Louise Hughes, Simon Kewin, Steve Conoboy, Forrest Roy Johnson, Mike Phillips, Sarah Byrne and Edward McDermott all have stories in issue seven of Kindle magazine KZine, with a mix that covers science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror. There are also a couple of book reviews to round the issue off.
KZine Issue Seven: Review of September 2013 Issue
Steve Rogerson reviews issue seven of KZine, which fittingly contains seven stories covering science-fiction, fantasy, crime and horror.
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 Seven, September 2013) contains seven stories with a wide range of subjects from a government minister who is also a vampire to tales of sacrifice and aliens trying to bring down the world’s monetary system. There is also more normal tragedy and adventure for a detective who assists his younger sister and one who receives bad news from the doctor.
“A Room in the Sky” by Louise Hughes
The city of the future holds the divisions of the past, forcing Esme into drastic action. Pretending to be an estate agent, she shows a wealthy client to a new flat with a view to robbing him so she can take her children off world to a better life. But he has other ideas. This intriguing glimpse into the life of Esme provides a well-rounded story; it doesn’t start and it doesn’t finish, but satisfied nonetheless.
“Lord Lion’s Design” by Simon Kewin
Lord Lion is the Home Secretary of the United Kingdom. He is also a vampire, and his ambition is to become prime minister and wield the power that office bequeaths. But like all politicians, he steps on people as he makes his way to the top, and those that know him well see not just a vampire but a racist as well. “You are a monster, and being a vampire is only a small part of that,” he is told. The author points his finger more at politicians than he does the undead, but with a clever and witty touch.
“Call Hold” by Steve Conoboy
Anyone who has had to deal with the frustrations of a call centre, and that’s probably everybody who’s reading this, will enjoy this story. A time traveller, being attacked by dinosaurs, finds himself having to go through annoying security procedures before he can be recalled. You get the picture; a lot of fun.
“Kid Sister” by Forrest Roy Johnson
An apprentice detective heads home to spend some time with his family and comes across a slaughtered deer. Time to join forces with his younger sister to catch the poachers in the act, but they end up with a lot more than they bargained for. This is an entertaining titbit that ends oddly, as if it was the prologue to a longer story. Maybe there’s more to come.
“Blood of the Sacrifice” by Mike Phillips
As the title suggests, this is a story of witchcraft and satanic rites. The nice witch Mrs Parker is kidnapped to be a sacrifice and her granddaughter Nellie must now prove her worth and rescue her. The question of who is really controlling whom is what elevates this story from good to better.
“Every Step You Take” by Sarah Byrne
Aliens spot the fragility of Earth’s capitalist system and recruit a few humans to help push it over the edge in the belief that this will usher in a new, better society. One of the recruits is computer expert Kit, slightly unstable and not exactly willing, but she does her bit, at first. The underlying politics of this tale are a bit naïve and simplistic, but it reads well and Kit is expertly drawn.
“It Doesn’t Sound too Good” by Edward McDermott
A detective is given bad news by his old friend the doctor, but it’s his life and he’s enjoying it. A touch of personal philosophy in a very few words, how better to finish the magazine.
Also in Issue 7
Editor and publisher Graeme Hurry uses the editorial to moan about the difficulties in attracting new readers to magazines such as this; even free beer at a convention didn’t increase sales. What a shame.
What is nice to see is a short book reviews section at the end. Only two books, but that is two better than none. The World Below by Mike Philips and The Apprentice Journals by J Michael Shell are put under the spotlight.
After mentioning in the review of issue six a desire for some idea of the length of the stories on the contents page, that has nicely been fulfilled with numbers in brackets after each title indicating the page length.