01/04/2012. Contributed by Rod MacDonald
pub: Andromeda Spaceways. 168 page quarterly A5 magazine. $ 4.95 (AUS) PDF copy online, hardcopy: $12.95 (AUS). Subscription six issues $ 27.00 (AUS).
check out website: www.andromedaspaceways.com
Another issue of this Australian international publication, ‘Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine’ with no less than 16 short stories to read, plus interview, book reviews and poetry! The new larger quarterly format certainly gives value for money and something to get your teeth into. It can be purchased as a paper copy or a PDF download, the latter which is reviewed here.
The first story, ‘On The Road To Cairo’ by Gary Cuba, was a rather quaint account of a gazelle and a tiger meeting in a train compartment in the colonial empire. The ending was somewhat expected but nevertheless the dialogue was amusing and interesting.
London is a big city with plenty of people but not in this story by Matthew Fryer. ‘Welcome To London, Population 1’, tells the story of a female explorer visiting the site that used to be London before a catastrophic collision with an asteroid wiped out most of Earth. After falling down a hole into the city, options become rather limited. A well told tale with good description.
One should mention the cover by Nico Photos. Entitled ‘First Lensman’, it was inspired by the stories written by E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith. Now, how many people remember ‘The Lensman’ series? By the way, the editor talks about an unpleasant experience with the weather near Canberra during the early hours of the morning at a radio telescope site. A little squally shower? That would be a luxury for someone like me. Come to Scotland!
‘House Of Cards’ by RPL Johnson told the story of Oscar, a gambler down on his luck. After being beaten up by goons from a casino and with no money left, he enters a strange gambling ship and starts playing. A mistake when the stakes turn out to be unreasonably high?
‘Marianne And The Mushroom Man’, written by Lee Blevins, was an intoxicatingly strange tale with witches, wolves and lots more in a drug induced fairyland. Probably Hans Christian Andersen with a twist, a deadly twist more or less.
Gary Cuba again with another story, ‘The 9 Billion Pixels Of Samsara’, reminded me of Arthur C Clarke's ‘9 Billion Names Of God’. Very well written, it related the story of a couple of guys and a computer in Tibet. Something appeared on the program that shouldn't be there and all hell was let loose. This was my favourite story from the magazine. The characters were real and believable, likewise the well described setting.
‘Snow Cat’ by Debbie Moorhouse was a story about an old woman and an old cat plus a missing man. Evocative with an intriguing twist, it left the reader somewhat sad. My own cat, Mr. Tiddles, thought it was all too accurate. Good writing!
Packed full of fiction, this is a pleasing issue of ASIM. Produced by a co-operative, the magazine has continued its high standard for years and if you haven't read it yet why not give it a try? This is something different, something you won't find anywhere else.
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