1/04/2011. Contributed by Rod MacDonald
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine # 50. pub: Andromeda Spaceways. 100 page A5 magazine. $ 4.95 (AUS) PDF copy online, hardcopy: $8.95 (AUS).
check out website: www.andromedaspaceways.com
In a journey that has lasted almost 10 years, ‘Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine’ has continued undeterred to reach its half century, a momentous feat in today's world of publishing where many magazines fall by the wayside long before this milestone has been reached. By all accounts, it is still going strong and will be re-organised soon. Starting with the next issue, the magazine will be going from bi-monthly to quarterly but there will be a commensurate increase in volume. Nothing will be lost! To find out details of the new subscription terms simply consult the website, www.andromedaspaceways.com.
To mark this anniversary, they've put together an excellent collection of stories, all very readable and interesting. The cover is not bad at all. In fact, it is the very first cover reproduced again. Great artwork, much better than the crappy covers that have appeared in the last few issues. Let's face it, if you receive this magazine by post, the last thing you want in the morning to put you off your cornflakes is an unattractive and sometimes unwholesome reproduction. This is much better. Let's hope future issues become more appealing.
As said, this is a really good collection of short stories. Well done to the editors for selecting such a good crop from the huge pile of submissions that are received on a regular basis. Incidentally, the magazine pays for fiction but before sending anything it would be best to read several copies to become acclimatised with its unique style. It would also be useful to read the submission criteria on their website.
The first story is an absolute cracker. Shona Husk with her ‘The Skull Jeweller's Apprentice’ immediately takes us into another world completely different from our own. In this world, it is the custom to decorate the skulls of the deceased and this is done by artisans, skilled in the art of placing gemstones on bone. Very cleverly written, we learn much about this world during the conversation between a female Skull Jeweller and a prospective apprentice. I was very impressed by the story and could recommend the magazine for this alone but there were another dozen equally imaginative and compelling works to read.
Robert P. Switzer came up with ‘Deciphering The Quantum Foam’. An intelligent story, it tells about someone unbalanced by quantum uncertainty and his meeting with a female psychiatrist. Einstein and Heisenberg would laugh at this and it wouldn't be a Bohr. It gave me a vision of Groucho Marx being involved in quantum physics.
Because this number fifty edition was edited by a hive of people, their own description, short stories were selected by more than one person. At the end of each story, the selector tells us why the particular work had been selected. Quite illuminating! Maybe this should be continued with future issues?
Simon Petrie's fiction has a particular style of its own. It is humorous, witty and poignant. ‘You Said, Two Of Each, Right?’ A rather strange title but hilarious in its execution. It's all about Noah and his relationship with God. Now, for all creationists out there, the story describes why dinosaurs went extinct. Don't miss it!
There are another ten stories but space doesn't allow a description of them all. Safe to say, they are all good stories, wide-ranging, well-written and an asset to the magazine. Yes, this certainly is a good issue and one not to be missed. Additional material includes some poetry, interviews with writers Nicole Murphy and Rowina Cary Daniells plus an article and a movie review.
ASIM is available in hardcopy and PDF, the latter version is reviewed here. While this magazine is centred in Australia it has a world-wide circulation and for economical and ecological reasons, an electronic version could be the answer for distant subscribers. At any rate, it seems to be good value for money and if future editions keep up the same standard as this one then all the better. Let's hope they go on to make a century.
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