THEAKERS QUARTERLY #54 edited by Stephen Theaker, Theaker’s Paperback Library, p/b, £4.44, www.theakersquarterly.blogspot.com
Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The zine that’s made this time with love and shared with gratitude has a nice long editorial with editor Stephen Theaker giving readers a sneak peek into what he and his writers have in store for us in this late yet impressive issue.
The reason it is later than normal is due to the editor having several issues he thought his readership might be interested in , such as the Spectral Press collapse and the fact there are many small presses who don’t pay their contributors. One such small press recently announced here it was cruel to have contributors submit their work for nothing, yet there is one snag, which I’m sure readers will question as soon as they read further. Editors don’t tend to mention much about what they review yet Stephen gives us an account (rather detailed) of what he has expected from the book and whether they were bought, sent or borrowed. I like that he has given us this as I already know he enjoys reading books as well as reviewing them.
The fiction is from Patrick Whittacker and Charles Wilkinson. The Policeman and the Silence is set out as different numbered chapters where Detective Inspector Norton is called out to a murder scene. It’s the sixth so far and no one is any wiser as to who the murderer is. With his wit and sarcasm it is up to him to find him – or her very soon. Septs has Anita who has taken over an abandoned house and has a visitor come to stay, but only if he’s prepared to rake the leaves in her garden. This one is shorter and clearly the oddest of the two with a lot of looks back to the previous owners of the house and its rich history.
After the sheer draw from the editorial and the fiction, The Quarterly Review opens up tasters of what to expect from the latest books and movies around. Stephen, Douglas and Jacob give us mixed opinions of some of the best books; Terry Pratchett’s last novel, The Shepherd’s Crown. Many fans are already missing the writer’s work as no one will ever read his like again but remember the amazing achievement he made to comic fantasy literature. Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty is to do with Bram Stoker’s documents being verified, then offered up for auction. It’s a Gothic piece of supernatural fiction and written for those who are avid readers of vampire novels and Stoker’s works.
Movies are reviewed too; some of my favourites are Ant-Man, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Goosebumps. As for TV series, superheroes are still on the viewer menu: Arrow Season 2 and The Flash Season 1, both who feature crossovers of their best characters. Stephen and gang have a lot to talk about and reviewed in their latest issue and still is a publication which is capable of having equal measures of fiction and reviews.