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Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction, #13

Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction
Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction
Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction features original short historical fiction in all of its forms up to novella length. This includes mainstream historical fiction as well as other genre fiction with historical themes. For example, works of alternate history, historical whodunnits, historical fantasy, period horror, time travel, Arthurian legend and retold myth regularly appear in its pages. The magazine also features original historical poetry, reviews of historical novels and films, and interviews with notable historical novelists.

Issue 13 was their final one.

Paradox Website

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sandra Scholes

Known for its showcasing talented writers and illustrators, the magazine also boasts new stories from such well-known writers as Steve Rasnic Tem who has penned many short fictional tales of fantasy and horror, Danny Adams who was also co-author with Philip José Farmer and T.L.Morganfield. These stories range from the fantastic to the inventive and the tales are woven with great style.

Also Poetry can be found in this magazine of fantasy and the unknown, Darrell Schweitzer is the featured poet whose short prose explains a brief moment in Chinese history and one other that needs no introduction other than it is about the awful moments of sacrifice. Although the limelight might have been on Schweitzer, Rachael Pruitt has her own two page delightfully dark poem, "Camlann" about a fierce warrior of stark, Celtic origin who turns out to be Arthur the King.

Within the pages of Paradox:The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction the reader will be able to find stories that will appeal to them as they are from different times in history. Some focus on ancient Korea, Aztec life and the grittily realistic world of the Greeks, so it proves to be a rather mixed bag of something interesting and engaging for all. "The Artist and His Mother" by Steve Rasnic Tem, "Beautiful Calamity" by Maura McHugh, "Like a Stone Wall" by Danny Adams and "Last Voyage" by Natazha Simonova are some of the most intriguing stories in there.

Back issues of the magazine are available even though it is a practically new publication. It concentrates on the many facets of history and fantasy, they boast poetry by Jane Yolen and Sonja Taage and interviews with authors such as Piers Anthony whose Xanth novels have won great acclaim. There are also interesting book reviews of Drood by popular novelist, Dan Simmons and "The Virgin Queen's Daughter" by Ella March Chase.

With a contribution page of authors and artists included, it can provide reading entertainment for a wider audience, not just those interested in history, but in gaining valuable knowledge and wanting to know about the latest fiction to hit the shelves. One thing to notice are the small excerpts of poetry or quotes from novelists that are dotted around the magazine, residing within the fiction, giving it a nice touch.

With a magazine like this it would have been easy to assume that there would be a whole host of artwork used to grace the pages of fiction, yet the majority of art are from some of the most well established artists known to us. Vincent Van Gogh's street illustration compliments Maura McHugh's "Beautiful Calamity" while John Everett Millais' Ophelia is as famous in art as he was in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Ernesto Brosas "For Want of Sympathy" shines with this visualization in his writing. A Gustave Dore illustration for Marie Brennan's "Salt Feels No Pain" captures beautifully the despair and hopelessness of Lot's wife in a short story from the Biblical texts of old. Featured modern artist, Gak's work is angular and Aztec styled in nature with less of a detail than most artists, currently living in NYC he has plenty of new projects to keep him going including "Infernally Yours" and "Doc Good's Travelling Show" by Gene O'Neill.

As a magazine that promotes historical fiction in all its guises, it has pretty much all the reader would want to indulge in from poetry to stories, articles and the latest reviews of new books not yet out in the shops. News of the newest awards and nominations this season and more about the former issues of Paradox:The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction.

The magazine also boasts the promise of future projects many will want to keep an eye on as these are undertaken by those who work on it, and readers will inevitably be waiting with bated breath for them to appear unless they look at their web site for more details.

Copyright © 2009 Sandra Scholes

Interesting times can always be found around Sandra Scholes, especially when she is reading and commenting on her growing collection of manga. Bleach being one of her favourites. Her work can be seen at Active Anime and FantasyBookReview online.

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