Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Redsine, Number Nine

Number Nine, Number Nine . . .

I know, you're all wondering, "Is this all he reads is this Redsine?" Well, I bought up a bunch of back issues, and I'm in the middle of a couple of long books. So back off.

Number Nine has an interview with Kim Newman, whom I must admit I haven't read. The rest, again, is stories.

First up is Kim Westwood's "The Oracle," a post-apocalyptic satiri-surrealistic story about the U.S. Air Force, TOYS "R" US and Barbie. It's a weird and mysterious story, which I like.

Next is "Clowning Around" by Richard Robbins. This is an extremely bizarre and wonderful story, but I'm not going to say much about the plot because that wouldn't be fair to you, the reader. Here: it's about a clown. Read it.

"Don't Drown the Man Who Taught You How to Swim" is by D.F. Lewis and David Mathew. Lewis is the editor of the wonderful magazine Nemonymous, so you've been disclaimed. Again, without giving away too much (How much is too much? Is anyone even reading this?), Nathaniel is the key to finding a place that his lover Paul and his employee Katie found when they drowned. This is a compact and complex story about trying to recapture something lost in another life. It's eccentric and elegant.

David Alexander's "Larval Tuesday" is a funny, frightening tale about identity, madness and murder. Is he a bum who kills yuppies or a yuppie who pretends to be a bum who kills yuppies or a janitor who poses as a cop to kill yuppies or a thief? Or is he a thief of identity? Or all of the above? The madness of this protagonist is unnerving and uncensored; the laughs the story provides are hesitant, wary. As you can tell, this one has stuck with me. I'm not sure if that in itself makes it a great story; that it is a good story, I have no question.

"Glacier" by D. Harlan Wilson is an absurdist short story about a suburban family man who wakes up one morning to find a glacier on his front lawn. His attempts to save himself and his wife and children from the glacier--between his anxiety attacks--put them in more peril than the glacier itself. This is a satisfyingly weird man vs. glacier story.

Overall I wasn't as impressed with this issue as I was with #7-8, but the stories that were good were excellent.


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