Sunday 4 October 2009

Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #30

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Issue 30 of TQF features not one but two writers using the initials K and J. How many other magazines can say that? Black Static, Interzone, Postscripts and McSweeney's may have their fans, but only Theaker's Quarterly would dare to bring you two K.J.s in a single issue!

The issue opens with "Citadel Ninety-Nine" by Michael Canfield, in which a bloodthirsty army tears its way across a strange, strange world. Also in this issue… John Greenwood plots the next point in Newton Braddell's weary journey. Jon Vagg shows what really goes on at conventions in "DeadSoulsCon". K.J. Hays tells the story of "The Zombie Who Went to Town in Style". K.J. Hannah Greenberg writes about creatures in mailboxes in "Just One Case of Flash: Another Chimera Story". And Ben Thomas & Skadi meic Beorh win this issue's best title award with "The Periodic Honking of the Fruit-Seller's Truck".

The issue ends with our usual bountiful selection of reviews, including comment on all of this year's British Fantasy Award-nominated novels, two books from Rhys Hughes, and a collection by Steve Redwood.

And of course the editorial apologises for the lateness of this issue!

Crisis on Earth-One!

This issue is out two months late, and that’s down to the British Fantasy Society taking a lot of my spare time. I can’t complain, though, it’s mostly been a lot of fun.

First there was the reading of submissions for Dark Horizons 55 and all the work involved in putting that together, then organising the BFS Short Story Competition, and then helping out with the online voting for the British Fantasy Awards, and then trying to straighten out the BFA constitution to take into account changes made over the last year or so. It was all very fascinating stuff to be involved with, but didn’t leave much time for the magazine you hold in your (virtual) hands.

Then I went to FantasyCon, held in Nottingham, where I had a great time. I hosted a panel which was nerve-wracking but enjoyable (though next year I must remember to take a watch). I announced the winner of the BFS Short Story Competition at the awards ceremony in a way that would have done Mick Fleetwood proud.

On the Sunday I attended the AGM, where it turned out that a book of interviews with horror writers, launched by the BFS at the convention didn’t include any interviews with women, despite being billed as an overview of the genre.


An apology for this “lazy sexism” was quickly issued by the BFS chair and special publications editor, luckily in time to be included when The Guardian picked up the story. We were perhaps also lucky in that two British Fantasy Awards had gone to women.

The upshot of all that is that next year we’ll just have four issues of Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction so that I can schedule things a bit more sensibly (and maybe even bring out a few more books).

On to this issue: hope you enjoy it and feel it’s been worth the wait. I think it contains some of our most interesting and unusual stories ever!


  • Crisis on Earth-One! Stephen Theaker
  • Contributors


  • Citadel Ninety-Nine, Michael Canfield

Science Fiction

  • DeadSoulsCon, Jon Vagg
  • Just One Case of Flash: Another Chimera Tale, K.J. Hannah Greenberg
  • Newton Braddell and His Inconclusive Researches into the Unknown: Cigarettes of the Gods, John Greenwood


  • The Periodic Honking of the Fruit-Seller’s Truck, Ben Thomas and Skadi meic Beorh
  • The Zombie Who Went to Town in Style, K.J. Hays

The Quarterly Review

The British Fantasy Awards

  • The Graveyard Book
  • Memoirs of a Master Forger
  • The Victoria Vanishes
  • The Midnight Man
  • Rain Dogs
  • Thieving Fear

Other Books

  • Bad Thoughts
  • Broken Symmetries
  • Dust and Shadow: an Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr John H. Watson
  • The Smell of Telescopes
  • The Postmodern Mariner
  • Wild Robert


  • Hellblazer: Empathy is the Enemy
  • The Compleat Next Men, Vol. 1


  • Dark Floors
  • Deadgirl


  • Lost, Season 5
  • Primeval, Series 3
  • Supernatural, Season 4

Also Received

  • But Not Yet Reviewed

Here are the people who gave me the bricks to build this house…

Skadi meic Beorh is a fantasy novelist presently abiding in Pittsburgh with his girl Amberlynn and their three faery-cats Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod. His books Always After Thieves Watch and Pirate Lingo are presently in print. More books are forthcoming from Wildside Press, Sam’s Dot, and Rebel Satori Press.

Michael Canfield has published seventeen short stories. His work has appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Escape Pod, Strange Horizons, the anthology Fantasy: The Year’s Best 2006 (Prime Books), and other places. For more info, and links to free stories, visit his website,

K.J. Hannah Greenberg gave up all manner of academic hoopla to chase a hibernaculum of imaginary hedgehogs and to raise children. Hannah’s writing has been accepted for publication in venues including Doorknobs and Bodypaint, Fallopian Falafel, Ken*Again, Literary Mama, Morpheus Tales, Poetry Super Highway, Shakespeare’s Monkey Review, Static Movement, The Externalist and The Lesser Flamingo.John Greenwood is laughing right now at these very words.

K.J. Hays lives in Orange County with his churlish dog, Mr Bear. His work has appeared in such publications as Sex and Murder, Bareback Magazine, The Flea, Dark and Dreary and the delightfully named Breadcrumb Scabs. He keeps a blog here: It wants followers and commentary.

Rafe McGregor recently celebrated the publication of his historical thriller, The Architect of Murder. See To this issue he contributes two reviews.

Ben Thomas is the author of dozens of short stories, three screenplays, and a perpetually unfinished novel. In 2007, he founded The Willows, the now-defunct magazine of Victorian tales and art. These days, he spends much of his free time studying ancient cultures and languages, a passion he hopes will lead to a high-level degree in an archaeological field. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his girlfriend.

Jon Vagg mainly writes reports and training materials on social exclusion, deprivation and deviance, often drawing on his own life story. He has previously published fiction under pseudonyms, mostly in niche gothic magazines.

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