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Summary: A few small press print 'zines, 2007 - The Elephant Forgets
Summary: A few small press print 'zines, 2007

Summary: A few small press print 'zines, 2007

These are a few smaller 'zines of which I saw one issue apiece, though some published more. As a group, I didn't find them terribly impressive, though the last two listed are fairly interesting, but they are out there swinging, and deserve a look.

1. Twisted Tongue

I saw one issue of this UK-based horror-oriented magazine, but I believe there was at least one more in 2007. The issue I saw was #6 (May), and it featured a lot of fiction: counting complete new fiction only, there were 60,000 words, spread among 31 (!) stories, more than half of which, 16, were short-shorts. There were also a couple of reprints, and a couple of serial parts and extracts. It's a nice looking magazine, slick, A-size, decent artwork. There are interviews and poems in addition to the fiction. The editor is Claire Nixon. On the whole, the fiction didn't do much for me. Stories by Mark Kilbain Lazer, Bill Blum, Larry T. Menlove, and Paul Zealand seemed the best. 10 of 31 writers (about 30%) were women. At least 3 of the stories were SF (though horror as well).

2. Dark Discoveries

Another horror-oriented magazine, edited by James Beach. It is nominally quarterly, but I saw just one issue, #10 (Summer). I bought it primarily because Jay Lake's name was on the TOC. His story was competent, and so was Eric Witchey's, but nothing here thrilled me. 5 short stories, about 20,000 words, all by men.

3. Irregular Quarterly

The second (and I believe last) issue of a small 'zine edited by Jamie Rosen. Only two new stories, of which I found Mark Rich's "Omnisapienta" more interesting. Only 3000 words of new fiction. Both stories were by men, one was SF.

4. Cats With Wings

I saw the debut issue of this 'zine, edited by Eleanor Skinner. There was a web page but it disappeared, so I fear there were no further issues. It featured an interesting reprint from Rachel Pollack, and two new stories, both light in tone and neither all that impressive. Less than 6000 words of new fiction. One new story each by a man and a woman (and the reprint, of course, is an interesting case in that sense!) One of the new stories was SF.

5. Kaleidotrope

I saw one issue of this 'zine, #3, but I believe at least one more came out in 2007. There were twelve short stories, 7 of those short-shorts, split 50/50 between men and women authors. Three of the stories were SF. Not quite 20,000 words total. (There was also a fair amount of poetry, some nonfiction, and plenty of artwork.)

Good short-shorts included Bruce Holland Rogers's "Ramps, Railings, and Earthen Embankments", a deadpan look at the reaction to a great many people suddenly turning up as corpses, but not normal corpses -- too lifelike. And "Missing" is a clever story of a man and his wife and her husband -- who goes missing. I also like Sarah Frost-Mellor's "Gingered," an amusing look at the aftermath of the Hansel and Gretel story. Best among the longer stories might be Eric Stever's "The Tailings of Men," in which most of humanity has transcended, in a sense, and the narrator lives in a sort of museum town of unaugmented humans. Steven Graham Jones, in "Pistil, Stamen, Bloom," gets into the head of an apparently mentally ill young man, and his hopeless mother. Daniel Ausema's "Stump Courtship" somewhat sweetly portrays a tree-like alien among kiteflying humans, as he looks for an appropriate courtship gift for his intended. And LaShawn M. Wanak's "Click" is interesting metafiction, about our reaction to an ambiguous story situation: a girl crying, a man with a sword.

6. Diet Soap

This is a rather surrealistic little 'zine, edited by Douglas Lain, with help from M. K. Hobson. Four stories, all short (2 short-shorts), a bit over 6000 words of fiction. (Plus some essays.) One counts as SF, I think. 1 is by a woman. The focus of this issue was surveillance. My favorite story was by Tim Pratt, "Observer Effects", about superheroes who decides everyone should be able to see everything. A distinctive and intriguing little magazine.

8 comments or Leave a comment
timwb From: timwb Date: January 11th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Have you seen "The Willows?"

It's specializing in gaslit and weird horror.

The first issue was bumpy, but it's getting better with each issue. There's a story by James Dorr in this one (#4).
From: ecbatan Date: January 12th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, I haven't seen that. Thanks for the heads up.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 11th, 2008 05:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Twisted Tongue #9

I recently has a story accepted to TWISTED TONGUE for the #9 issue. Let's hope the issues keep getting better and better!

Mike H.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 11th, 2008 05:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Twisted Tongue #9

I recently had a story accepted to TWISTED TONGUE for the #9 issue. Let's hope the issues keep getting better and better!

Mike H.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 11th, 2008 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Twisted Tongue #9

Ha! Can't type for nothin'. =)
klingonguy From: klingonguy Date: January 11th, 2008 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm... this could explain why I haven't heard a response to my submission (or a response to my query) from Cats with Wings.

ahmedakhan From: ahmedakhan Date: January 12th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I would like to bring another ezine to your notice, Rich. It is called Anotherealm and the url is http://www.anotherealm.com. It is one of longest running ezines in the field. I hope you will check it out.
From: ecbatan Date: January 12th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the heads up! I'll take a look.
8 comments or Leave a comment