Reviewed by Emma Lee

Mostly poetry on sci-fi, fantasy or horror themes and it's good to see that most of the poems here work as poems and don't subscribe to the idea genre is somehow an excuse for the substandard. The only weak point was Kendall Evans's Humpty Dumpty: The Sequel which meandered and didn't really get to the point--suggesting Humpty Dumpty didn't fall but hatched was intriguing but the poem loses its impact because we are left not even knowing if Humpty's hatching was even vaguely sinister.

In contrast Samantha Henderson's third of Three Poems by Magician's Apprentices effectively uses short vowels and alliteration in the first two lines, allowing the longer vowel in 'before' to signify it is a pivot and hence allowing the final phrase the impact it needs:-

'I never minded that the slugs

screamed in the solution

before you gave me a brain.'

As a break from the poetry, there's an interview by editor J Bruce Fuller with Dr Martin Foys, an Associate Professor of English at Hood College in Frederick, MD and expert on the Mediaeval period that manages to take in JRR Tolkien and discuss the appearance of Halley's Comet in the Bayeaux Tapestry. Editor J Bruce Fuller also contributes a review of Deborah P Kolodji's six page poetry sampler, but, possibly because he is familiar with the poet's work, fails to get across any feeling for the work itself, leaving me feeling I'd rather wait and see if the poet's work turns up in the magazine before deciding whether I want to buy the sampler.

The magazine ends with a series of scifaiku, including one from Terrie Leigh Relf, The Morning After.


of last night's date...

how he took his time with

her, how even the smallest cut

bled deep.'

and Greg Schwartz's

'alone in bed

you hear the stairs creak

maybe a footstep'

Both start with an everyday scenario and suggest something creepier is going on whilst leaving space for the reader's imagination and nothing is creepier than a reader's imagination.

The Shanty Town Anomaly published by SPEC House of Poetry, 975 HWY 848, Columbia, LA 71418. A5 stapled, paperback, 20 pp $10 for 5 issues, and available from the publishers.

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