The ten stories that can be found in issue nine (May 2014) of the Kindle magazine KZine range from a witch plotting revenge on a two-timing lover to a mother seeking revenge for a murdered son. To this mix are added changelings and love-struck gargoyles, plus a carer who seems to care a little bit more than normal.
KZine Issue Nine: Review of May 2014 Issue
The May 2014 issue of KZine, a collection of stories for Kindle readers, contains a mix of science-fiction, fantasy and crime.
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 Nine, May 2014) contains ten stories, a couple of which are a little on the weak side but the rest are all worthy tales. Special mention has to go to Witchcraft 2.0, which stands head and shoulders above the rest.
“Time to Play” by Vaughan Stanger
Patrick Doyle finds his carer Reef annoying, but as a recent quadriplegic following a road accident there are a lot more annoying things than Reef. Then a pretty girl kisses him and a would-be guitarist plays his favourite tune; Doyle starts to realise there is more to Reef than meets the eye. This is a very spooky story and more than a little unsettling. Was I outraged at Reef’s manipulation of Doyle or happy that Doyle had found an outlet for his talents. Maybe a bit of both.
“Dear Sweet Rosie” by Danielle N Gales
Doctor Meadows is teaching Rosie about words. But what is Rosie? Well, we never really find out though we learn a lot about her, apart from her being a changeling that the government is training to do its bidding. Told from Rosie’s point of view, this is entertaining and thought provoking.
“Connections” by J Thomas
Jasper Kennedy can see the light, the light that connects people, say a mother and her child. But not all connections are good, such as the one from the pervert playing with himself while watching the mother breast feed. Like “Time to Play”, this treads the line between pleasant and uncomfortable but definitely lands on the side of the latter. Good stuff.
“Shattered” by Rhonda Parrish
What do cathedral gargoyles do at night? Well, shag, apparently, but they mustn’t be seen moving by humans otherwise they would shatter and cease to exist. But when a vandal knocks one off its pedestal, to what length would his lover go to get him back? Both violent and tender, this has to be the first gargoyle love story I have ever read.
“Escape” by Michael Haynes
Carl was wishing away his last year at school, and then someone granted him that wish, but his joy soon turned bitter when he realised what he’d missed. A short but acceptable illustration of the saying beware what you wish for.
“Heads” by Jez Patterson
There is nothing new about stealing ideas, but Ken and Miguel have found a different way to do it. Ken goes into the target’s head, remembers the ideas and brings them out. Sounds simple, but Hobbs’ mind is different. Sadly, the story is a little one dimensional with a predictable ending. OK, not the actual ending but the type of ending.
“Seventeen Year Switch” by Paul Hamilton
This is fun. Parallel universes straddled by a clinic where you can go to have sex with your partner as he or she was 17 years ago while your partner of today does the same with a younger version of you. The universes are not exactly the same as they have their own timeline, so what happens when you realise you prefer the younger version of your partner? As I said, this is fun.
“Teller” by Maureen Bower
This very short story provides a brief interlude in a post-apocalyptic world where the teller has the job of teaching the children about where humanity went wrong. Not sure if this really adds anything to the wealth of we-are-destroying-the-planet type stories.
“Witchcraft 2.0” by Dusty Wallace
Julie and Tabitha plan revenge on Pete who was two-timing with them, revenge using a witch’s spell web site they build to attract him. As he mixed the potions on screen, Julie – a real witch – was secretly casting a real version of the spell. This is a gorgeous story that jumps between the two women and Pete in the past and present while keeping the plot ticking along. And such a good twist at the end. The whole zine is worth it for this one story.
“The Obligation” by R Marquez
A woman arrives at a small California town looking for her son. Jessica, who ran the diner the mother walked into, knew what happened to him but she had her reasons for not telling. A delicious little mystery to finish the zine off, and one in which you can’t help but keep reading to find the answers.
Also in Issue 9
Stephen Gallagher takes on the job of writing the editorial from actual editor Graeme Hurry, and he tackles a couple of common sources of frustration for writers. First, the inevitable rejection letters that just about all writers have faced, and he gives some advice on how to deal with them. Secondly, he looks at plagiarism, and the anger when a writer feels someone has stolen his or her ideas and made a go of them, looking in particular at the current legal battle brewing over TV show Orphan Black. He asks the valid question of why a film or TV company would plagiarise when they can buy relatively cheaply for them and then do what they like with it.