Monday, April 16, 2012

Theaker's Quarterly Fiction

I'm not terribly comfortable reading books and magazines on the screen and so I've bypassed Theaker's Quarterly Fiction until ... until I realised that you can buy a POD version via Lulu. Thus I ordered issues 38 and 39 for under £3.00 each (they were published in the autumn and winter of last year), and I am impressed with the quality of the finished product. Lulu's printing is top-notch. But of course, the design of the magazine itself is vital and the editors (Stephen Theaker and John Greenwood) have done an exceptional job.

TQF 38 and 39 are slim magazines of around 100 pages each. Number 38 has a lovely cover of a spaceship by Howard Watts and includes five stories by Rhys Hughes, Jim Steel, Alison Littlewood, Z J Woods and Michael Thomas. There then follows around 30 pages of book, film, comic and audio reviews.

TQF 39 has just three stories, but the first, by Rhys Hughes, is nearly 30 pages long. The other stories come from Mike Sauve and Douglas Thompson. There is an interview with Matthew Hughes and then the usual reviews section. The cover art by the same artist is no where as good as the previous issue's (the Christmas tree doesn't blend very well into the lunar landscape), although it is seasonal.

I haven't read them yet, other than the odd review and Theaker's editorial; that in #39 made me laugh. He describes some incidents when he upset writers or other small press publishers, mostly in reviews. But the thing is, and I agree with the editor, if you review something which is "bad", you have to be honest in your review. Theaker's Quarterly Fiction 40 is, I imagine, due soon.

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