Psychotrope #2

Review by Jenny Barber

Psychotrope maintains the quality of its first issue with some fantastically gruesome tales although I find the cover to be a little weird – apparently, it shows a photograph by 'the surrealist Hans Bellmer'. Well, I'm none the wiser. But onto the yarns…

Atrophy by Wayne Edwards is brilliantly, funnily sick. A bloke has several different cancers at the same time and the only one who will talk to him properly is a priest. After the guy drives his wife away, the priest fixes him up with a friend who caters to his every desire. This not being enough, the guy attempts to commit suicide but fails and when he comes round he has some very interesting visitors.

Triskaidekaphobia by Roger Keen is awesome stuff. Presenting one lad with a phobia of the number thirteen. Unluckily for him, on the thirteenth he is invited to a party where he meets his thirteenth girlfriend. Unfortunately for him, he loses her address and phone number so, a year later, when he is invited to a party (on Friday 13th) he meets her again. She is not pleased with being ignored for a year so exacts a Ms Bobbit-like revenge and it gets better… (only I’m not telling, so you’ll have to get your own copy!).

Hari-Kari Steel Radial by Hertzan Chimera is extremely excellently shocking stuff. Ever been so depressed that you want to fade into the background? Make that dream a reality and do what the character in this story did. Yes, you too can fade into the wallpaper. I have to say though that the ending was a bit of a sharp jolt back to reality.

Cat by D. Cader is horrifyingly sweet and very intriguing. Makes you think just what kind of pets your lonely grandparents are keeping these days. I like it.

Edited by Mark Beech.

This review was originally published in 1995, in the March/April issue of the BFS Newsletter (#19.2).

About Stephen Theaker (306 Articles)
Stephen Theaker's reviews, interviews and articles have appeared in Interzone, Black Static, Prism and the BFS Journal. Among other work for the BFS, he has been awards administrator, short story competition administrator, Dark Horizons editor, FantasyCon secretary and treasurer, and (briefly) chair.