Saturday 9 April 2005

Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #5

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In many ways, I believe this issue of Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction to be our finest yet. Entirely new, it features a single long story from Steven Gilligan, author of Elsewhere (published by Silver Age Books). This story, "Sabaku", is the opening salvo of his novel-in-progress, The Indigo Skies of Home. Having read "Sabaku", I can only hope that said progress becomes more actual than metaphorical, as I’m keen to discover what befalls these fascinating characters in the future.

It seems I need some more to fill out this page, and so I will drift in one of my ever more frequent reveries. The sun shines upon all the readers of Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction, and we have that in common. What else do we have in common? A love of story, an adoration of tall tales, a softness for genre, and a pleasure in poetry. Not, of course, the kind of poetry that rhymes and rambles in equal measure, not the maggot-ridden corpse of verse, but the poetry of prose, the poetry that comes from a simple soul expressing itself through the tropes of spaceships, laser guns, planets, stars and time travel. What other kind of literature can hope to compete? So let’s not stamp upon verse, as might normally be our (entirely natural) inclination, but instead let us all hie from here to try a little Tennyson, borrow some Byron, or sample a little Swinburne. And talking of Swinburne, here is Steven Gilligan’s latest story, which begins upon a ship of that name…