MAGAZINE REVIEW: Escape Velocity SF (Fact and Fiction)

Title: Escape Velocity
Authors: An Anthology; see below.
Website of Magazine:
Genre: SF / Magazine Volume 1: Issue 2 –
Publish date: February 2008 ISBN: (ID No: 1948481)
Length: 94 pages
Format: Print
Reviewer: Sassy Brit

The editorial staff of this magazine have opened up a whole new world for me with this marvellous cluster of authors dedicated to bringing both science fact and fiction to our attention.

The first author to send this magazine off to a flying start is Kaolin Fire with a story named Testing. A short fiction written with a very short “flash fiction” feel, and a horrific, well-written end.

Next comes group member and one of the two managing editor’s, Geoff Nelder with his article: Coincidences in Non-Fiction where he discusses intriguing accounts of coincidences, one of my favourite subjects. I even have the same book he quotes from, Mysteries of the Unexplained. By examining the circumstances, quite often one can reduce the odds to produce a more predictable event, than it would at first seem. Especially when you consider the six degrees of separation theory, which exists between any two people at random on this planet. A captivating subject.

The Appliance of Science by Sheila Crosby is an entertaining read. It’s the year 2027 – the appliances her protagonist, Jose, a cripple has created to keep him company, are fed up with life and with being taken for granted. But Jose is regretting creating his furniture and appliances so that they have their own personalities and can talk back and it’s like having several nagging spouses. What will happen if Jose talks about his plans to shut them up, when the bed he sleeps in can not only talk but listen? Witty and entertaining.

Then the Space Wordsquare Puzzle and a very interesting look at Ten Strange Things That Could Happen to You Using Future Technology – makes for a nice break before we come to the next story – The Zozoian by Duane Byers. A brilliant tale that explains the real person behind that one mad man that usually sits on the bus right next to you when all the other seats are free! Wonderful!

Author, Viktor Kuprin, writes about the Russian aircrew Pakulin and Kuchevsky, and pilot Commandeer Struckov, who are looking forward to Meeting Vanya the largest thermonuclear device in the history of the world — with startling consequences.

Sheila Crosby’s article, How to Burn a Chicken; Using Astronomy for World Building. Making unbelievabel SF plausible fiction is one thing, but as a reviewer I know that burning smell all too well – when books (or in this case magazines) like this one comes along and I just can’t concentrate on two things at once. Very enjoyable.

In a short story full of tension, which begins after the fall of the Ballisa system, Commander Hawthorne finds that the author, Gustavo Bondoni has written him and his crew 13 light years behind enemy lines, cut off from their supplies and contact with humanity. It won’t be long before their telepathic alien prisoners will project their plea for help; revealing the crew’s wearabouts and sealing the disastrous fate of all humans. Clearly they are living on Borrowed Time.

This is followed by a photo feature of Facts about The 50th Anniversary of Explorer 1 and contains historical pictures, which mark the beginning of U.S. space exploration. Author, Henry Tjevnlund takes a Fresh look at the harsh, rapidly changing environment. His portrayal of a horrific future might not be so far away. Sensational!

Then Geoff Nelder intrerviews SF author Literary Agent, John Jarrold, of whom reveals a few home truths, which makes for an enlightening, entertaining read.

In An Empty Kind of Love, author Adam Colston, describes his fictional account of what shopping in the future could well be like, proving that money can buy you love.

An old man keeps himself alive in Michael Anderson’s Air; a story that highlights the will to survive among a world in which the air has gone bad. Brilliant!

Even a top notch insurance policy cannot help the protagonist in Shaun A. Saunders’ chilling story about The Cost of Living. Cut corners? Pay the price! Eerie!

In the year 2020 a house move and retaining one’s identity proves to be full of problems. It is a time where everyone and their pet has been on reality TV. It’s so common they are even known — not by name — by the TV show they have appeared on. Hiding is not an option, everyone is out to make you famous for 15 mins in the Cyber-Tooth Tiger story by Dan Copcow.

Silver, an intriguing, clever story by Derek Rutherford and a SF cartoon page proceed a story about Sally, a children’s psychotherapist is not entirely happy when a new drug for autism comes into play, however, a larger research grant assists her in making her decision – in the most unusual way.

In Mindreader written by Nick Wood. The Insult committed by the Terrans is too much to bear on the planet O-Tulp – a great little piece of flash fiction by Paul Freeman.

Finally we wrap the issue up with Magdelana Ball’s thought provoking poem, Planet X and then the editors’ Geoff Nelder and Robert Blevins have The Last Word, which I can imagine their other halves say quite often!

I found this volume of talented writers created a couple of hours of pure time-stopping SF escapism with a difference. The varied mixture of short stories, puzzles, articles, pictures, flash fiction and poetry available in this magazine I thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks for bringing this treat of SF fact and fiction into my celestial sphere. I see this being a successful venture for not just the staff but the authors (current and future) involved and would recommend writers submitting to them. I for one, would love to read more. Not sure the family will appreciate another burnt chicken dinner. Especially one that looks like it does not belong on this solar system…


Author: Sassy Brit, Author Assistant

Founder and Owner of author personal and virtual assistant. Editor and reviewer for #altread since 2005.

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