the three cents.
The debut issue of this new magazine presents a prose anthology of dark fantasy and speculative fiction, and a damn fine collection at that.
Rattlesnake Eyes by Reynolds is a gruff spin on the Satanism of the American south, as an unlikable character refuses to stay dead. The lead is almost a hillbilly version of John Constantine, and the coolness with which the arcane is acknowledged and dealt with in the tale made for a fun read. Amy by Bryski involves the kinds of sacrifice demanded by nine to fives that we do not often hear enough about, as a new girl at a historical reenactment park has signed on for something more problematic than wearing long skirts or speaking in colonial dialect for the amusement of paying strangers. The ending makes you realize just how screwed up all of the characters are, which is also fun. A Little Piece Of Heaven by Hoskin is easily my favorite, offering a premise more fantastical and original than any television series that the SyFy network has ever broadcast. A marshal overseeing a new settlement finds that keeping the peace is far more than merely dealing with either the settlers or the locals, to nightmarish ends that would make Richard Matheson proud. Ascending by Bergmann dances the line between prose and poetry, with colorful descriptives giving life to a rather inhuman story, full of hope it may be nonetheless. If Neil Gaiman were to write a straight horror story free of either whim or fancy, this may be what it reads like. Rain Gods by Barr is a thematic return to the first story, as dark designs plague country living for a son and his father. The impact of this story was lost on me, although there were some engaging insinuations made.
This mag will be roughly monthly in schedule, and will spotlight new and original short fictions from up and coming scribes- particularly but not exclusively Cannucks in origin. My overall impression is not one of gothic or demonic leanings, but rather the same sort of feverish oddities that set the original Twilight Zone above and beyond its later incarnations. Intelligent and stylish, with offerings such as these I look forward to what comes next.