SYBIL'S GARAGE #3
Reviewed by Barry J House
(to the sound of Hanky Panky by The The...)
Sybil's Garage is slightly larger than A5 size. It sports a card cover, and the layout/editing is to a good standard. The magazine is sprinkled throughout (to excellent effect) with early 20th century b&w illustrations and photographs. Beneath the title of each tale or poem is a nice touch--the name of a recommended piece of music to listen to while you are reading.
The Redaction of Flight 5766, by Eric Gregory, starts with a quick lesson on airport security procedure and then shifts into rather unsettling territory when the main character discovers a strange connection between the members of a group of travellers bound for Rome. However, unlike the flight 5766 of the title, the story, itself, doesn't seem to have a clear destination in mind.
Gary J. Beharry's Indentured Advertisements is a tale about souls that have been trapped and placed into advertisements, where they are forced to persuade the public to buy certain products. Another well written piece with an interesting premise but I wasn't, quite, convinced to 'buy' it.
It's What Isn't There, by Lee Thomas, is my favourite story in this issue. It concerns the sad story of a nine-year-old who, after the untimely death of his mother, desperately tries to make his father happy again. During an art class he manages to grasp a concept well beyond his years, and, after formulating a tragic plan, sets about putting things to rights. Great stuff.
How I Got Fired From The Best Damn Job in the Whole Wide World, by Samantha Henderson, is an interesting and amusing story about the people who work inside those cartoon character suits in Disneyland. I found the ending hilarious, when the two... ah, but that would be giving it away.
The other stories fit firmly into the experimental category and are so out of kilter with what I normally read and enjoy that it would be unfair of me to give more than a cursory remark:
Six Questions about the Sun, by Brian Conn, might be an extract from the sacred texts of some bizarre new religion; Yoon Ha Lee's So That Her High-Born Kinsmen Came seems to document an extremely severe case of post natal depression; What Do Women Want, by Helena Singer, is a piece of flash fiction about a red dress; Paul G. Tremblay's Holes is about a man who is losing it big-time now that his wife is expecting their second child; Lonesome Trail, by Cat Rambo, tells of a group of poets riding a desert trail (not surprisingly, perhaps, the narrative is rather poetic).
Jim Hans, Hoboken Extraordinaire - Matthew Kressel
Kelly Link, Words by Flashlight - Lauren McLaughlin
Luna Scorned - Elizabeth Barrette
Eye of the Lynx - Bobbi-Sinha-Morey
April Sashays in Lime Heels - Ed Lynskey
Time Slows to a Crawl - Aurelio Rico Lopez III
Bad Penny - Mikal Trimm
The Tale of Desert in the Rain - Joselle Vanderhooft
Devin J. Poore
Fred Cataldo Kris Dikeman
Sybil's Garage, edited by Matthew Kressel and published by Senses Five Press, 307 Madison St, No. 3L, Hoboken. NJ 07030-1937. A5(ish), 70pp, $7 US, free shipping in US (foreign orders refer to website or try Project Pulp). Also available to download as a PDF.
Website: - www.sensesfive.com
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