Redsine volumes 7, 9 and 10
(Prime, $6.00, paperback, 144 pages; January, August and October 2002.)
Redsine is a magazine of dark fantasy and horror, published
(more or less) quarterly. The quality of the publication is absolutely
fantastic; it is a 5in x 8in trade paperback with consistently stunning
colour glossy covers, packed full of stories, interviews and reviews,
and nicely illustrated in black-and-white.
Let me at the outset put my cards on the table. It is difficult to
review a magazine or anthology. For one thing, there are so many authors
represented that it is impossible to include them all in the review.
For another, there are so many variations in theme, not to mention readability,
that I find it difficult to put everything in focus. So I am left with
something muddy and elusive: my impressions.
The beautiful presentation gave me very high hopes, but I was a bit
disappointed once I started reading. Perhaps the stories are a bit too
far out for me -- but I cut my teeth on Dangerous Visions, so
doesn't seem a reasonable explanation. I did enjoy some of the stories
very much, and I read each of them all the way through. Some seemed
to lack originality -- others were so new and so weird that they were
absolutely shocking. I read volumes 7, 9, and 10 in order, and found
10 to be by far the best. I suppose I may have taken that long to get
used to the editors' taste...
So here are some highlights:
In Redsine 7, Simon Logan reworks an old theme in an interesting
way. A ritual "Sacrifice of the Pig" is performed every year, and Richard
has come to observe and report. His involvement ends up somewhat more
personal than he expected. Nathan Burrage's protagonist types "A Message
to Medicare" -- he wants his vocal cords removed. Keith Brooke writes
of Mac, who has an interesting solution when he gets bored with his
current lover; he gives her "What She Wanted". Brian Stableford introduces
us to Bruce Halpern, who has "Nobody Else to Blame" for the suicide
of his daughter, and who waits for a break in the television shows before
In Redsine 9, Forrest Aguirre presents "The Enthroned Remember",
in which the lynched Mitwundu is seduced by the wife of the man he killed.
mind his rotting flesh; in fact she worships him and hopes to join him.
In Redsine 10, Dirk Flintheart recounts in "Rake at the Gates
of Hell" how little ScabRat is on duty guarding Hell when there's the
unexpected appearance of MacFlannery, whose demands to get in lead to
a series of peculiar events. It seems he isn't dead yet. The short-short
"Eye Contact", by Monica J. O'Rourke, is an especially haunting tale
of a student imprisoned by her professor. He didn't kill her, so there
must be hope -- mustn't there? In M.J. Murphy's "The Dream Queen", Lockridge
is obsessed with the girl he remember from long ago. He's found her
again, but she has a new name. And when he sleeps next to her he seems
to wake up in odd places, but still in his bedclothes. That frightens
him, but terrifies her.
Did I like these volumes of Redsine? Sometimes. Do I recommend
it? I think so. Is it great? No. Is it disturbing? Yes. Is it worth
reading? Yes. I understand Prime has no plans to continue the magazine,
so the inevitable final question is this: Do I hope it finds another
publisher, and a continued existence? Most definitely.
Review by Chuck Gregory.
Elsewhere in infinity