The first issue of the new Weird Fiction magazine Arkham Tales was made available for free download back in November 2008, and, since I’m a huge fan of weird fiction, coupled with the fact that they’ve already accepted a story of mine for a future issue, I thought I ought to take a look.
The magazine is issued as a PDF download, and the first thing that struck me was the superb artwork on the covering page. But since my main interest is the content I shall move on.
There is a veritable feast of weird fiction in this issue with seven short stories and one novelette, which form an interesting blend of genres. The House on the Hill of Stars by Jeffrey Scott Sims, a haunted house story with a distinctly Lovecraftian feel to it, is exactly the sort of thing I was expecting and I wasn’t disappointed. Night Frights by Benjamin W Olson is a more conventional horror tale while MageRider by Mike W Barr is a story more in the fantasy genre, but one with a dark underbelly of deception.
Talking About Cet Baker by Derek Rutherford which opens this issue is a frightening tale of revenge that has alarming repercussions while Market Values by Jenny Schwartz explores corruption in the organ vending business.
I spotted Pickman’s Progeny by Robert Masterson listed over at the Predators and Editors Readers Poll, and with good reason. It is a beautifully written and powerful piece. However, my personal favourite has to be Animal Rights by Steve Calvert. There are some lovely touches of humour, which balance so well with an ending that I didn’t see coming.
Finally Until death, I Eat by Steve Bastedo made a cold shudder pass up my spine. A chilling parting shot and definitely not one for vegetarians!
All in all this is a cracking debut, so if you like your fiction good and weird, head over to their website and download it for yourself. And look out for Issue 2 next month!