HERE & NOW #7

Reviewed by Garry Charles

I've not been writing on a professional level for very long, but in that short time I have come to one conclusion and it is as follows:

The small press (be it novels, novellas, short story compilations or magazines) is the best place to find new writers of Horror and Fantasy. They have embraced the genres with the tender embrace of a loving parent and nurtured it to adulthood. The likes of Whispers of Wickedness, The Horror Express, Insidious Reflections and TTA/Black Static (oh when will the new issue grace my desk) have worked hard to create publications that the readers of our beloved genres should purchase without fail.

And just when I thought there couldn't be anything new to subscribe to along comes Here & Now, falling into my lap and begging to be read. Well, my dear friends read it I did and you may ask what I thought?

Let's find out.

I'm going to start with the bad points because so far in my reviews I haven't had many. And in truth this review won't be much different as I could only find two points to complain about and neither of them affects the overall quality of what is a very good publication.

The first, for me anyway, is the greater of the two, but when looked at logically it also has a good side. I like my short fiction magazines to have illustrations and Here & Now is sadly lacking in the artwork department. On the plus side this allows room for even more of the high standard of writing that goes into each issue.

The second point is minor, so minor that I've decided not to mention it (check page 43 and you'll see for yourself).

So, with business out of the way I can move on to pleasure and pleasure is exactly what Here & Now is.

Just from the cover artwork I knew that I'd like what was secreted between the pages, it hinted at Horror, Fantasy and Humour which are three of my favourite things (do not expect a Julie Andrew's song and dance routine about my favourite things because you're not getting one).

The writing throughout was of the highest quality and be it a story I loved or one that didn't quite float my boat I couldn't deny that they were all written with undeniable skill and a love for the art. The variety on show was also an eye opener; everything from symbiotic cows to lesbian zombies, justice dealing crash test dummies to complaints letters concerning the problems with planet destroying devices. The imagination within those 96 pages was a joy to behold.

The Mages in Training cartoons were excellent and I hope that Gregory Cartwright doesn't mind me photocopying them for my office wall.

There was also a very handy guide to Fantasy by a sad little wanker (Peter Tennant--Ed) which I hope I'm not, even though I have found myself quoting “For every sword there is a stone”. And Peter, I tried calling my wife 'My Lady' which she took with a smile for the entire day, but when I asked to sheath my sword in her silken scabbard she laughed so loud that the moment was lost and in conclusion I did, in fact, end up a wanker that night.

Thank you.

Here & Now, edited by Jenny Barber, 3 Tamworth Close, Lower Earley, Reading, Berkshire, RG6 4EQ. A4, 100pp, £3.50 or £12.50/4 (for other countries see ordering details on website).

Website: - www.bradanpress.co.uk


Return to Whispers review archive