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Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine # 51

1/07/2011. Contributed by Rod MacDonald

Buy Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine # 51 in the USA - or Buy Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine # 51 in the UK

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pub: Andromeda Spaceways. 168 page A5 magazine. $ 4.95 (AUS) PDF copy online, hardcopy: $12.95 (AUS). Subscription six issues $ 27.00 (AUS).

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Now past its half-century, ‘Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine’ continues on its tour of the galaxy collecting all sorts of interesting material on the way. People familiar with the magazine will have noticed a change. Frequency has been reduced to four issues per year instead of the previous six issues but nobody has been short-changed because it's much bigger than before. This issue contains 168 pages and it represents very good value especially for the PDF copy which is what is being reviewed here.

This magazine has a distinctive style of its own making it quite unique in the Science Fiction publishing world. They also pay for fiction and, as far as I can see, they have an excellent tracking system for submissions where short stories and other offerings go through three stages before final selection. Each submission is given a tracking number which can be followed on their website. Prospective authors should remember that ASIM does indeed have a style of its own requiring the reading of several copies for familiarisation.

Now to this issue. There are 14 short stories, plus poetry, reviews and plenty of excellent artwork. A very equitable selection from male and female authors with a wide range of subject matter! Basically there is something for everyone in this magazine, maybe showing that making it larger was a good idea by providing extra space for more diverse material.

Chris Large appears twice, first with a humorous short story about self-destruct mechanisms in starships entitled ‘Weapons Of Self-Destruction’ and secondly with a very interesting article, ‘The Tectonics Of The Misty Mountains’. Anyone interested in geology will be delighted with the latter which delves into Tolkien's Middle Earth and the forces that shaped this mythical land. Actually, the conclusions are quite logical and somehow make sense.

‘Bonsai’ by Robin Shortt, the author's first published work, is a strange story about a man or rather creature who changes people he meets. Some of the changes are bizarre, such as turning a boy into a spider, but the effects are not always disadvantageous. I thought the story was well written and interesting.

‘The Household Debt’ by Chris Miles talks about moving house in a rather different way than normal. Good descriptive story and excellent characterisation. I also liked ‘A Cup Of Smoke’ from Rachel Manija Brown. Visiting a remote household in Japan could have strange consequences for your memory which may be borrowed and released at some other time.

There is a lot to recommend in this issue. Darrell Schweitzer's poetry, ‘Lacking An Adequate Metaphor For The Human Brain’, was short but very poignant. I'll look at goldfish in a different way in the future. There's also good fiction from Keith Stevenson with ‘A Mirror, Darkly’ and also Stephen Case's ‘The Story Of The Ship That Brought Us Here’.

I would like to mention all the fiction but that's just not possible, sufficient to say that all the stories were enjoyable. The best way is to judge for yourself by having a look at the website and purchasing a copy of the magazine. The PDF version is not a huge outlay and it is well worth the money.

Long gone are the days when people thought Australia was nothing but kangaroos, bush babies, Paul Hogan and didgeridoos. This is a good magazine, international in nature, which stretches around the Earth and beyond to the galaxy. It's well worth a read.

Rod MacDonald

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