Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Unique Magazine

Well, it'll probably be a while before I write a another book review. Amazon shipped more of my most recent order on Sunday, and I don't want to start reading any other books, because I know I'll just put them aside when my order finally arrives. Also, I just got the latest issue of Weird Tales yesterday, and I've been busy reading it.

If for some reason you don't know what Weird Tales is, then you probably aren't much of a fan of fantasy and horror. It's just the magazine that published Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft's best known works. It's been around since the 1920s. Just read the Wikipedia article.

It's got to be one of my favorite magazines. In fact I'd say it's second only to Fortean Times on my list. It's a great magazine for anyone who likes fantasy, horror, or--well umm--weird tales.

The current issue has eight stories and five poems, all with a weird flavor. I'm not going to get into the poetry here, but I will share my thoughts on the stories.

My favorite had to be Richard Parks' "Conversation at the Tomb of an Unknown King." I thought it was kind of funny, and a bit creepy, and I liked the wight. Brian Stableford's "The Elixir of Youth" was another good one. This one wasn't funny, but it was a heck of a lot creepier, especially the ending. There was a nice Arthurian story called "Aftermath" by Tina & Tony Rath. Keith Taylor's "Corpse's Wrath" was an exciting weird adventure. Robert Weinberg's "Children of Moriah" was certainly a very strange, and disturbing, story. I liked Richard Lupoff's "Fourth Avenue Interlude," but even though it was a well told story, it lacked the weird elements I expect from a Weird Tales story. Natalia Lincoln's "Revival" didn't really grip me all that much. It wasn't a bad story, but I didn't think it was all that great either. Terry Sofian's "Blackwater Ghosts," on the other hand, just bored the hell out of me.

Besides the fiction and poetry, Weird Tales has a few other things to offer. Their editorial, "The Eyrie," provides an interesting insight into fantasy and horror. They provide reviews for many interesting books in the genre, many of them by small presses and the like. They occasionally have a non-fiction article; this issue has one on Robert E. Howard, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth earlier this year.

Weird Tales is well worth subscribing to. Their stories are usually excellent, and they have lots of other interesting features. I give Weird Tales 5 yo-yos.

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