(pb; pulp fiction magazine/anthology: Summer 2015, Vol. 1 Issue 4)
The twenty pieces -- seventeen stories, three author reviews -- in this issue of Dark Corners are worth reading. Some pieces grabbed me more than others, but I could see why the editors included all these works in their latest product -- worth owning, this.
1.) "The Good Step-Dad" -- Heath Lowrance: A hasty marriage leads to domestic hell, where a stepfather feels he has to teach his boy how to be a man. Naturally -- and predictably, if you're a nit-picky reader -- the situation worsens, in violent ways.
What makes this chatty story stand out is how the step-dad -- from whom we hear the tale -- sees the chain of events, as well as their reasons and his justifications. The last few lines of this are stellar, making this work stellar, also.
2.) "Cool Reception" -- Will Viharo: An ex-con and his bigamist wife argue at her wedding. This dialogue-, sex- and violence-driven story is funny (in a dark, nasty way), full of emotional knife-twists and over-the-top intense. Entertaining marriage-is-truly-hellish piece.
3.) "Wolves" -- Ed Kurtz: A farmer and his son try to fend off a harsh winter, starvation and wolf attacks in this bleak-toned Western survival story. It does not go anywhere unexpected, but the writing is excellent in its starkness.
4.) "This Thing" -- Patrick Cooper: Good, pulp-solid tale about a man (Berger) who hires his landscaper (Bauer) to murder Berger's wife.
5.) "Tips" -- Warren Moore: A kidnap victim tries to escape from her Coach, who has just kidnapped her -- this piece is microfiction-effective and darkly funny, with a great end-line.
6.) "Better Man" -- James Queally: Good, pulpy work about a man (Rey) who means to do away with his emotionally blackmailing mistress so he can fully commit to a better woman. Full of twists and turns, this is an entertaining read.
7.) "Guts and a Gun" -- Jason Lairamore: A Chicago man's Vegas trip turns violent when bad money, a monkey and goons get involved in it. Good read, I especially enjoyed the dialogue at the end of it.
8.) "Mayej" -- Emily J. McNeely: A woman (Jennifer) and her melodramatic mother (Brenda) travel through Mexico, unaware that it will suddenly get better. Fun, solid piece.
Friday, July 31, 2015
Dark Corners (Summer 2015 issue) edited by CT McNeely, Emily J. McNeely and Steve Gallagher
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