Jupiter # 38: XXXVIII Pasithee (magazine review).

Another issue of ‘Jupiter’, as regular as the satellites orbiting the planet, as good as ever and with six scintillating stories for you to read, it has now become part of the establishment. I’ve been reading ‘Jupiter’ for some years and look forward to every issue knowing that I’ll be pleasantly surprised each time.

Alex Weinle’s ‘Quicker’ is the story of ordinary people caught up in a world of the future where climate change has made life very difficult. It’s an apocalyptic world of destructive winds capable of destroying buildings by erosion in the same way that sandstone rocks are shaped by the storms in the desert. Soldiers are in action, not against other people but the physical enemy that nature has now become, largely due to the ineptitude of mankind by changing the climate through mis-use and ignorance.

The story is mainly concerned with a young woman as she tries to make it from one house to another while the wind is blowing. She thinks of her neighbours and her boyfriend, Jimmy, a serving soldier horribly transmuted by the duties he has undertaken. It’s an atmospheric tale full of remorse but with some hope for the future in the spiritual essence of individuals.

‘Star Fall’ by Lou van Zyl is about an alien being crash-landing on another planet and the effect this has on the inhabitants. Can’t say much about this story because it would spoil the plot, sufficient to say it’s very well-written, sensitive, intuitive, emotional and rewarding.

‘Gone Antiquing’ by Jon Wallace is a great story for rat lovers! Joseph was on Earth looking for antiques with his friend, Achille, the multi-talented rodent with a French accent. A fast-moving intricate story tells us that humans only live until the age of 21 because of some past bungle with nano-technology and viruses. Anarchy was the result but there was money to be made from relics such as comics and pinball machines. In the story, verbose John which has flavours of Brian Aldis and Walt Disney, Joseph tries to find an aged women, someone who shouldn’t exist.

CJ Paget’s ‘The Secret Weapon’, a tale about an insect creature meeting a galactic tyrant, indicates that there is a very powerful weapon the like of which no one has seen before, except for an ancient race who once ruled the galaxy. People wanted to get their hands on this weapon at any cost. An intriguing story with a twist!

‘Ripple Effect’ by Rosie Oliver covers a subject very close to the hearts of British people, namely the weather. Now, if we could only do something about it. Probably not, but what about the government? Who knows what they are cooking up and maybe we will find out in 40 years time. Interesting story, not far from the truth.

Finally, Allen Ashley’s ‘Dead Simon And His Secret Astronautics’ was set in the near future when there was a technology backlash with groups protesting against spaceflight, communications and modern technology. Russ, caught in the middle between his wife and the wife of a dead friend, tries to figure out what’s going on when he reads Simon’s last writings, written in the six months he had left after a serious disease began to terminate his life.

The more he looked into it, the more curious everything became, especially with the connections between religion, alien science and life itself. However, people were out to get him! A good story with lots of potential for further development, this is the sort of idea that could make a good TV play.

There we have it, another excellent edition of ‘Jupiter’. I’m already looking forward to number 39, something to lighten up the winter. As publisher Ian Redman states in this editorial, Science Fiction set in the near future is interesting and there are several stories of this nature in the magazine. Its fiction which affects our lives and the lives of our families and, because of that, it’s more immediate, challenging and possibly fearful.

Rod MacDonald

November 2012


(pub: Ian Redman, 19 Bedford Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA21 5UG, UK. 52 A5 magazine. ISSN: 1740-2069. Price: £ 2.75 plus postage (UK). £4.99 PDF £10.00 for 4 issues (requires 1.5mb in mailbox). Also available as download for PDF and Kindle)

check out website: www.jupitersf.co.uk

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