Reviewed by Paul McAvoy

I will get all the bad bits off my chest first. To look at the authors' credentials here (we have many authors who have been published in many other places and who have various books or collections out or due to be out!) I would have expected more than what I got. Nearly fifty per cent of the stories are not up to scratch, they are predictable and they are boring - that's nearly fifty percent of them. Surely there is better writing for Trevor Denyer (the editor) to see, for such a large small press zine? Now that that is off my chest, let us have a look at the good things.

First impressions: Impressive! This truly is a great cover, dark mixture of blue and evil eyes! Terrific. A flick through reveals a very classy feel to this magazine and it is inviting, which is how a magazine should feel. This month's showcase is Joel Lane. Now I have heard a lot about this man and early into the first piece by him you can understand why he has such an appeal. His story The Victim Card draws you into it immediately. It is about the death of a man and the investigation that follows... and how very slowly and precisely the puzzles are unveiled. Perhaps it has a sudden ending, but on the whole this impressed me. His second story in Midnight Street is Piano Without Strings, and sometimes I found myself stopping and re-reading his prose to fully appreciate it: 'He'd seen clouds swelling up like bruises against the pale sky.'

As far as the rest of the fiction goes, we have offerings from Lisa Tate, John B Rosenman, Tim Lees, Jay Lake and Trey R Barker. I was particularly impressed with David Price's A Journey For Rebecca, which is very cleverly done and to fully appreciate would need re-reads. The highlight of issue three, however, was Quentin S Crisp's The Cypher. After a very descriptive opening, things hot up and the worlds of words, hallucinations and destiny become one.

Also in this issue we have an interview with the aforementioned Joel Lane, where he tells us about his previous two novels, story collections, how he rates his level of success and what advice he can give to other writers. There is also a review section, interviews with David Longhorn (editor of Supernatural Tales) and novelist Scott Nicholson, plus regular column Mystic's Bardo by Michael Lohr.

So on the whole, even with what I said at the beginning, it is well worth the read and the £3.50 it will cost you.

Midnight Street edited by Trevor Denyer, 7 Mountview, Church Lane West, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 3LN, England. A4, 52pp, £3.50/$8US/£6(9Euros)Europe/£6.50RoW or £9.50 for 3 issues/ $22US/£16(23Euros)Europe/£18RoW. All cheques etc payable to “T. DENYER” (online purchase details at website).

Website: - www.midnightstreet.co.uk


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