Welcome to our seventy-fifth issue of Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction. Thank you for your patience, which we have repaid with four short stories, an essay by Rafe McGregor on "The World-Ecology of Climate Change Cinema", a lengthy report from FantasyCon 2023, and forty pages of reviews!
The stories in this issue are "Piggyback Writer" by Matthew G. Rees, "Kleptobiblia" by Harris Coverley, "Recovery Mission" by Eva Schultz and "Two Friends" by Antonella Coriander, the final chapter in the story of Beatrice and Veronique, which began all the way back in TQF47.
Our reviews this issue are from Douglas J. Ogurek, Rafe McGregor and Stephen Theaker, who consider the work of Josh Malerman, Nate Southard, R.B. Lemberg and David Owain Hughes, plus the films Blue Beetle, Children of Men, Knock at the Cabin and Terrifier 2, plus the television shows Carnival Row, Season 2, and Star Trek: Picard, Season 3.
The cover art for this issue was generated using Wombo Dream, based on a photograph by Stephen Theaker.
Here are the tremendous contributors to this issue.
Matthew G. Rees is the author of several story collections, his most recent being The Snow Leopard of Moscow & Other Stories, a collection of tales set in Putin-era Moscow, where Rees lived and worked for a time. Rees has, among other things, been a journalist, a teacher and a night-shift cab driver. He grew up in the border country between England and Wales known as the Marches. His published fiction to date has tended to “the literary strange”. Forays into humour of the macabre kind have featured. His debut story collection Keyhole (Three Impostors, 2019) contains tales set in Wales and its borderlands. The Feast (2021) is a collection of stories of strange dining. Rees is also a playwright. He has a PhD from the University of Swansea. More at https://www.matthewgrees.com.
Harris Coverley has short fiction published or forthcoming in Penumbric Speculative Fiction Magazine, Penumbra, The Space Cadet Science Fiction Review, and Unspeakable: Volume Two (PulpCult Press), amongst many others, as well as four consecutive issues now of TQF. A former Rhysling nominee, he also has had verse most recently in Star*Line, Spectral Realms, Silver Blade, Scifaikuest, The Crank, Tigershark, View From Atlantis, Yellow Mama, and elsewhere. He lives in Manchester, England.
Eva Schultz lives in Aurora, Illinois, where she is a business writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her work has appeared in The Worlds Within, TDotSpec’s Strange Wars anthology, and Backchannels. She lives with a big orange cat named Gus and enjoys drawing, painting, and collecting typewriters. Visit her online at https://www.evaschultz.com.
Antonella Coriander knows when you’ve been naughty, and she’s going to use that information against you. The eight previous instalments in this series appeared in TQF47, TQF48, TQF49, TQF50, TQF51, TQF55, TQF57, TQF62 and TQF74.
Rafe McGregor is a critical theorist publishing on culture, climate justice and policing. He is the author of thirteen books, including Literary Theory and Criminology (2023), Narrative Justice (2018), and The Adventures of Roderick Langham (2017). He can be found online @rafemcgregor.
Douglas J. Ogurek is the pseudonymous and sophomoric founder of the unsplatterpunk subgenre, which uses splatterpunk conventions (transgressive/gory/gross/violent subject matter) to deliver a positive message. His short story collection I Will Change the World … One Intestine at a Time (Plumfukt Press), a juvenile stew of horror and bizarro, aims to make readers lose their lunch while learning a lesson. Ogurek also guest-edits the wildly unpopular UNSPLATTERPUNK! “smearies”, published by Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction. These anthologies are unavailable at your library and despised by your mother. Ogurek reviews films and fiction for that same magazine. Publications have rejected Ogurek’s work nearly 2,000 times. However, some of the world’s leading literary journals thanked him for submitting manuscripts in (form) letters. One highly respected publication even said, “We want to thank you for your kindness in letting us see your work.” Thus, Ogurek is a kind author. More at www.douglasjogurek.weebly.com. Twitter: @unsplatter
Stephen Theaker’s reviews, interviews and articles have appeared in Interzone, Black Static, Prism, Dark Horizons and the BFS Journal. His story “The Reader-Queens of Tranck” appeared in the BFS anthology Emerging Horizons, edited by Allen Ashley. He has written many novels, none of them well-regarded. The full range of his enthusiastic literary endeavours may be viewed on his ISFDB summary bibliography: https://isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?137563.