Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction 47 Ed Stephen Theaker and John Greenwood. Zine review

THEAKER’S QUARTERLY FICTION #47 edited by Stephen Theaker and John Greenwood, Theaker’s Paperback Library, p/b, $6.71 ,

Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

Theaker’s sounds like a strange name for a magazine but when you know it’s named after Stephen Theaker, one of the editors, it gives the magazine more of a pedigree, that what is inside it is going to be of interest to the reader. As their mission statement is to keep going, it is obvious from how many issues they have had out so far, they will as it has already gained a readership from fans of science fiction, fantasy and horror.

In this issue there have been a few changes added to the overall look of the journal; working pictures into the text and using “monster sized” cover images in each review. First up is the fiction comprising of four stories, two of which are part of a series; Mitchell Edgeworth’s “Abandon” and Antonella Coriander’s “Bike Ride to Peril,” the provisional title of which is Les Aventures Fantastiques de Beatrice et Veronique. Antonella  is the only writer in this issue who hasn’t previously been published, so all eyes will be on her for being a promising writer at Theakers. Both stories are admirable tales that take readers into another world, but Chris Roper’s “Witchinga” starts with a man who has just been made redundant and spends the night in a bar drowning his sorrows with another man. Their conversation drifts into dreams, and takes a very different turn. It is an unusual story that is well written and gets you wondering what will happen next. The story might start in a bar, but the way it turns out is nothing like it ends. Let me put it this way, the reveal is well worth the wait. Zombie & Son by Anthony Malone is peculiar, weird even, but like the others well written and concerns Prince Charles and Camilla in a very different setting from the one we are used to.

Theaker’s is neatly arranged with the introduction, fiction first, then the reviews and opinions section later called The Quarterly Review which has reviews, the top novels, series and movies by Stephen Theaker, Douglas J. Ogurek and Jacob Edwards. The best of the bunch are The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, where the reviewer speaks in admiring tones about how Legolas steals the limelight, Divergent where if you are different from your peers, you are ridiculed, The Glorkian Warrior Delivers A Pizza for its infectious humour and references to The Goodies, and Wonder Woman Unbound for its portrayal of Wonder Woman’s earlier stories and the woman behind the wonder.

There are several things that stand out in the magazine; for one it should be called Theaker’s Quality Fiction as Theaker has chosen some of the best material and even discussed one Antonella Coriander who looks like she will have an interesting career in fiction, the cover images are well thought out and the back cover has colour photos of the images used in the reviews section. It’s a good idea for those who haven’t read a copy of the mag as they might want to based on what’s featured on the back.