1/8/2010. Contributed by Rod MacDonald
pub: Andromeda Spaceways. 100 page A5 magazine. $ 4.95 (AUS) PDF copy online. Subscription six issues $ 27.00 (AUS).
check out website: www.andromedaspaceways.com
An exciting issue with nine short stories, plus poetry, articles and reviews. However, leaving everything aside for the moment this issue is worth buying alone for the special feature article by Ross Murray entitled 'The Australian Dream Becomes A Nightmare'. In-depth and interesting, it describes with the assistance of literature what has happened to society in general. Sociological in nature, some of the conclusions are abrupt but very poignant.
Now to the fiction, 'Moonlight Flame Grill' by Matthew Fryer (certainly an apt name considering the title and content) was my favourite piece of fiction from the magazine. Lin, a young girl in her twenties, is on the run from the authorities which isn't very easy because her lungs are choked up through excessive smoking from an early age. In a deserted farmhouse, she meets up with Gilchrest, a rather obese man who is also on the run. The problem is the elders at Tanglejack City, a place of purity and austerity, have got fed up with all the alcoholics, gluttons, junkies and other people with detrimental excessive habits that clog up society. They are kicked out into the countryside to become victims of a hunt.
Lin meets several other characters in her adventure, including an alcoholic boyfriend and a ruthless hunter killer. She manages to escape everything thrown at her but does she escape from herself? This is a very colourful story, black humour in abundance, which is very well written.
I would also like to mention 'Factory Made' by Ralph Benedetto. A highly entertaining story about a poor chap sent out to a planet to manage a computer factory. Not only does he have trouble with the main computer, the workers are highly sensitive and dangerous. They are feline creatures, temperamental in nature and with a host of behaviour patterns difficult to fathom for ordinary humans. For example, one should not smile because they take the showing of teeth to be an act of aggression which reciprocates instant killing.
If things weren't bad enough, the people in charge of the company send out a fixer, basically a troubleshooter, to sort out any problems. This fixer doesn't seem to bother about local protocols and the results are a bit chaotic.
ASIM is a very well organised magazine with a particular style of its own. This is the 44th edition which speaks of durability. However, I believe the people in charge are very diligent and hard-working, full of enthusiasm for what they do. If you haven't read this magazine it might be worthwhile looking at a sample copy. I'm sure you will not be disappointed.
Add SFcrowsnest.com daily news updates to your own web site or blog - just cut and paste the code below...
Stephen Hunt's novels - USA