1/09/2011. Contributed by Rod MacDonald
pub: Ian Redman, 19 Bedford Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA21 5UG, UK. 52 A5 magazine. ISSN: 1740-2069. Price: GBP 2.75 plus postage (UK). GBP4.99 PDF GBP10.00 for 4 issues (requires 1.5mb in mailbox). Also available for Kindle) .
check out website: www.jupitersf.co.uk
There is something different about the latest edition of ‘Jupiter’, that being its availability in Kindle format direct from Amazon. I don't possess a Kindle device but that doesn't matter because you can view all Kindle books on your PC by simply downloading, free of charge, the software from Amazon. This process was painlessly accomplished and it delivered a very pleasing magazine which was easy to read, versatile in viewing formats and, most important, pleasing to the eye. It's also possible to purchase individual copies of ‘Jupiter’ from Amazon in this format so now there is no excuse for not reading this excellent Science Fiction short story magazine.
The Australian author David Conyers has a new book called ‘The Eye Of Infinity’ coming out quite soon from Perilous Press. In the meantime, he continues his artwork with another cover for ‘Jupiter’. Very striking in appearance, stark in its monochrome simplicity, on a tropical paradise beach an alien being menacingly approaches. Completely reflective, on the alien we see a mirror image of a startled figure perhaps living his last moments, hopelessly trying to avoid death. Enhanced by the anonymity of the alien, this is a powerful illustration which is completely different from the cover of the last issue, so displaying Conyers' skill in producing artwork. It will be interesting to see more of his art as well as fiction in the future.
Now to the fiction. A great bunch of stories as usual, starting with ‘Battlefield Of Woe’ by Alexander Hawes. Perhaps a little predictable in its conclusion, nevertheless this was a well written and atmospheric story about a futuristic soldier, Joseph, and his relationship with his girlfriend, Serenity. Like all soldiers through eternity, Joseph is taken away from his domestic bliss to fight the war far away from home. This could be a distant planet or even Afghanistan, the effects remain the same. Maybe the message is that the price of war is too costly.
A sentient toaster comes to mind as the subject for VK Valev's witty and cleverly written story, ‘Operation Marketing’. Most people don't give the toaster much credibility for thinking about situations, even though they sometimes appear animated in TV advertisements. However, this toaster does have a mind of its own embodied within a chip in its circuitry. Like any thinking being, the usual questions spring up as to the reason and purpose for life. Well, it transpires that this toaster does have a purpose and despite all its ability to make choices, it is the victim of an ultimate directive. The question is, are we just the same? There is a lot more than toasted bread in the story!
An entire new universe was created by Jon Wallace in the writing of this short story, ‘The Triangular Trade’. Actually the Triangular is a starship lying in the parking lot of a second-hand dealer somewhere in orbit. It's going very cheap despite the fact that it is a large ship with plenty of potential merely because nobody can get inside the thing, let alone have the ability to fly it. Burgess is a somewhat strange character determined to buy a large ship for reasons unknown and this seems too good to go unnoticed.
Eventually Burgess gets inside the ship and finds someone with the ability to fly it, surprisingly settling on a middle-aged woman more dead than alive. The Triangular is alive! It has a mind of its own and an agenda as well. Burgess has his own agenda, too, but then we have a situation of conflict. Who will win? This is a really good story with excellent characterisation, a good plot and plenty of atmosphere.
Shane Ward gave us ‘The Cataline Downfall’. This has nothing to do with ancient Rome as the name suggests, rather it's all about a planet distant in time. Gentle creatures have been the subject of brutalisation by an alien species and, in order to protect them, another alien race, probably Earth, has erected a force shield around the planet to keep out the nasties. As the batteries begin to go flat, the shield expires and the nasties make a comeback. Can these gentle aliens be rescued?
Ian Sales finishes the magazine with ‘Words Beyond The Veil’. Heavy metal music, forgive me if I have got it wrong, is the message from an alien entity. I'm not sure if this message was entirely benign, who would think otherwise, and it looks like a conflict is going to take place in space. Headbanger stuff!
‘Jupiter’ has done it again in producing an excellent service for their readers. Really good stories, entertaining and enjoyable! It's also good to see that the magazine is becoming more versatile with its adoption of Kindle format and Amazon marketing. I think this will ensure a long future ahead. I'm looking forward to the next edition already.
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