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Full Unit Hookup #3

Full Unit Hookup #3
Conical Hats Press
From their web site:
"Guidelines for Full Unit Hookup Fiction: Science fiction, dark/urban fantasy, magic realism, slipstream, humor, and mainstream stories between 500 and 5,000 words. Because of space limitations, stories longer than 5,000 words will be a hard sell to Full Unit Hookup, but PLEASE nothing over 10,000 words. No horror, high fantasy, or S&S stories. There are markets for all of these, but unfortunately, this magazine isn't one of them. Please submit only one story at a time and wait for a response before submitting another. If you have a collection of related stories, each less than 1000 words long, you may submit them as a single manuscript. Reprints are acceptable (please specify when and where in cover letter,) but the Full Unit Hookup editor will give priority to new works of fiction. No simultaneous submissions."

Conical Hats Press

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rich Horton

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I was fairly pleased with the first issue of Full Unit Hookup that I saw last year, and this third issue is I think even better. The mix of material is similar: five stories, six poems, and three essays.

The stories are a pretty solid set. The opener, "Waiting for Jenny Rex", by Melissa Yuan-Innes, is very fine work. The story is told by a reporter who falls in love with the title character, a dead anorexic girl returned from the grave with a mission to inform about her disease. Yuan-Innes deftly negotiates the creepy aspects, the affecting aspects, and the funny aspects of her tale, as complications result when other dead return with other diseases to battle. The ending is quite moving. The closing story is also very fine, a sharp short piece about a person obsessed with alien visitors and the ambiguous arrival of same: "Lights in the Evening Sky Like the Promise of Heaven", by Jay Lake. The other three stories are all satisfactory. Eric Gardner's "The Medusa Dishroom" is an off-center, original look at alien invasion -- the aliens covet our food, and the protagonist is assigned to a restaurant's dishroom, where he moons after a fellow worker amidst hints of revolution. Jennifer Rachel Baumer, in "Tidal Pools", looks at a disintegrating marriage as a man, his daughter, and his soon-to-be-ex Mother-in-Law take a trip to the beach and encounter a dead shark. And Stephen D. Rogers's "Dear Reader" is pretty clever meta-fiction about a man convinced a novelist has stolen his life for his book.

Speculative poetry is a mixed bag in general, but editor Mark Rudolph shows fine taste here. All the selections, again, are sturdy work. I particularly liked Sonya Taaffe's loose-limbed "Hershel Said", but no one disappoints. The other poets are Greg Beatty, Bruce Boston, Gavin J. Grant, Marie Kazalia, and David C. Kopaska-Merkel. The essays include a humourous and sardonic take on the Bush dynasty by Beatty, and wrenching but moving reminiscence of his mother and his conception by Rudolph, and a call to arms by Trent Walters (a familiar name to readers of this site), urging writers to deal with the impact of 9/11.

I thought the first issue of Full Unit Hookup promising, and this issue realizes much of that promise. Full Unit Hookup is certainly one of the finer small 'zines in our field.

Copyright © 2003 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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