‘Albedo One’ is a bit of a mixed bag. It has an interview with a writer several short stories and reviews of other stories. As with any collection of short stories there are going to be some that work for the reader and some that don’t. Issue 42 of ‘Albedo One’ is no exception to this with the highlight being ‘Drith’ by Donna Thorland, which was also the longest story in this edition. It tells the story of Drith who has ran away from her family in the company of an ex-mercenary called Shard. She and Shard join a wagon train on its way to a town that has been blighted by two warring wizards. The fantasy element of this very well-written piece marks it out from the other stories.
Another story that caught my attention was ‘Night Of Our Red Eye’ by David Murphey. This is a horror story telling the tale of an unfortunate person who is shepherded from one flight to another, never allowed to leave the airport terminal or communicate with other people in the same predicament. It is told from the traveller’s perspective as he makes a defiant move to engage with a fellow traveller.
One of the things that irks me with some short stories is the lack of any recognisable point to the story and there are a few in here that irked me. One story that showed a lot of promise just seems to stop in mid-flow with no conclusion whatsoever. I don’t want to name names, but I question the selection process of the editorial team for selecting some stories in the first place.
Moving to more positive things, the interview with the prize-winning author John Meany is very well done. Bob Neilson conducted the interview and while covering lots of ground, does get John to provide an insight into the trials and tribulations of being an author. It apparently takes about nine months to write a novel with delays for edits and re-writes.
‘Albedo One’ is a puzzling collection that can’t be categorised as SF, horror or fantasy. It is simply a collection of short fiction stories with an interview with an author and reviews of mostly fantasy books. The editorial doesn’t provide any clues as to the purpose of the publication other than to say it has an on-going mission to bring the best in translated fiction to its readers. It might have just been bad luck in that I get the issue with some duff stories but having read issue 42 from cover to cover I don’t feel compelled to seek out issue 43.
(pub: Albedo One, 2 Post Road, Lusk, County Dublin, Ireland. 100 page A4 magazine. ISSN: 0791-8534. Price: 5.95 euros)
check out website: www.albedo1.com