Thursday, December 3, 2009

Review - AC-Mag Fall 2009

Alternative Coordinates (AC-Mag) a production of Zefram Media LLC and edited by Jeff Cochran, published the Fall 09 issue recently. I was very happy to read through the many fine stories published in this issue. My two favorites are "The Ferryman" by Tom Brennan and "A Good Boy" by Desmond Warzel.

I have mentioned before here on my blog, that the online e-zine world is here we will find the next Robert Howard, Robert Heinlein or Isaac Asimov. I haven?t found an author of that caliber yet, but we are getting close and with this issue of AC-Mag we are coming even closer to finding a name that will lite the fantasy and science fiction world on fire.

If you haven't yet picked up this issue, do so, and enjoy the stories. Following are my reviews, and yes these are my opinions so if you like one story over another, and think my reviews are lousy. Feel free to start your own blog, they?re free.

The search for the next big name in SciFi and Fantasy is still on, so good hunting. But for now the big name in bringing SciFi and Fantasy to us is AC-Mag. I can't say enough fro this e-zine, this is where the pulps of yesteryear are here today.

Child of the Pact by C.L. Holland

This is an interesting story about a boys struggle with becoming who and what he is destined to become. It is a fantasy story told from a first person point of view, that flows easily and reads quickly. It is evident that the classic hero?s journey is effortlessly used to tell this story.

I enjoyed the ease of reading this story and the authors writing, but it didn?t grab me until the last few pages and the ending was rather abrupt. Basically the hero laid out his two choices and picked one, all in about two sentences.

The Ferryman by Tom Brennan

A very good story, that tells about a Ferryman that takes travelers to an alien craft, for what we believe is their final journey. It is never stated in the story that this is the journey between life and death, but it is alluded to. The story is about the Ferryman his struggle with doing his job, and his struggle with going back to his previous life or taking the trip across the lagoon to the alien ship him self. In the end he is tempted by a passenger to leave his gondola and go on the alien ship.

The Ferryman is a great model of someone stuck in between, and a good allegory to purgatory.

I enjoyed the writing and it read very easily and caught my interest within the first page or so. It did leave me wanting to know more about he main character, but then I guess that is the mark of a good story.

Gate Weaver by Z.S. Adani

This story never grabbed me, and I have to say that I liked it the least of the stories in this issue. The story is full of fluffy writing that shows a lot, but I was always asking myself, where is this story going.

The Alien Embrace - pt. 2 by Frances Pauli

I enjoyed this story and the authors ability to write and to tell a story. I was a bit put off by the "Humans are an evil world destroying race," point of view that seems to be overly present in a lot of writing and movies these days. But none the less the author can write a captivating story.

I would definitely recommend this for most readers, and hope to see other material by Pauli, just keep the hidden agenda out of it and tell a story.

A Good Boy by Desmond Warzel

This is a very interesting story, and in my opinion the strongest of the stories in this issue of AC Mag. It is about a man that has recovered a runaway boy is in a hotel room waiting to deliver the boy to his parents. Both characters are very well developed and the writing is very good. Some of the back story is easily woven into the tale and provides enough depth for the reader to come to the conclusion at the end of the story.

If anything is missing in this story is that I think Warzel told a very easy story, and is capable of much more. I look forward to seeing more from this author.

A Quiet Corner of Time by Paula R. Stiles

This is another very strong story for this issue of AC Mag. It has been a while since I have read a good time travel story, and this certainly qualifies as a good one.

The story is about a girl, Moira, in the distant future which is attempting to finish her PhD. She has already been in the past to do research, and is now trying to find a quiet place to finish her thesis. Along the way we learn that she escorted some time travelers from the past (actually they are actors traveling around different times to make movies) that basically turned her in to her supervising professor for doing unauthorized research in the past. Moira lands a plumb job as a temporal park ranger in the Paleozoic era where she has all the time she needs to finish her thesis and in the end dispatch the actors that have been popping in and out of her life.