Friday, 20 February 2009

New Horizons and 2010

A new issue of this British Fantasy Society publication (included in the subscription). New Horizons is a biannual magazine "dedicated to promoting and showcasing the newer names in fantasy, horror and sci-fi". It includes seven short stories:

The Cloth of Heaven by Louise Morgan: a brief and rather strange account of the making of a magical dress, which reads as if it were an extract from a longer story.

The Silk Road by Allyson Bird: a visit to China to research a book on the Cherchen mummies leads to a nightmarish involvement with a local family. Travelogue meets horror story.

Gossamer by Ian Whates: the lure of a magical country cottage which inspires its residents to write fiction. An atmosphere of mystery, of things not quite seen.

The Siege by Nick Jackson: the claustrophobic atmosphere and terrors of a medieval siege. Not for the faint-hearted.

The Lost Tribe of Prague 6 by Cyril Simsa: old folk tales come alive in a wood in present-day Prague. It reminded me of Robert Holdstock's work.

A Town Called Exit by Paul Campbell: getting off the train at the wrong stop leads to a series of alternative worlds. Disorientating.

Under Her Skin by Eliza Chan: a selkie – a creature of the sea – is trapped on land in a marriage to a human man, in a story recounted by her daughter.

Of all of these my favourite was Cyril Simsa's, in part because the author (who lives in the Czech Republic) includes some intriguingly different mythology.

In addition, the magazine has illustrations by Anna Bird, Vanessa Walk and Dean Harkness, and two interviews. One is with Ekaterina Sedia, the Russian-born American author of The Secret History of Moscow, which places traditional Russian folklore figures in a modern setting. The other is with Adam Nevill, who is in charge of Virgin Books' new line in horror novels.
I recently viewed 2010, the film made in 1984. I thought I hadn't seen it before, but I kept half-remembering scenes as they happened, so I must have done. Good, solid SF with credible human drama thrown in; Roy Scheider's performance was particularly strong. A worthy sequel to 2001.


Fred said...

I also enjoyed Roy Scheider's performance in _2010_ and thought it was an excellent sequel to _2001_.

I kept waiting for film versions of _2061_ and _3001_, but nothing happened. Those would have been a nice four set film series, much better I think than much of the stuff that did come out.

Anthony G Williams said...

Hmm - I haven't read those two Fred, are they worth it?

Fred said...

It's been awhile since I read them, but I thought that they were fairly decent reads. I have the hb editions from SFBC, and both are relatively slender volumes. _2061_ is 204 pages while _3001_ is only 176 pages.

A coincidence? _2061_'s last chapter is "Midnight in the Plaza" while _3001_'s is "Midnight: Pico."

This may be my next long project, (once I finish Benford's "Galactic Center").

I would begin with "The Sentinel" the short story that started it all, and follow up with the four novels and the two films, which I haven't read or viewed for some time.