Tuesday 30 April 2013

Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #43 – now out!

Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #43 is now out! It's available as ever for free download, and in response to popular demand with this issue we've made it available once again in epub and pdf format. That means you'll have to pay to get it in the Kindle store, I'm afraid, but we have a free mobi version available here too.

This issue features five science fiction stories: "Diving Bird" by Madeleine Beresford, "Through the Ages" by Gary Budgen, "Quasar Rise" by Douglas Thompson, "Dodge Sidestep’s Dastardly Plan" by Howard Watts, and "Flight" by Mitchell Edgeworth, plus my accidentally topical editorial about leaving Facebook and two dozen reviews from Jacob Edwards, Douglas J. Ogurek, Howard Watts, John Greenwood, Harsh Grewal and me.

The cover is by Howard Watts, illustrating his own melodious, murderous fiction confection.

Reviews in this issue: Counter-Measures, Series 1, Adam Robots, Celebrant, A Coming of Age, A Conspiracy of Alchemists, Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks, The Dog Stars, Moscow But Dreaming, 9 Tales of Henghis Hapthorn / The Gist Hunter, Randalls Round, A Red Sun Also Rises, A Town Called Pandemonium, Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 2: Knightquest, Doctor Who: The Crimson Hand, Dreadstar Omnibus, Vol. 1, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Borderlands 2, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, Cloud Atlas, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Rise of the Guardians / Hotel Transylvania, Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 and Warm Bodies.


Paperback edition: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Epub version (free)
Mobi version (free)
PDF version (free)
Kindle Store: Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com


Douglas Thompson is by now a TQF veteran, several of his stories having appeared in these pages. He is the author of seven books: Ultrameta (Eibonvale, 2009), Sylvow (Eibonvale, 2010), Apoidea (The Exaggerated Press, 2011), Mechagnosis (Dog Horn, 2012), Entanglement (Elsewhen, 2012), with Freasdal and Volwys & Other Stories due in late 2013 from Acair and Dog Horn Publishing respectively. “Quasar Rise” will appear in the latter. For more information on Douglas see: http://douglasthompson.wordpress.com.

Douglas J. Ogurek reviews Breaking Dawn, Part 2, Warm Bodies and The Hobbit for this issue. His work has also appeared in such publications as the BFS Journal, Dark Things V, Daughters of Icarus, The Literary Review, Morpheus Tales and WTF?! He lives in Gurnee, Illinois with the woman whose husband he is and their five pets. His website: www.douglasjogurek.weebly.com.

Harsh Grewal reviews Randalls Round in this issue. His work hasn't previously appeared in TQF, but he contributed to our previous magazine New Words in the nineties.

Howard Watts is a writer, artist and composer living in Seaford who provides not just the cover to this issue, but also the story it illustrates and a pair of reviews! One review is of Borderlands 2, a game so good that when I finished it and sent it back to Lovefilm, after hanging on to it for three months, I bought a copy of my own.

Gary Budgen grew up and lives in London. He has had about twenty or so stories published in magazines and short story anthologies including Interzone, Dark Horizons and the Where Are We Going? anthology from Eibonvale Press. He can be found online at http://garybudgen.wordpress.com.

Jacob Edwards supplies us with many excellent reviews this issue, but remains indentured to Australia’s speculative fiction flagship Andromeda Spaceways, editing #45 and #55 of their Inflight Magazine. The website of this writer, poet and recovering lexiphanicist: www.jacobedwards.id.au.

John Greenwood reviews Adam Robots and The Dog Stars in this issue, in addition to his wide-ranging co-editorial duties.

Madeleine Beresford is a writer of speculative fiction, SF and fantasy. She lives in North London and is a member of London Clockhouse Writers. Four of her six-word stories appeared in the most recent BFS Journal.

Mitchell Edgeworth is a young writer living in the western suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. His fiction has been published in The Battered Suitcase and SQ Mag. He tweets as @mitchedgeworth and keeps a blog at www.grubstreethack.wordpress.com.

Stephen Theaker is the eponymous co-editor of Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction, and supplies many reviews to this issue. His (my) reviews have also appeared in Interzone, Black Static, Prism and the BFS Journal.

Hope you enjoy it – let us know if you don't!

