Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction #53. Book review

THEAKER’S QUARTERLY FICTION #53, Jan. 2016, edited by Stephen Theaker, Theaker’s Paperback Library, p/b, $7.63,

Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

Theaker’s still has the usual stories, reviews and the editorial which I look forward to every time I get one sent from the BFS (to review – Ed). This issue is delayed due to the editor, Stephen being the helpful soul that he is aiding on two issues of BFS Horizons with ease. Of the fiction, there are three stories, but not the serial ones from Walt Burnso,Antonella Coriander and Howard Phillips; these are Restitution by Mitchell Edgeworth, Dodge Sidestep’s (and Martins’s) Final Dastardly Plan by Howard Watts and Rathfern’s Menagerie by Allen Ashley; the other stories are primed for later issues.

Mitchell Edgeworth, author of Homecoming, Drydock, Flight, Customs, Abandon and Heritage in previous volumes of Theaker’s has returned with his latest short; Restitution Black Swan #7 where Black Swan shipmate Nisha has left her captain and one of his men, along with some special cargo that isn’t exactly legal. Captain Duval and Chase have only one thought on their mind, go after her and reclaim the stolen cargo, but where will they find her? This is a story with flashbacks to times when Nisha was around, giving clues as to where she might be.  Dodge Sidestep’s (and Martins’s) Final Dastardly Plan by Howard Watts has Martin find out he’s got a daughter from an earlier affair, and there’s only one man who can help them reclaim the balance time travel style. Dodge Sidestep is an ex-con who never expected to show his softer side. Howard takes readers on a wild ride of discovery and fun.  In Rathfern’s Menagerie by Allen Ashley, a man who once had a wife, has thoughts of having a family with his wife, now, in the days of the apocalypse, he assumes the android body of a female, while his woman assumes a male body to please themselves after their master has since gone. This is a bodyswap story that has a strange conclusion as well as a couple who only want to survive the years in other bodies, hoping they as a couple are still compatible with each others needs.

The Quarterly Review has Stephen Theaker, Douglas J. Ogurek and Jacob Edwards reviewing their fair share of audio books, books and movies. Dr. Who features heavily in the audio books as does some rather interesting subject matter from Bafflegab Productions. Also from them, Vince Cosmos: Glam Rock Detective is a throwback to the simpler times of the 70s. There are a few Dr. Who titles in the books section of these reviews featuring the many who have played the doctor from the different eras. These keep cropping up as sounding more popular than the more recent one. Included in the books are comics; some of the interesting ones were for The Glorkian Warrior and the Mustache of Destiny by James Kochalka, Olympus Book #1 by Geoff Johns, Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War by Geoff Johns and Redhand: Twilight of the Gods Book 1 Son of Oblivion by Kurt Busiek. Stephen and Douglas
marginally dominate the movie reviews section with some decent looks into Terminator: Genysis and how it harkens back to the first two movies and is considered, at least by me to be a vast improvement on the others. I liked the difference of opinion about Pixels as a movie about computer game characters coming to life and terrorising the world – it’s a crazy idea, but as a film it works due to the casting and superb CGI.

I remember having an earlier Theaker’s and have steadily watched it grow and develop into a well-written, informative and compelling read over the years and think with the talent already around, it could get bigger even than Stephen.