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Kaleidotrope, Issue 3, October 2007

Kaleidotrope, Issue 3, October 2007
Kaleidotrope
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Kaleidotrope Blog

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rich Horton

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Kaleidotrope is another small 'zine, physically resembling for example Electric Velocipede: 8.5" by 14" paper folded and saddle-stitched, with cardboard covers. It features quite a few stories, but most of them quite short, and a large selection of poems. There is also an article about Doctor Who, and a parody horoscope column, and lots of art, including a comic strip.

As I mentioned, many of the stories are short-shorts. The best of these come from one of the contemporary masters of that form, Bruce Holland Rogers. "Ramps, Railings, and Earthen Embankments" is a deadpan look at the reaction to a great many people suddenly turning up as corpses, but not normal corpses -- too lifelike. And "Missing" is a clever story of a man and his wife and her husband -- who goes missing. I also like Sarah Frost-Mellor's "Gingered," an amusing look at the aftermath of the Hansel and Gretel story.

Best among the longer stories might be Eric Stever's "The Tailings of Men," in which most of humanity has transcended, in a sense, and the narrator lives in a sort of museum town of unaugmented humans. Steven Graham Jones, in "Pistil, Stamen, Bloom," gets into the head of an apparently mentally ill young man, and his hopeless mother. Daniel Ausema's "Stump Courtship" somewhat sweetly portrays a tree-like alien among kiteflying humans, as he looks for an appropriate courtship gift for his intended. And LaShawn M. Wanak's "Click" is interesting metafiction, about our reaction to an ambiguous story situation: a girl crying, a man with a sword.

The poems are a mixed lot, as expected. Mark Rich, Sheri Fresonke Harper, and Alyce Wilson contribute good work, and I quite liked, for its true science fictional resonance, Louisa Howerow's "A Question to Those Who Have Been Successfully Transported."

Nothing in this magazine successfully transported me, dare I say. But there is plenty of nice stuff -- I think the groundwork has been laid for more significant future work. I would hope for fewer but longer stories in future issues -- stories that have more time to develop their ideas.

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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