THEAKER’S QUARTERLY FICTION #59, Theaker’s Quarterly Publishing, p/b, www.theakersquarterly.blogspot.com
Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
This thicker than usual Theaker’s issue is so due to The Theaker’s Quarterly Awards, Red Nose Reviews and loads more in The Quarterly Review section. At the start of January, the Theaker’s Quarterly Awards were launched with voting closing at February’s end. With several categories including; audio, films, books, comics, TV and games, there was plenty from each issue readers could vote on. I remember some of the books and movies were the best that year.
In other news, Editor Stephen Theaker likes to poke fun at most things, this time it’s paid reviews of the kind you would get on Fiverr among other sites, though Stephen has been creative, introducing his own reviews – all for charity. Red Nose Reviews are some of the funniest and are a part of Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day (24 March) and it’s a project he’s had all to himself where he writes fake reviews for a good cause; which surprised me as I’d wanted to see some of his Quarterly Review team take part too. This leads me to the Quarterly Review section where Stephen along with Jacob Edwards, Douglas J. Ogurek, Rafe McGregor and Lorelei Theaker tell us what is worth reading and what’s best left alone. Highlights for me are from Rafe McGregor on The Cthulhu Casebooks: Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows by James Lovegrove, Stephen Theaker on If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell, Jacob Edwards’s Poetic review of the Assassin’s Creed movie and Douglas J. Ogurek’s review of Split by M. Night Shyamalan.
Fiction comes from Rafe McGregor with his tale The Devil’s Hollow who is also responsible for his compilation of short fiction: The Adventures of Roderick Langham. Here is a short one with Roderick following a former chief magistrate, Wilfrid Fletcher who has heard about a great deal of pagan rituals in practice around the village and that a supposed saint was worshipped, yet the truth is the people actually worshipped a pre-church deity. One thing I would like to thank Rafe for personally is putting the North-East Yorkshire on the map as a hotbed for Old Ones worship. When in the possession of an Elder Sign stone, Fletcher has to stay with Roderick for his own safety. Fletcher’s later disappearance sparks a fear Roderick dare not consider. In Man + Van by David Penn, Peter asks his friend James out for a pint at his local pub. This could be a way of catching-up on gossip and good news, but Peter has changed. Peter now speaks in a cockney accent and wears trendy clothes. It’s not like him at all as he is supposed to be a posh London type. Peter has dubbed himself Pete and got kitted out with a van, ditching his art career. James thinks he has lost his sanity until Pete tells him the real reason for the change.
There are my two favourites out of the seven. Overall Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction #59 is its usual engrossing quality read and has a touch of mystery with the wraparound cover by Howard Watts.