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.