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Jupiter # 36: XXXVI Sponde

01/06/2012. Contributed by Rod MacDonald

Buy Jupiter # 36: XXXVI Sponde in the USA - or Buy Jupiter # 36: XXXVI Sponde 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). GBP4.99 PDF GBP10.00 for 4 issues (requires 1.5mb in mailbox). Also available for Kindle.

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Recently in the UK, Royal Mail made big increases in their charges. Really put the boot in! This has had a serious effect on all magazines sent by post, ‘ Jupiter’ included, but the price of subscriptions in the UK will remain the same for the time being. Overseas postage may be affected so it's best to check their website. A way around this would be to receive magazines on-line. Not only do you get a substantial decrease in price, delivery is instantaneous and you are saving the planet by saving paper. The postal increases are nonetheless not very welcome at a time of general economic hardship.

Fortunately, all of this has not affected ‘ Jupiter’ which remains excellent as usual with, this time, five short stories on offer. We have another cover by the Australian author David Conyers. More noted for his fiction, he is also an accomplished artist as this illustration portrays. The stark reality of the robotic figure, relentlessly marching forward, gives a sense of urgency and even impending doom. Such a machine defies persuasion to divert its course and maybe this represents the economic future coming our way!

An atmospheric tale, ‘ The Photograph’ by Michael Sutherland, was revolutionary in its style and delivery. It begins in an innocuous manner with a mild-mannered Mr. Carter receiving an envelope from Mrs Andresen, elegant but icy cold, with instructions to dispose of the contents. Carter has already negotiated a large sum of money from a third-party for this but he just can't help having a look inside, despite all the warnings already received.

I can't say much more because it would spoil the enjoyment of reading a very good story. Suffice to say it takes you to the realms of madness with flying saucers thrown in. It also takes you back to memories of the 1950s. A thoroughly good story!

Incidentally, I'm reviewing ‘ Jupiter’ by reading the Kindle version. I don't have a Kindle tablet but the software is freely available from Amazon to download to your computer. It provides a crisp, neat version which is easy to read and manipulate, plus it's a good way to beat the postal charges!

Greg McColm with ‘ Footprint’ took us to the planet Mars in the not too distant future where a group of scientists discover a strange life-form in the habitation area. Instead of being the expected green colour, this was golden with lots of filaments and strands. Eventually, it began to appear in lots of places on the base, giving the scientists a perplexing time in trying to ascertain its origins.

‘ LEAD’ by Alexander Hay was a story no doubt inspired by the riots in London and other places that took place last year. The acronym stands for Low Economic Activity Designate, basically young people without jobs. They are treated like cattle and sold as slaves to various parts of the world. As it would happen, some of them began to riot and a battle took place. Maybe this is too close for comfort. Let's hope the future is not like this!

We are all at sea with ‘ The Zenith’ by Neal Clift. Bounty hunter Hackett is taking runaway prisoner Manning back to detention using a luxury liner as transport. This, however, was no ordinary ocean. They were sailing on monster infested waters on an off-world planet and despite the slippery Manning trying all sorts of tricks to outwit his captor, it seemed that he was destined to go back to prison. That was, until the monsters decided to look for lunch!

Finally, Dean Giles puts us on a starship undertaking a long journey through space. Emma wakes up from hibernation just as the two hundred year journey is coming to a conclusion in his story, ‘ The Post-Human Condition’. She is part of a community exiled from Earth, attached to a nuclear propulsion device which is heading for a new stellar system. What would they find on arrival? Could it be that others have beat them to it?
‘ Jupiter’ magazine takes us on a journey with every issue, expanding the mind through time and space. In this issue, we travel from our own planet to Mars, through space to strange worlds orbiting other stars and if this isn't a good escape from the Eurozone and impending economic collapse, then I don't know what is. ‘ Jupiter’ maintains its high standard of excellence, giving us good entertaining stories. When you buy ‘ Jupiter’, you know you're going to get a good read!

Rod MacDonald

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