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Welcome to Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #73, edited by Stephen Theaker and John Greenwood!
This issue contains an eighty-page novella – "The Frog and the Scorpion" by Patrick Whittaker – and four short stories: "An Absence of Ghosts" by Andrew Hook, "The Arrival of an Acquaintance" by Charles Wilkinson, "The Scorpion" by Harris Coverley and "BNR" by Ross Gresham.
It also contains reviews by Douglas J. Ogurek and Stephen Theaker of A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill, Dirty Rotten Hippies and Other Stories by Bryan Smith, Vampire Hunter D by Hideyuki Kikuchi, Bad Candy, Black Adam, Blood Red Sky and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Season 1.
The cover art is the third of our covers by Steve Upham.
Here are the incredibly patient contributors to this issue.
Harris Coverley has short fiction published or forthcoming in Curiosities, Hypnos, Penumbra, and The Space Cadet Science Fiction Review, amongst many others. A former Rhysling nominee, he also has had verse most recently in Star*Line, Spectral Realms, Silver Blade, Scifaikuest, Novel Noctule, Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, Tigershark, View From Atlantis, Yellow Mama, and elsewhere. He lives in Manchester, England.
Ross Gresham teaches at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Previous stories in this series appeared in TQF34 (“Name the Planet”), TQF41 (“Milo Doesn't Count Coup”), TQF44 (“Milo on Fire”), TQF46 (“Wild Seed”), TQF49 (“Ut in Fumum!”) and TQF72 (“Spending the Government’s 28”). Milo and Marmite also made an authorised guest appearance in TQF55 (“The Stone Gods of Superspace” by Howard Phillips).
Andrew Hook has had over 160 short stories published over a period of many years, with several books also in print. Most recent publications are an SF collection of short stories, Frequencies of Existence (NewCon Press), a series of crime novels through his own imprint, Head Shot Press, and Candescent Blooms, his tenth short story collection (Salt Publishing). He can be found at https://www.andrew-hook.com.
Douglas J. Ogurek is the pseudonym for a writer living somewhere on Earth. Though banned on Mars, his fiction appears in more than fifty Earth publications. Douglas’s website can be found at https://www.douglasjogurek.weebly.com and his Twitter account is at https://www.twitter.com/unsplatter.
Patrick Whittaker won the British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition in 2009 with "Dead Astronauts", a tale of odd goings-on in English suburbia. His novel The Passion of Eva Braun is available from Wild Wolf Publishing. Finkumpoops, his science-fiction novel for young readers was published by Hear Our Voice Publishing in 2022. He currently lives in Blackpool.
Charles Wilkinson’s publications include The Pain Tree and Other Stories (London Magazine Editions, 2000). His stories have appeared in Best Short Stories 1990 (Heinemann), Best English Short Stories 2 (W.W. Norton, USA), Best British Short Stories 2015 (Salt), Confingo, London Magazine and in genre magazines/anthologies such as Black Static, Interzone, The Dark Lane Anthology, Supernatural Tales, Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction, Phantom Drift (USA), Bourbon Penn (USA), Shadows & Tall Trees (Canada), Nightscript (USA) and Best Weird Fiction 2015 (Undertow Books, Canada). His anthologies of strange tales and weird fiction, A Twist in the Eye (2016), Splendid in Ash (2018), Mills of Silence (2021) and The Harmony of the Stares (2022), appeared from Egaeus Press. Eibonvale Press published his chapbook of weird stories, The January Estate, in 2022. He lives in Wales. More information can be found at his website: http://www.charleswilkinsonauthor.com/.
Steve Upham provides the cover art for this issue. He previously published some smashing books as the proprietor of Screaming Dreams, and some great stories as the editor of the Estronomicon ezine. He previously contributed covers to TQF72 and TQF70.
The print/pdf version includes a couple of pages of interior art. These were generated using Wombo Dream. One is based on a photograph by Stephen Theaker, the other on a photograph of Mata Hari from 1905.