Unfortunately I’ve seen a few magazines go belly up in the last 18 months or so. The reasons I am not quite sure, though I don’t doubt that sales have something to do with it. So here we are with issue #1 of Unnerving Magazine: a new zine that I stumbled across on Twitter, of all places. I liked the cover for a start. It reminded me of Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ and after reading the foreword it seems this is what was desired by editor Eddie Generous. I am a huge fan of dark fiction and always get on-board with a new venture. I love the magazine format. Fiction, non-fiction, interviews, reviews, it has a bit of everything and is a great way of discovering new talent. The fact that one of my favourite horror writers, John F.D. Taff contributed a story to this meant that I was very keen on subscribing. Taff is a rare breed in that I have never read anything by him that I haven’t loved and his story here is truly superb. I won’t say too much about it other than it is one of the oddest body horror stories I have ever come across. It really is excellent. Joshua Chaplinsky also contributes. His is the first story in the magazine and it’s really good, very different, short but sweet and sets the tone for what follows with its unpredictability.
The interview with Gamut editor Richard Thomas is informative and interesting. Thomas is an engaging character and has a huge depth of knowledge about fiction. He discusses what he is aiming for with Gamut and his passion is evident in this engaging chat. The other interview with Adam Howe/Reggie Levine is great. Howe’s character is on fine form as he a answers the tough questions about his role at The Hen House! (the bar is character works at as a bouncer in his latest novel). If you haven’t picked up a copy of Howe’s ‘Tijuana Donkey Showdown’ then you’re missing out on a hilarious, pulpy read.
There are a couple of terrific shorts towards the end from J.D.Horn and Anke Kriske. Both showed what great imaginations these two fiction writers have. Horn’s tale in particular was very powerful, thoughtful and is sure to appeal to dog lovers! Whenever I finish a short story and look back wishing it was longer, I know I’ve read something a bit special.
The zine closes out with a piece of festive flash fiction and some book reviews. I finished this magazine feeling immensely satisfied that I’d discovered some new writers to seek out and read more from and that the reviewers have similar tastes to myself when it comes to fiction. Unnerving Magazine is off to a very good start. A well put together magazine with some great fiction, interesting and amusing interviews and informative book reviews. What more could you want? Bring on issue #2.
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