The May 2019 issue of the Kindle and print-on-demand science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine KZine contains eight original stories by Edward Ahern, Richie Billing, Maureen Bowden, Matt Hornsby, Tapanga Koe, Alexis Lantgen, Eamonn Murphy and Robert Walton. The cover art was by Dave Windett and the magazine was edited by Graeme Hurry.
KZine Issue 24: Review of May 2019 Issue
Steve Rogerson reviews the twenty-fourth issue of the Kindle science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine KZine
There are eight short stories in the May 2019 (Issue 24) issue of KZine, a science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine for the Kindle. The issue opens up with some mild humour courtesy of Maureen Bowden, and Eamonn Murphy also provides some comic moments in an otherwise scary tale. I loved Robert Wanton’s adventure story, and with some excellent writing by Edward Ahern and Matt Hornsby, it is hard to pick a winner this issue.
“Ashtown Blues” by Maureen Bowden
Oliver and his android assistant Phoebe have been dispatched to Ashtown in Merseyside to find why everyone has turned blue. This is a fantasy comedy, as you might have gathered, with most of the humour in the dialogue between Oliver and Phoebe. It did not have me splitting my sides but produced a few mild chuckles in an enjoyable read.
“Sunset Cruise” by Edward Ahern
Larry is getting a little old for his job as an assassin, and a few too many vodka martinis were adding to his problems. But when a young woman was assigned as his senior partner, all was not as it seemed. Twist and double twist at the end of this intriguing short in which in a few words we learn a lot.
“The Convivial Society” by Matt Hornsby
Dan and Elaine were waiting for the Ambassador in Lisbon in 1943. Europe was gripped by war, not just between humans but between Diluvians and Leviathans; Dan and Elaine were one of each. Five years later in Dublin, the human war is over and the Ambassador is trying to broker an inhuman peace. Could Dan and Elaine rekindle their affection or were other forces at work? This political, historical fantasy seeps tension lurking under the surface. A fascinating story.
“The Tower and the Sea” by Alexis Lantgen
Raza is set adrift in a boat alone to face the cruel, winter sea as punishment, because, as a sacred virgin, she should not be pregnant. A mix of love and pain, tenderly told.
“The Bed” by Eamonn Murphy
John took a fancy straight away to the ornately carved bed that he and his partner Geoff discovered during one of their house-clearing jobs. John’s wife Sandra hated it when he got it home, but John didn’t care. That was until both of them started getting weird dreams, the same dreams. And who was the skeleton in the flat cap? Slightly comic, slightly scary, and an odd way to save a failing marriage.
“Heart-Eater” by Robert Wanton
Heart-Eater is a bounty hunter who likes to invoke fear into those he hunts. The Zinker has kidnapped two children – Jenna and Beau – to lure Heart-Eater into a trap. Heart-Eater has the option of wiping out the gang, and probably the children too, or try a much riskier rescue mission. This is a good old-fashioned adventure story with lots of modern weapons and tactics. A fun read.
“Noodlin’” by Richie Billing
The fishing trade had been bad for Edaw, been bad for the town. Many of the fishermen were now with the ferries, but not Edaw. He believed there was another big catch in him, and noodlin’ might be the answer. Friendship, companionship and bravado help Edaw and his drinking buddies have an adventure. While good, the story struggles early on during the scene in the tavern in which there was too much dialogue for dialogue’s sake. While I appreciate the author was trying to set the scene, it goes on too long. If that had been trimmed down, it would have been a tighter story and better for it.
“Lily’s Gift” by Tapanga Koe
A sad story about a broken home and a little girl’s struggle to live there with arguing and sometimes violent parents. But she had a gift, one that would seem to be a blessing, but maybe not. A tough tale to finish; no happy endings today. Well written with a punch.
Also in Issue 24
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 available from Amazon as a print-on-demand magazine for those that do not like reading from a tablet.