Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Redsine, Number Eight

I should mention that Redsine is edited by Trent Jamieson and Garry Nurrish. Nice work, guys. This issue has an interview with Tim Powers, who is a god. The rest is stories.

"Trapdoor" by Darrell Pitt is a tale of quantum universes, death and regret. It's quite good, although I wish it had gone the extra step into the dark.

Chris McMahon's "Within Twilight" is a science fiction tale that explores conditioning, childhood and education of a sort. It's very lean and well-paced, with powerful and lasting images.

"Les Autres" by Adam Browne has a sardonic tone to it which works almost all the way through. A young woman whose time in a drug-induced coma puts her deep into debt is forced to consider a new line of work. The ending is bleak indeed, but sudden and pointless--I suspect that this is the intent, but it doesn't quite work, mostly because the future created by Browne distracts from the devaluation of human life which he seems concerned with. Interesting but flawed.

"The Wrong Stuff" by David McAlinden casts a John Glenn-like figure as American Psycho, with results that are less chilling than darkly humorous. Good stuff.

Hertzan Chimera and M.F. Korn collaborate on a story called "One Day at a Time." It's about two drunken space cowboys who accidentaly land on a planet hostile to humans, except that it's not an accident but a deliberate blunder scripted by their employers, who film their adventures and beam them across the galaxy. It gets odder. This one is fun for a while, but loses steam before the end.

"October Eyes" by Alison L.R. Davies is a dark and earthy story about a marriage. It's quite lyrical and successful.

"Mr. October" by Jack Fisher is not about Reggie Jackson but rather a short tale about the spirit of Halloween blowing through town. It's quite charming.

"Robin Hood's New Mother" by Rhys Hughes is a wonderful story about inhabitants of myth and legend trapped by the tropes of same. The Sheriff of Nottingham--"a villain, but he just follows orders, so it isn't his fault"--learns that the bored Queen of the Amazons is on her way to engage Robin Hood in single combat on the day that Robin is dying of a mortal wound. The complications that follow from this, and from Robin's last arrow (you may remember it from the stories) are as hilarious as they are appropriate. Great story.


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