The February 2021 issue of the Kindle and print-on-demand science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine KZine contains seven original stories by Edward Ahern, Wes Blalock, Randall Floyd Cooper, Lindsey Duncan, Cate Gardner, Alex Lester, Henry Presente and Filip Wiltgren. The cover art was by Dave Windett and the magazine was edited by Graeme Hurry.
KZine Issue 29: Review of February 2021 Issue
Steve Rogerson reviews the twenty-ninth issue of the Kindle science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine KZine
There are seven short stories in the February 2021 (Issue 29) issue of KZine, a science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror magazine for the Kindle. In this month’s magazine, I like the chuckles that Filip Wiltgren gave me with his tale of a family gone wrong. Wes Blalock was slow to get started but his offering became a really enjoyable crime story. There are not many first dates like the one Randall Floyd Cooper described; it would put people off dating forever if there were. Edward Ahern was nicely kinky. But my favourite was this issue’s opener by Cate Gardner.
“Ghosts of Cathedral Towers” by Cate Gardner
Was Edie being haunted by her dead father? Or was she suffering a mental breakdown, failing to escape the disapproval of a man incapable of accepting her partner Nadia? No gentle start for this issue, rather a story that is both haunting and disturbing?
“Daughter of Deep Silence” by Wes Blalock
I was worried as I read the opening page that this was going to be overloaded with unnecessary descriptions. Said worries quickly faded as I got into an action story of Birdie trying to find out who beat up her friend. There is a twist, which I guessed a mile off, but the whole holds together despite that, and becomes a traditional page turner.
“Written in Stone” by Lindsey Duncan
Ruse Ihl is in prison, and she has an unexpected visitor. Arsvalen had come for her, needed her telepathic skills to bolster a losing war. But was she up to it? At first, things seemed to be going well, but then they weren’t. Betrayal, intrigue, romance, doubt, all not untypical for a court story, but well woven.
“The Follower” by Randalll Floyd Cooper
Someone is following Richter home from school, and he was a little freaked out by it, but only a little as his mind was on his date later that evening with Maria. At seventeen, Maria was a year older than him, and had a car, and a hobby – she studies serial killers and Richter’s tale of the man following him reminded her of one. OK, we all know where this is going, but the author took me there nicely so I can be forgiving.
“Launch” by Henry Presente
You check your Nest camera on your smartphone and see your partner making out with another woman. You bring up the same feed on your laptop, and it’s different. She’s being beaten up. A short tale of heartbreak and fear, which seemed to stop too soon.
“The Shapes We’re In” by Edward Ahern
George and Janice like morphing into other people when they have sex, but Janice thinks maybe they should go natural for a change. George isn’t sure but, before any decision can be made, they are mugged. A brief look at how circumstances can change the way you see things.
“Mirror” by Filip Wiltgren
Jarod is at his mother’s funeral, and he is not happy at being left a mirror in her will, a large, really ugly mirror. And then, when alone in his studio flat, mother – that is his dead mother – appears in the mirror with a task for him, and not an easy one. A ghost story, dreams that are real, and a dysfunctional family. It ticks the boxes and is told with a subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, humour.
“What Remains” by Alex Lester
The answer – if the title is a question – is a very short story to finish the magazine, in fact so short it is hard to say what it is about without giving too much away. OK, they land on an island and find a shoe. You can read the rest yourself; it won’t take long but it’s worth it.
Also in Issue 29
The issue ends with the normal chapter 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 who do not like reading from a tablet.