Monday 11 September 2006

Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #12

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The Autumn 2006 edition of our magazine is devoted to Newton Braddell, whose incomparably inconclusive researches have appeared in a number of our previous issues. They continue here, as remarkably as ever, and meander through the entire issue.

As one saga continues, another begins – that of Helen and Her Magic Cat, written and drawn by master cartoonist Steven Gilligan. We hope this hilarious strip will be a permanent fixture on the back cover (or thereabouts) for many issues to come.

We also welcome what I expect to be the first of many reviews from our transatlantic cousin-in-arms, Walt Brunston. His cartoon began running in issue eleven, his reviews in this one, and next issue? Well, let's just say I'm fighting a rearguard action to prevent this becoming Brunston's Quarterly Fiction.

To read the issue, either just click on the cover to the right to open the document within your browser, or, and this is what we would recommend, right click and save it to your hard drive, where you can read it at your leisure. – SWT


Newton Braddell Rides Again!


Lost Skies of Agramennon ~ Strange Pets of History ~ New Doctor Who Companion Confirmed

Robots, in a Spaceship

Robots Are Surprised!

Newton Braddell And His Inconclusive Researches Into The Unknown: the Saga Continues

Captured by the Punggol ~ The Great Traitor ~ Peculiar Habits of the Rumbia Beetles ~ Awaiting Trial in the Rumbia Colony ~ An Android’s House Guest ~ Electric Brain Parasites ~ An Awkward Cohabitation ~ New Hope and a New Friend ~ In Search of the Red Hill Clementi

The Quarterly Review

Cars ~ The Descent ~ Three Moons Over Milford ~ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Cars – reviewed by Howard Phillips

In this belated sequel to Stephen King’s underrated directorial debut, Maximum Overdrive, humanity is long gone – the resistance displayed by the survivors in that movie utterly forgotten, and the cars given autonomous life by a freak cosmic accident rule the world.

However, in a horrifying echo of George A Romero’s mall-shopping zombies in Dawn of the Dead, the cars continue to perform the mundane duties they undertook when mankind still lived, so we see them travelling along motorways, going on touring holidays, attending sports events, and so on. They lack the imagination to come up with new activities for themselves, now that their erstwhile masters are gone. Worst of all, like public schoolboys who grow up to beg a madam’s cane, they throw themselves into life-threatening high speed races, struggling to recapture excitement in what once was torture.

In common with other recent children’s films, such as Ice Age and Robots, and of course with the aforementioned George A Romero, Cars takes an uncommon interest in entropy, and its ultimate expression, death.

In Cars, to be built is to begin to rust; to turn on your engine is to become outdated – there will always be a newer model, and from the moment you are created you begin the fight against decrepitude. A depressing topic for an adult film, and even more so for a film made for children.

And so, although the marketing for Cars betrays little of its origin, its themes perhaps stay closer to the horror of Stephen King’s work than you might imagine.

It is highly recommended.

Cars, directed by John Lasseter / Joe Ranft (dirs). Film, US, 121 mins. Originally published in Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #12. NB: Howard Phillips is a fictional character.

Monday 31 July 2006

Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #11

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For this issue, we decided to give the old quarterly another little makeover, as well as adding a few new bits and bobs – a news section, a review section, and a new comic strip.

The goal of all the changes is to make it a bit easier to start reading. The font is a little bigger than it was, each page is a bit less text-heavy, and there are shorter items for the times when you just aren't in the mood for reading the latest instalment of Howard's extravagant adventures.

None of the changes are huge, and deliberately so, but the sum total of them should be palpable.

Our raison d’etre has not changed one bit, though – every issue will provide a great read from start to finish.

As for the contents – this issue brings Howard Phillips' momentous first novel to a conclusion – but feel free to jump in at this point, even if you haven't read a single word of what went before. Very deliberately, it is designed in the manner of an old-fashioned comic strip or film serial, to be picked up and enjoyed at any point.

There is also a rather silly play, originally intended for inclusion in issue five of New Words. That issue never saw the light of day, but now, at last, the play has, and applications from amateur dramatics societies are both welcome and guaranteed to be granted. SWT


A New Look


Controversy as “Quarterly Published Six Times a Year” ~ Last Days on Earth? ~ Artsfest 2006 ~ Alec Abernathy’s Meat Search


Our Plans Are Up in the Air ~ The Pit of a Pendulum ~ Captives of the Mongoose-Men ~ Deep Red Sea ~ The Denizen  ~ The Blank Tower ~ Love’s Last Laugh ~ The Extruded One ~ The Weaponeers ~ The Zuvanos Gambit ~ Back to Sadness, Back to Music


Saying Hello


Scene One ~ Scene Two ~ Scene Three ~ Scene Four


World on a Plate ~ Black Holes and Revelations ~ Jennie Rindon’s Cosmic Machine

Tuesday 27 June 2006

Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #10

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Once again we find ourselves without room for a longer editorial, but thanks for dropping by! In this issue, we present in its entirety John Greenwood’s exciting novella of mechanical co-habitation, "Living with Mister Robot", together with another lengthy and thrilling instalment of Howard Phillips’ Saturation Point Saga – the serialisation of His Nerves Extruded, the first novel in the sequence to be actually written, continues.


  • Living with Mister Robot, by John Greenwood
  • The Saturation Point Saga: His Nerves Extruded, by Howard Phillips: A Princess of Envia ~ The Way to a Man’s Heart ~ The River of Wrath ~ Laughable Aria ~ A Loquacious Tormentor ~ Love Rears Its Ugly Head ~ Bad Luck Comes In Trees

Tuesday 16 May 2006

Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #9

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There's not enough room in this issue for a real editorial – we have far too much material to fit in! But in the little space we have [inside the magazine, that is] I would like to welcome John Greenwood, one of our consistent contributors, as co-editor, and congratulate Howard Phillips on actually completing a novel. More of His Nerves Extruded will appear next issue. Thanks to all readers and contributors! – SWT


Newton Braddell And His Inconclusive Researches Into the Unknown

  • The Bird-People of Kadaloor, by John Greenwood

The Saturation Point Saga: His Nerves Extruded, by Howard Phillips

  • The Beautiful Beautiful Palanquinettes
  • A Struggle to Breath
  • Ferry Worrying
  • We Fight Back. For Love, For Victory, For Honour!
  • Heist You Later
  • Action Is Mine!
  • Eggshell in the Void
  • Tears in Transit
  • First Steps on a Far-Off World
  • The Mantor Strikes!
  • Laugh While the Iron’s Hot!

Gertrude and the Thringrar

  • By Ranjna Theaker


  • Rescuer, by Steven Gilligan