Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Murky Tainted Hill

One of the benefits of having your television blow up is it gives you the chance to catch up on some reading. In the 48 hours I was gogglebox-less, I read the above three publications.

First off, I read Gunpowder by Joe Hill. A dark sci-fi novella in which Hill introduces us to a group of children genetically engineered to terraform a planet with their special skills. The characterisation is outstanding (who couldn't love Charley, and Jake, and Niles etc). The plot builds steadily, growing darker with each breath. The conclusion is satisfying and lingers with you for days. For a more indepth, infinitely better review head over to The Fix. Oh, and it's selling out fast. The signed copies (drat, I was too slow) sold out before publication and I doubt the trade edition will be in stock much longer as it is limited to 500 copies.

Next up was issue 1 of Murky Depths. They are currently up to issue 7 (my copy arrived today, but as I''m yet to read number 6 it will have to wait awhile), and I received a copy of issue 1 free when I signed up for a subscription. It's a beautifully produced magazine with a mixture of comic strips and short stories, and there's not a dud in the whole magazine. My favourite stories were Looking In, Looking Out by Gareth D Jones - I defy anyone not to feel at least a twinge of sadness at the end - and CyberRevenge Inc. by Eugie Foster (which left me with the sweats as I'm convinced the story I currently have subbed with Murky Depths, 'PlasticineCoffins.com', is too similar, although it has nothing to do with revenge and Foster's story had no plasticine people in it - sigh).

Finally, I read Tainted, an anthology edited by Aaron Polson. It's always a little harder plugging a book/story/magazine by someone you know. It feels tainted (no pun intended), but I couldn't let this little gem gather dust on my shelf without mentioning it at least once. My favourite story was Fish Balls and Mushrooms by Natalie L Sin - and again, as I know and admire Natalie it feels a bit like - well of course she would say that, but bare in mind I also have a blog acquaintance with several others on the TOC and although I enjoyed their stories they didn't make number one - sticks tongue out and runs away. The stories in Tainted where inspired by stories from Poe, Blackwood, Bierce, Wells and Benson. Of the old masters, my favourite story was E.F. Benson's The Caterpillars.

14 comments:

Natalie L. Sin said...

LOVED "The Caterpillars" : ) Of course, you knew that!

Aaron Polson said...

Boy howdy, do I love "The Caterpillars". The description of the fat, little things crawling across the floor is uber-creepy.

Murky Depths is a super mag, and I hope to land a story in there one day. I count it as one of those "doesn't pay much but looks darn cool" pubs.

Thanks for the mention.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Maybe I need to blow up my tv to get some more reading done.
What am I saying. I have children to keep occupied and I can only play so many games of Candyland.

Danielle Ferries said...

Great recommendations, I'll have to catch up on these.

Barry Napier said...

Gasp! This is the first I've heard of "Gunpowder". How did this escape me???

Kim Kasch said...

When we got snowed in, I read like crazy - maybe stir crazy ;)

Catherine J Gardner said...

Natalie - Yep, I guessed that. :)

Aaron - You and me both. I'm guessing my current sub with them will be a no though.

Jamie - TV's make great nannies.

Danielle - you love them all.

Barry - because you've been busy writing and not trawling the internet. :)

Kim - It's amazing how much you can get through when you haven't got any other distractions.

K.C. Shaw said...

Sounds like you spent your TV-less time wisely! My problem isn't the TV, it's the whole darn internet.

Catherine J Gardner said...

Oh, there was plenty of net time too. :(

L. Clarke said...

G,day sounds lia great novel. I do abit of sci-fi writing and have star caterpillars which crawl and burrow across a planet covered with desert. These are cute though not as interesting as yours.
My novel is a gritty, blood and gore filled futuristic sci-fi thriller called Doom Of The Shem.
doomoftheshem.blogspot.com

Catherine J Gardner said...

I had a spam sandwich once - it wasn't very good. :)

Jamie Eyberg said...

I like Spam that is cooked properly but when it just shows up on the doorstep uninvited it is usually rancid and attracts bugs and other vermin.

Jeremy Kelly said...

Oo0oh. Gunpowder looks good. I shall have to check it out.

Mary said...

Gunpowder sounds great!

And I know what you mean about singing the praises of work by people you know. But a good story or book is always worth mentioning. I think it’s a wonderful thing to do. :)