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Jupiter 31: XXXI Aitne

01/03/2011. Contributed by Rod MacDonald

Buy Jupiter 31: XXXI Aitne in the USA - or Buy Jupiter 31: XXXI Aitne in the UK

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pub: Ian Redman, 19 Bedford Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA21 5UG, UK. 52 A5 magazine. ISSN: 1740-2069. Price: GBP 2.75 plus postage (UK). GBP 4.99 PDF GBP 10.00 for 4 issues (requires 1.5mb in mailbox).

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Five stories for our entertainment in issue 31 of ‘Jupiter’ and what good stories they are! This magazine continues its way through the Jovian satellites, each time producing good-quality fiction that people want to read. What better antidote to political strife and economic recession?

However, don't expect an escape from earthly problems because the first story, ‘High Tide’ by Kate Kelly, hints at ecological disaster facing our planet in the 21st century. An administrator from a stellar empire visits an agricultural planet with the demand that production of food is increased to avoid shortage problems on some of the other worlds. What she doesn't realise is that this agricultural planet is indeed another world and all is not what it seems. Very good characterisation and description!

‘Needle Mouth’ by Alexander Hay is a rather strange tale which starts off with an elderly woman having an out-of-body experience, reliving a moment of her youth, and then ends up with a group of rather philosophical vampires discussing the pros and cons of drinking the blood from victims. In another shift, we end up with the constabulary going over the case of a dead woman discovered in her house, none other than the elderly woman. Apparently, she is covered in lacerations! We soon discover that the police are not the boys in blue we have become accustomed to. This humorous story is well thought out and very entertaining.

Gregory McColm with a story called ‘For Love’ takes us to a spaceship in distress. In fact, the ship is in the process of disintegrating, the captain is dead and computers are down. Henry tries his best to survive but salvation comes from a strange source.

‘Conscience And The Commodore’ by Neil Clift is a story about a policeman called Haskell and a hostage situation at an airport terminal. He has a glamorous sidekick and a strange relationship with the criminal intent on causing trouble. Where does it all end? You'll have to read the story.

Finally, ‘My Soul To Keep’ by S.H. Hughes tells us about an unfortunate chap called Rob who seems to have a confused life. Apparently struck by lightning, he migrates between different lives, one in so-called normality and other fighting battles in space. Which life is real? Alternatively, is there a real life at all? Good description and dialogue take us to a conclusion.

Oh, let's not forget the poetry. ‘Jupiter’ often has offerings of scientific and philosophical poetry and this one coming from Alessio Zanelli discusses the number 10 to the power of 80. This represents the number of particles in the universe. A rather large number, its meaning or lack of meaning is contemplated by the author.

‘Jupiter’, the magazine, has been going for almost eight years. This is a remarkable achievement in itself and hopefully it will continue well into the future. Financial circumstances are difficult all over the world but this magazine will be able to go through the storm without much difficulty because it is run by Science Fiction enthusiasts, dedicated to producing good fiction at an affordable price. Also, if you want to catch up on previous issues of the magazine they are available through the website at a discounted price.

Rod MacDonald

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