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Kaleidotrope, Issue 5, October 2008

Kaleidotrope, Issue 5, October 2008
Kaleidotrope is published twice a year. You can subscribe by PayPal. If paying by check or money order, please make payable to:
Fred Coppersmith
P.O. Box 25
Carle Place, NY 11514

A 2-year subscription of 4 issues is $16 (US and Canada) or $25 (International) and single issues are $4 (US & Canada) and $6.50 (International).

Kaleidotrope Blog

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rich Horton

This is the third issue I have seen of Kaleidotrope, another small 'zine -- 8.5" by 14" paper folded and saddle-stitched, with cardboard covers. Fred Coppersmith is the proprietor. It features a wide selection of stories -- generally quite a few short-shorts but this issue has a larger proportion of longer stories. There was less nonfiction this time but there is the quite amusing horoscope column and the contributors' bios. Add quite a few poems, and lots of artwork, and this remains a varied and interesting publication.

The first two stories in the magazine were my favorites. Bill Ward's "The Wroeth's Grinding Bowl" is a well done morality tale about the ruler of a prosperous city who takes advantage of the title character, the last of those creatures called wroeths, and of his grinding bowl, which can make anything one can imagine. Including, the world learns to its sorrow, unpleasant things. Therese Arkenberg's "Fortune Cookie" is a pleasant brief account of a human woman meeting an alien and beginning what might be a promising relationship. Mark Rich's "No Friday" is an effective and very well told, well structured, story of a man imprisoned (in a sense) by aliens, writing a letter to his mother, slowly revealing some rather dark secrets. Eric Del Carlo's "Long After the Scrub" is a fairly interesting look at a man with memories of the world before a cataclysmic event which seems to have brought magic creatures -- but not nice ones -- back into the world, as he journeys to a place which seems to have a use for his memories. "Virgin Hearts," by Brendan Connell, is a nicely nasty look at an unpleasant couple that hopes to inherit from their unpleasant uncle -- until they learn his secret. There are several further stories, of varying effect, including a very good reprint, Ralph Sevush's "Emmett, Joey, and the Beelz," which I liked a lot on first reading it in Abyss and Apex a couple of years ago, and which is slightly revised for this appearance.

I tend to find Kaleidotrope's poetry pretty solid -- this time my favorites came from Rachel Swirsky and Stephanie Maclin.

So, much as I said in reviewing #4, this is a good example of what is being done with these modestly produced small 'zines in our field. This particular issue is perhaps the best I've seen, largely because it is simply thicker.

Copyright © 2009 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

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