The January 2018 issue of the Kindle science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine KZine contains eight original stories by Mike Adamson, William Delman, Nathan Driscoll, Max Christian Hansen, Russell Hemmell, Edward Turner III, Matencera Wolf and Subodhana Wijeyeratne. The cover art was by Dave Windett and the magazine was edited by Graeme Hurry.
KZine Issue 20: Review of January 2018 Issue
The twentieth issue of Kindle genre magazine KZine contains scary horror, flying cars, a murder mystery and a tale of unusual gladiators
There is an intriguing mix in the January 2018 (Issue 20) issue of KZine, a science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine for the Kindle. From the opening detective story by Christian Hansen to the horror of “A Talk with Tom” by Nathan Driscoll, this issue does not let up. My favourite, though, is the odd gladiator story by Matencera Wolf.
“Backstory” by Max Christian Hansen
This small-town detective story sees local police officer Kate summoned by her friend Frank for an early-morning meeting with the promise of information about an on-going murder case. Frank tells his story in a long drawn-out way, much to Kate’s annoyance, but maybe there was a reason. The dialogue between the two slowly unravels the story to the reader and lays the ground for the climax.
“Critical Need” by Mike Adamson
When the robot that normally directs the flying cars around the tower in Chicago breaks down in bad weather, Don was happy to take its place, despite the danger. It reminded him of his days at sea. But all was not as it seemed. A very short story but no less enthralling because of that.
“Out of a Sea of Fire” by Russell Hemmell
Geri walks to the beach in the fog to meet the fisherman who is teaching her martial arts in the post-apocalyptic world. She lives on an island uncontaminated by the disaster that struck the mainland, but Geri is restless and curious. Beautifully told, this is part coming-of-age drama, part love story.
“The Commonwealth Turn” by William Delman
A future version of a sports doping story, this is about concerned parents giving their teenage daughter an edge. But are the newly-developed nanobots really cheating? One parent thinks so, one doesn’t. Brief, but full of dilemma and conflict. I would have liked it to have been longer just to play out some of the consequences.
“Slaves to Entertainment” by Matencera Wolf
The journey of caged gladiators to the arena is interrupted by a roadside fight. The winner, the horned Bastion, is quickly captured and added to the collection. Ah, this had me gripped from start to finish. The battle scenes were exciting, the relationship between the trio of fighters rewarding, and the ending unexpected.
“Alpha and Omega” by Subodhana Wijeyertne
OK, I admit it, I haven’t a clue what is going on here. It feels post-apocalyptic, and there are vague references to the world before. We have Alpha, who lives in a hut with her unwanted guest Omega. There are nearby huts, and there is a murderer. And a dog. Or is it a dog? Despite the confusion, the story is fascinating and a damn good read.
“A Talk with Tom” by Nathan Driscoll
A horror story. Jordan pushes his way through the woods carrying a bucket of offal, what the Americans call chum, the offering he has to give to the creature Tom. But why? What compels this daily, dreadful chore? The truth is revealed, but it is not pleasant. Scary.
“Invincible?” by Edward Turner III
A little snippet to finish the issue sees the Invincible Man waking up once more in hospital after another failed suicide attempt. But something is different this time.
Also in Issue 20
Subodhana Wijeyertne’s story finishes with a plug for the author’s book Tales from the Stone Lotus, a collection of ten SF&F shorts.
As usual, the issue contains a section giving brief biographies of the authors. The magazine was edited by Graeme Hurry and the cover art was by Dave Windett. And it is now available from Amazon as a print-on-demand magazine for those that do not like reading from a tablet.