A break from my usual horror reads came in the shape of Grimdark Magazine Issue #12. As usual the zine features various short stories from renowned writers in the Grimdark genre along with book reviews and a couple of interviews. Kicking off with a story from Luke Scull, author of the Grim Company books, A Ring To Rule Them All features some familiar characters from Scull’s books and a title that could’ve come from Lord Of The Rings. I enjoyed this short tale, though it does feel more like an extended scene as opposed to a short story. From a fiction point-of-view, Anna Smith-Spark’s story, Red Glass, is the pick of the bunch. It is a dark and very bloody tale and certainly whets the appetite for her debut novel, Court Of Broken Knives.
The book reviews are excellent and I’m keen to get hold of the latest release from Michael R. Fletcher. There is a terrific interview with fantasy author Michael J. Sullivan, one that I found to be really insightful, particularly as Sullivan straddles the line between being traditionally published and self-publishing. He comes across as passionate about the genre, knowledgable about the business and his writing insights provide great reading. Similarly with the piece by Aliette De Bodard which has some interesting and useful writing tips and there is another good interview with Richard A. Knaak. The questions are clearly well thought out and are not generic, so great work.
All said, this is a great magazine for fans of the genre and if you fancy unsheathing your sword and getting knee deep in grit then Grimdark Magazine isn’t a bad place to start finding out what the genre has to offer.
4/5 bloodied knives from the Grim(dark) Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.