Saturday, December 11, 2010

Magazine Review: Dark Discoveries #17

Dark Discoveries #17

I posted a review of another horror magazine Cemetery Dance last month, now time for a review of my favorite. The locally produced Dark Discoveries. Editor James Beach and his partner Jason Brock have done it again, making each issue better than the last. Without a doubt this is my favorite issue so far. The Dark Science Fiction issue features stories by Ray Bradbury, John Shirley, Jeffery Thomas, Bruce Taylor and Portland’s own Jeremy Robert Johnson.

All the fiction in this issue is top notch in this issue. Jeremy Robert Johnson’s The Oarsman was exciting to read as he is a gifted author who has been in hibernation for the last few years. This is a short science fiction, but it doesn’t take long to show a growth in JRJ’s use of language. He was already a great writer but I loved this story.

John Shirley has an excellent short called “Raise Your Hand if You’re Dead.” This returns Shirley to familiar territory that will excite his fans it is cyberpunk with a subtle but effective environmental setting.As is the case with the best short stories I finished it wishing it were a novel. Bruce Taylor's tale of surrealist humor he is known for and the Bradbury piece is poetic.

As for the non-fiction the highlight for this huge fan was Jason Brock’s excellent interview with John Shirley. A great introduction for readers unfamiliar with his work and for those of us who have read everything a peak a little deeper into the writer’s mind. I enjoyed Nolan’s piece about Phillip K. Dick and James Beach’s piece on Dark stories of Star Trek the original series. There were fascinating features abut J.G. Ballard (a writer I need to explore), Rod Serling and lots more.

Jason Brock continues to make the magazine look better with each issue. It’s clear he puts a ton of energy into the look and design of DD. It looks light years better than it did a few issues ago.

I only have one small problem with this issue and one with Dark Discoveries in general. The small problem first, I was excited about the David Cronenberg interview as it was the Dark Sci-fi issue. I was hoping for a look back at videodrome, scanners and the other fantastic films he made that crossed both genres. The interview was almost entirely about Eastern Promises. A good film, and a good interview but a small let down. I don’t blame The DD crew for including it, I just have to admit I was hoping for some dish on the early films.

Now for the only big, huge problem with Dark Discoveries! It’s so damn good I read it almost all in one sitting. Granted It was over a whole afternoon, but I slammed through this issue, and I did that the last two times as well. Now I gotta wait for another issue. I’ll be keeping my subscription.


Lee Thompson said...

Great review, David! I have this sitting here and I'm looking forward to when I have the chance to dig in and read it!

Ade Hodges said...

Nice review... you've piqued my interest, where can I get it? Also, I can't see a 'follow' button for your cool blog and I'd like to keep with it. (If you're wondering, I found you via John Shirley on Facebook.)