Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine # 59 (magazine review).
The latest edition of ‘Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine’ was a bit later than normal but you’ve got to feel sorry for the guys from Australia, after all they are working upside down and would fall off the Earth if not for velcro keeping them attached. Nevertheless, they have produced a very good issue with plenty of scintillating stories, articles and reviews. Artwork must also be mentioned because as usual, ASIM stands out with magnificent creations on the cover and within the pages. In this issue, we have work from Greg Hughes, Kathleen Jennings and Paul Drummond, making the stories come to life in a delightful and curious way. As always with this magazine, it’s a collective effort from a team of enthusiasts who put together something with a unique signature. Maybe you could describe ASIM as a little batty and idiosyncratic but, of all the many magazines out there, it would be difficult to find another in the same vein as this one.
A total of 13 stories plus poetry and reviews make up number 59. It starts off with ‘The Real Deal’ by Gitte Cristensen which tells the story of a spoilt brat called Esmeralda who throws a tantrum because she can’t take her pony, Topper, on the family’s emigration to Alpha Centauri. As we read, we discover it’s no ordinary family and the pony has an unusual pedigree. Next is Evan Dicken with ‘When it Was Ripe’. Leaders of strange cults beware, that’s all I say!
Zombie haiku. Well, thank goodness there are only three lines! That’s not all, folks, in this issue you get rules and regulations for eating aliens! There seems to be penchant for zombies at ASIM, I don’t know why, but they seem to appear with regularity. I don’t like zombies, have never liked them and avoid any restaurant which has them on the menu.
The overall standard of fiction was very good. There are too many stories to mention in one small review and if I have neglected to mention a title, that doesn’t mean to say it didn’t prove palatable. While it would be easier for the reviewer if there were only five stories, with the baker’s dozen from ASIM, it becomes a bit more difficult. Sufficient to say, here are a few more that caught my eye.
Charlotte Nash’s ‘Blue Ice’, a long absorbing and interesting story was followed by a spidery tale by Michael Shone called Alecia in the ‘Mechworm’, which took you to alien machines in South Africa.
Preston Dennett’s ‘Salvage Yard’, perhaps my favourite story from the magazine, was intriguing from the start. Danvers owns a junkyard in space full of old ships, some going back hundreds of years. Approached by a lady and her son, he is given money to take them to see a Carpenter ship, one of the originals, so that the boy can study it for a project. On the way, they meet Willie, a strange creature that could live in a vacuum and eat metal. This is the start of a nail-biting adventure with highs and lows! A thoroughly enjoyable story, just like Science Fiction used to be, it’s exceptionally well-written with good characters and setting.
Jessica Meddows gave us personalised seasons in ‘Endless Summer’, while Sharon J Gochenour’s ‘Debtors’ was a scary tale about a suicidal woman, nightmares, pirates and ghoulish beings.
‘Enter A Human’ by Preston Dennett is a witty tale, an excellent story in fact, about an alien talent scout called Track who is looking for a new star. Unable to find anyone of any substance, this blue alien decides to opt for a human and finding Sarah, an artist, he takes her away in his flying saucer. In the biggest contest in the galaxy, Sarah is to use a box which turns her imaginations into reality. Would she put up a good show for humans in the competition? Time would tell. Regardless, who is the author, Preston Dennett? I’ve never heard of him but here he is with a couple of stories in ASIM and I’ve mentioned them both! After searching on the web, I discovered he is a UFO researcher with several books written on the subject. He also writes fiction and judging by the work published here, a good future in this sphere may await him in the future.
What I liked about this issue, which encompassed 172 pages, was the variation in line and length, just like a good test match bowler! Some of the stories were quite long which allowed plenty of character development and others were sharp, short and witty. A very likeable magazine, it’s welcome every time it appears and now into its second half-century, it seems to mature with age. If you haven’t come across this magazine before, I would recommend you give it a try. You know there’s such a lot of rubbish out there on the web with magazines that shouldn’t really see the light of day. With appalling fiction and amateurish editing, they have a limited subscription and lifetime, but here is a magazine of quality which has been around for several years and has stood the test of time. It’s one to read!
(pub: Andromeda Spaceways. 168 page quarterly A5 magazine. $ 4.95 (AUS) PDF copy online, hardcopy: $12.95 (AUS). Subscription six issues $ 27.00 (AUS))
check out website: www.andromedaspaceways.com