Friday 15 August 2008

New Horizons magazine

This is the first edition of an occasional new publication of the British Fantasy Society (which includes SF within its remit), which already produces Dark Horizons from time to time. Both are principally collections of short stories mixed with author interviews, but New Horizons is specifically fantasy, and endeavours to present the work of new authors.

There are interviews with David Rix, founder of the new Eibonvale Press, and author Tony Richards. The rest of the A5 booklet is taken up with ten short stories.

Among The Mollies by Harvey Raines. A teenager learns the trick of living in whatever cities he wishes just by imagining them. But in every city he makes, there is a forbidding, fenced off tower block of flats, populated by partly-glimpsed people dubbed the Mollies. Eventually, he has to enter to find out why.

Silk and Pearls
Domestic Interior
Two Dreams
all by K J Bishop. Three surreal short shorts, or snippets of stories. Essentially examples of creating atmospheres.

Canoe Boy by Allen Ashley. A man in a grim, near-waterless future city tries to recover his lost love and understand what is happening.

Unlikely by Will McIntosh. A statistician who specialises in correlating vast quantities of data about his city discovers that the accident rate drops when two strangers are accidentally in close proximity, so engineers their meeting.

What You Came For by Jaine Fenn. A grim tale, told in the second person, about a being who enters an old house to experience the emotions of those who had been in it, including a young girl who was murdered.

At Midnight, All The Agents by David Barnett. An amusing romp about the investigations of the Department of Extra-Usual Affairs, who turn their attention to a outbreak of people dressing as, and apparently believing that they are, well-known fictional characters – with a difference.

The Absence Club by Daniel Bennett. A strange tale about a computer specialist left on his own to edit the files of a college which had just closed, and a man who has a task for him.

The Snow Fox by Stephen Deas. Another surreal short about a man talking to his lover in a grand house – or is he?

An interesting batch of mostly unconventional stories. Not my usual fare, but short enough to read quickly. My favourite was probably the most conventional one, Unlikely.

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