming has caused widespread flooding and the USA is still reeling from an economic crash. Andy McBride’s job is to go round the towns fixing the pumps, and taking abuse from the locals. But in Darbyville he meets an old friend and some of the townsfolk decide to take pump control into their own hands. Very well written, and realistic characters make this a fitting story to end this collection.
Also in Issue 13
An interesting change, there is a note at the beginning saying there has been an editorial decision to retain the spelling and vocabulary from the author’s country, even though this will reduce consistency. A good decision, for it is distracting to deal with American spellings and grammar when reading a story set in England, for example.
As usual, the issue finishes off with brief biographies of the authors. And the rather nice cover was by Dave Windett.