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Hub, Issue 1, Christmas 2006

Hub, Issue 1, Christmas 2006
Hub
Hub is published bi-monthly by The Right Hand Publishing. Each isssue is priced at 3.50 and can be ordered at their web site. Contact them at:
Hub Magazine,
Studio 415,
Clifton House, 7-9 Clifford Street,
York YO1 9RA

Hub Website

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rich Horton

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Here is a brand new UK magazine. It has a slightly unusual format -- 80 all slick, rather thick, pages, with plenty of layout tricks, in a curious squarish shape, 21 cm by 21 cm. It is heavily illustrated, mostly by photographs. I confess I found it a bit difficult to read at times -- I think there is a certain sacrifice of readability on the altar of coolness of appearance.

There are plenty of non-fiction features: an interview with Keith Brooke, book, film, TV, and DVD reviews, an comics column, a science column (about real world invisibility), an essay about radio, a look at Mike Carey's continuing character Felix Castor, and a short description of Eragon. Oh, and my favorite piece of non-fiction: an analysis of a story by the great Rudyard Kipling, in what seems likely to be a continuing feature ("Vintage" by Alasdair Stuart).

The fiction consists of ten stories. One of them is a reprint, Bud Webster's very enjoyable "Bubba Pritchert and the Space Aliens". The others are a varied mix, all under about 7000 words, some quite short, with perhaps a slight tendency towards horror.

My favorites included "Adam's Lawyer," by Martin Owton and Gaie Sebold, which takes a fairly familiar idea (a boy who turns out to be a clone of his father, intended to provide transplants), and treats it matter-of-factly and humanely -- no new ground is broken, but the story is involving. Eugie Foster's "Wanting to Want" tells of a strange cure for drug addiction -- I wanted to like it more than I did: it seemed not quite finished, perhaps simply not quite sufficiently explained. John B. Rosenman's "Santa and Mr. Worm" is straightforward horror, about a professional torturer/assassin who comes into contact with something/someone more horrible than him. Again, no surprises here, but a legitimately scary story in its deadpan telling. Liam Rands's "Holiday" is a short-short about someone planning a holiday -- with a nasty twist. The remainder of the stories are a mixed bag, some not really working at all, some decent enough. On the whole, I'd like to see some improvement in the short fiction. But I'm happy to see a new print source of SF, quite professionally presented.

Copyright © 2007 Rich Horton

Rich Horton is an eclectic reader in and out of the SF and fantasy genres. He's been reading SF since before the Golden Age (that is, since before he was 13). Born in Naperville, IL, he lives and works (as a Software Engineer for the proverbial Major Aerospace Company) in St. Louis area and is a regular contributor to Tangent. Stop by his website at http://www.sff.net/people/richard.horton.


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