Saturday 27 April 2013

Expiry of silveragebooks.com: email and web addresses affected

Hi folks. Just a note to let you know that we're not going to bother renewing our silveragebooks.com domain name this year, since we aren't publishing under that name any more and tend nowadays to point people directly to the blog instead.

So if you have this blog bookmarked under www.silveragebooks.com, change over to http://theakersquarterly.blogspot.com, and if you have our email address down as theakers@silveragebooks.com, switch over to using theakersquarterlyfiction@gmail.com.

Our original, wonderfully yellow website is still available at www.silveragebooks.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk.

Your co-operation has been noted!

Friday 19 April 2013

Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovitch – reviewed by Stephen Theaker

Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovitch (50th Anniversary Edition, BBC Books, ebook, 2778ll). The plot, in brief, for Whonewbies among you: the seventh Doctor, accompanied by teenage explosives enthusiast Ace, draws the Daleks to Earth – in particular to the area around Totter’s Yard and Coal Hill School, where the programme first began – to acquire the Hand of Omega, a stellar manipulator, which for mysterious reasons of his own he wants them to have. But things get rather out of control when not one but two Dalek factions turn up, both burning with hatred for the Doctor, both with special weapons at their disposal, and both desperate to get their plungers on the Hand.

Monday 15 April 2013

Fringe, Season 5 – reviewed by Stephen Theaker

Fringe, Season 5 (Sky 1/Fox). Now that it’s over, like sister show Alias just five years into its run, Fringe (in which a special division of the FBI investigates crimes, deaths and other incidents with a weird science element) must be seen as a decent programme that despite many fine moments never quite caught fire, never blossomed into more than the sum of its parts, never became the programme you wait all week to watch. Part of the problem was that the romance between its lead characters never quite convinced. Much as you wanted them to be happy, it was never clear why they wanted to be happy together. It wasn’t down to the actors (Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson): Peter Bishop’s relationship with the alternate, naughty, smiling Olivia Dunham from another dimension had all the spark the usual couple lacked.

Monday 8 April 2013

A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz – reviewed by Stephen Theaker

A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz (Del Rey, hb, 384pp) is essentially teenage urban fantasy with a light drizzle of steampunk. The heroine’s father has been kidnapped by scoundrels, seemingly in connection with a courier job of hers that went south. She is Miss Elle Chance, a nerveless but youthful airship pilot in an altered, magical 1903, and the story wastes no time in throwing her into the arms of Marsh, a warlock also known as Lord Greychester, for a jaunt across Europe. They are searching for her father, of course, and also hope to thwart the ambitions of a gaggle of uppity alchemists looking to upset the balance between the worlds of shadow and light, but that all amounts to little more than background colour: the trip’s narrative purpose is to accelerate the relationship of Marsh and Elle, keeping them in close company, forced to endure each other through trains, hotels and restaurants until the rose of romance blossoms among the thorns of mutual dislike.

Friday 5 April 2013

Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 2: Knightquest – reviewed by Stephen Theaker

Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 2: Knightquest (DC Comics, tpb, 656pp) picks up the story from, naturally, Knightfall Volume 1, though many readers may (like me) have read those same stories in the older Knightfall collections Broken Bat and Who Rules the Night. They left Bruce Wayne nursing a very bad back and Robin wondering whether he can trust the new guy in the batsuit (well, a batsuit, one that only ever looks good when it’s in full shadow): Jean Paul Valley, former knight of Saint Dumas and vanquisher of Bane. He’s a brutal fighter rather than a detective, violent, unpleasant and at times repulsive (his inner monologue when meeting Catwoman is stomach-churning), and has little time for Robin or Wayne Manor, bricking up the entrances to the Batcave. Not a fan of the Batmobile, he prefers the cool but impractical subway Bat-rocket.

Monday 1 April 2013

Ten reviews that didn't sprout

Not all acorns grow into oak trees, and some notes never resolve themselves into proper reviews. Sometimes it might be a lack of time, sometimes a lack of anything interesting to say, and sometimes it's just that by the time I come to write the review I've forgotten most of what happened!

So: I've taken ten of those bits mouldering at the back of my reviews closet and put them up on Goodreads. Don't expect much and you won't be disappointed!

NB: none of these books and comics were submitted to us for review – these were all things I bought. Once we've read something submitted for review, it gets a proper review, even if it takes us years and we do have to read the whole blinkin' thing again!