Wednesday 4 April 2007

Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #16

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Down at the Bottom of the Sea!

Being able to treat ourselves to colour covers raises a lot of potential problems. There is so much more to think about – the stark simplicity of our previous black and white covers is now a fond and distant memory, and the potential for making a mistake is all too large, as I fear I discovered in the course of creating the overcooked cover for issue fifteen. This issue, however, the potential of colour was demonstrably unlocked, as we procured the wonderful piece of illustrative artwork that has already met you on the way in. The artist of this amazing window into the world of Howard Phillips is one John Shanks, proprietor of Homegrown Goodness, which he describes as a site for people who don’t care that they can’t draw. “With animals. And celebrities.”

Said cover has doubtless alerted you the main content of this issue: the next instalment in the Saturation Point Saga, as Howard Phillips relates to us The Doom That Came to Sea Base Delta! The serialisation of this novel will be concluded in issue seventeen (unless something better comes up before then). If any readers are tiring of Howard’s neverending quest, I’m very sorry! I’m just glad to see an old friend reunited with his muse – if he wrote a novel every week I would up the frequency of TQF to match, that I could publish them all!

In previous issues, forty or so pages of prime Phillips would have been considered more than enough to make an issue complete, but not this time! This is the issue that keeps on giving. For dessert, Lawrence Dagstine brings us “Our Plight on Amaros”. If there’s one thing we love at TQF, it’s a high concept tale with lashings of adventure and thoughtfulness, and that’s exactly what we have here. After reading it, ask yourself, would we have treated them any better if they came to our planet?

This issue also brings the next part in what is intended to be a five-part serial of very short stories, After All, by Michael Wyndham Thomas. The first part of this mysterious tale appeared in issue fifteen, as part of our Silver Age Treasury of Fantastic Literature.

Wash that down with another sip of Newton Braddell! Surely there will come a day when this series will be regarded as one of the greatest short story cycles of all time, if not the greatest of them all! Maybe it’s time for the Foundation saga to make room on its pedestal!

What else? Another Lost Classic of the Silver Age, a tale of one Cleabella Danger, thanks to the plucky fellow who rescued her book from a space pirate!

And dropped into the mix at the very last minute, an extract from the novel-in-progress, Chameleon Man Gets Lost, by Caroline Marwitz: “The Good Fortune Driving School for Men”.

You lucky readers!

There’s also another incredible episode in the life of Helen and her magic cat, from the marvellous mind of Steven Gilligan! Sadly this is episode four, and should have appeared prior to that which appeared in Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #15, but even my incompetence cannot take the shine off this brilliance! – SWT


Down at the Bottom of the Sea!


Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction: the Future of Fantastic Literature! ~ Why Not Join the BFS?

The Saturation Point Saga: The Doom That Came to Sea Base Delta

Howard Phillips

Howard in a Hotel Room ~ On the Way Down ~ Wherein I Meet David Letterman ~ Called to the Bar ~ A Meeting with the Big Man ~ Monstrous Attacker! ~ Under the Sea ~ Sea Base Delta ~ Terror in the Night ~ Lunch with the Commander ~ Preparations for Death! ~ Lost at Sea ~ A Bad Night’s Sleep

Helen and her Magic Cat

Steven Gilligan

OUR Plight on Amaros

Lawrence Dagstine

Chameleon Man Gets Lost

The Good Fortune Driving School for Men

Caroline Marwitz

After All

Sparks or Something

Michael Wyndham Thomas

Newton Braddell And His Inconclusive Researches Into The Unknown

Marsiling’s Mantra

John Greenwood

Lost Classics of the Silver Age

The Czar of Saturn’s Daughter

William Higman

The Quarterly Review

Weirdmonger ~ Meet the Robinsons