1/09/2010. Contributed by Rod MacDonald
pub: Flying Island Press. 61 page pdf. Demo: Free!
check out website: www.flyingislandpress.com
'Flagship' is a new Science Fiction magazine from Flying Island which is based in Austin Texas. It is available in audio and PDF and it is the latter that I am reviewing here.
At first glance, this seems to be a very dynamic and positive magazine. The people running it, including the editor Zach Ricks, are enthusiastic and well meaning. They are trying to produce a magazine with elements of fiction from the Golden Age, containing exciting stories that everyone wants to read. Have they succeeded? Well, I think they have at least with issue one but, as with any magazine, will this initial surge of enthusiasm take them through the difficult months and years ahead, traversing the quagmire and slough of despond of publishing? Let's hope they succeed!
If you want to know more about the magazine and the publisher, look at their website which gives details about how to subscribe. They also give a taste of the magazine in the way of a limited download. If in any doubt this is the way to commence.
Certainly, 'Flagship' does seem to be quite exciting. This issue had plenty of fiction which included a feature story and five other pieces in its 61 pages plus articles and other items.
The feature story is 'The Pirate' written by HE Roulo. Actually, this is a very good story about a boy who grew up to be called The Pirate, despite the fact that this planet did not have seas. Different from everyone else, he played by his own rules and didn't seem to fit into society. Despite this everyone seemed to accept him. Then the challenge arose and he would be put to the test.
There is a mixture of fantasy and hard Science Fiction in this magazine. 'Snake Skin' was my favourite story. Written by Brand Gamblin, it is somewhat reminiscent of Iron Man except that a type of skin is employed to enhance the body to supernatural powers. Developed by two guys, they go separate ways but with different agendas, one good and the other evil. Of course, they come into conflict.
'Ruby's Child' by Philip Carroll takes us to a fantasy world where a dwarf woman on a mission is assaulted by a human. Will she be accepted back into her own community? This is a test for everyone!
We've also got a somewhat humorous piece entitled 'Apprentice' from Michael Plested. A sorcerer's apprentice doesn't seem to be making much progress and is kept on mainly for domestic duties. However, he has other ideas but what will the master think of this?
All in all, a very entertaining magazine. I look forward to trying this in MP3 audio as well. It seems from the website that they are after fiction, so writers out there take note. They also pay for fiction, an encouraging incentive. After reading 'Flagship', which was a very good read, the feeling was there that the next issue would be welcome. Okay, this is a new magazine with no track record and it has just been launched. The future may be uncertain but it is worth giving it a go!
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