Encounters, I've just discovered that I've another story out - and sticking with the theme of the month, it's another shortish, slightly mad sci-fi tale. Only this one is called Glass Houses, and the magazine is the always delectable Theaker's Quarterly Fiction.
I've made no secret of my fondness for Mr Theaker's eccentric magazine baby, it's odd as all hell and a labour of love in the best possible way. One of the things I really admire about it is that each issue is a noticable step forward from the last, and issue 34 is no exception. For once, I've actually managed to get my hands on a copy before blogging about it, and it's definitely the finest TQF I've seen.
First up, the cover is by Howard Watts, another TQF regular whose art - despite a knee-jerk resitance I have to computer generated imagery - I've come to seriously like. Isn't it neat how that building in the background looks just like the Statue of Liberty until you actually concentrate on it? The details in Howard's work - like those banks of poor, exposed trees - hint at whole cultures, whole worlds even, just waiting beyond the edges of the image, which has always been one of my favourite qualities in genre art.
Inside, you have a whole ton of fiction - including what might possibly (but hopefully won't be) the last published story by my semi-retired author friend Rafe McGregor - a quite staggering number of reviews, and a fair amount of editorial content from the always entertaining Mr Theaker himself. At 156 pages, it's a particularly colossal issue. And, all else aside, (and not counting the milliseconds of life it takes to download a copy), it's completely and utterly free.