But that’s not what I want to talk about. No, I am not really unbiased when it comes to those two so what I am going to review here is another of the eFiction children. This is the one with the glittering eyes; the one that levitates and speaks of dragons; eFiction Fantasy.
The debut issue of this new addition to the fantasy magazine fauna is a Kindle-only magazine for now, which is fine.
It has six stories of unequal quality. The first, The Official by Eric Sandler, starts us off very well. It feels a little more like an introduction to a character than a complete story but still works well. We begin in the quintessential bar of many a fantasy, and into it walks a mysterious stranger. Brooding violence ensues, and an expected act of heroism. Well written, to the point that I wanted to read more.
The second story, The Man Who Blew His Soul Into a Bubble by Andra Durham, was a little strange for my taste but still quite good. The moon steals a man’s lover and he chases after them in a bubble. Ethereal and quirky.
Then we get to Lazenby’s Aetheriolabe by J. Cameron McClain. This is a steampunk fantasy and is, believe me, totally worth the price of the magazine by itself. A man in an airship tells fellow passengers of his fear of airships, a story-in-a-story that touches on steampunk-esque science and has a touch of H. P. Lovecraft. If nothing else, get the magazine and read this story.
Twilight Interlude by Carl Rauscher tells a story of wolves in a forest. It is short and quite good, though perhaps not exactly fantasy. But what defines fantasy?
Father Knight by Leonard Varasano is an old fashioned werewolf story that takes place as a knight travels back from the Crusades. For me, this was the weakest story in the magazine, and a perfect example of a writer trying too hard to impress. It is almost as if he wrote the story and then beat it into submission with a thesaurus. The story is good enough, but the writing so trips it up that I did not even finish reading. Leonard Varasano should go back to his bookshelf and study Hemingway and Raymond Carver, and then re-write this story (because the story itself has merit).
The final story, In the Ruins of Amir by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt is perhaps the most straight fantasy of the lot. It is exciting and fun but suffers from an overabundace of unappropriate word choices, phrases that one associates more with modern action heroes than those of fantasy. The story is long, and the reader gets a lot for his time (and money) and it is, apart from the word choices (that will probably not bother anyone but me) a great fit for the magazine.
Overall, eFantasy is a great addition to the current market, and I am glad to see the variety they include in the debut issue. Well worth the money.
Get yourself an issue now: eFantasy on amazon.com