Kzine is a genre based digital magazine for Kindle. Edited by Graeme Hurry (Kimota) Kzine is published 3 times a year, and each issue collects a number of short stories from different writers which mainly range from science fiction, horror, fantasy and crime. The varied stories, their short length and the digital format in which the whole zine is packaged makes Kzine the perfect companion for the mobile reader. Issue 5 and the first instalment for 2013 was released towards the end of January.
Fan favourite creator Dave Windett (who was one of our esteemed guests at the Malta Comic Con 2010) and is the designer for all the Kzine covers sent Wicked Comics an advanced copy of Kzine Issue 5, which Chris Le Galle will hereby review.
Kzine Magazine Issue 5
Cover: Dave Windett
Editorial: Graeme Hurry
All The Things You Should Have Said: M. Bennardo
Into The Depths: Joe Jablonski
It’s All Part Of The Experience: Donald McCarthy
My First Day: Gregory Marlow
Scaarak Storm: Paul Miller
Sunnydale Drive: Daniel Davis
Taking Chances: Michael Haynes
Things Best Left Alone: Stephen Heuser.
Every time Dave Windett sends us the latest issue of Kzine for reviewing purposes I’m consumed by a sense of excitement as I look forward to read the next batch of short stories compiled by editor Graeme Hurry. In the concise editorial of this issue Graeme writes on what an editor’s job entails, perhaps more specifically on his role as editor of Kzine. As Graeme rightly points out his main role is that of selecting stories which best fit the criteria of a publication. I often find that the role of the editor is underestimated, since more often than not the success or otherwise of such a publication hinges on the work of the editor. The sterling reputation that Kzine has already generated is testament of this. The reason I say this, is because Kzine doesn’t do “fillers”, and the 8 short stories on offer in this latest issue are all exciting and rewarding in their own way. There is enough variety here to please fans of multiple genres, but the overall consistency is one that gives Kzine a pleasant identity.
As customary this issue starts in explosive fashion with Bennardo’s short entry All the Things You Should Have Said. A real gem indeed! It’s simple, easy to read but incredibly satisfying and thought provoking. In contrast Jablonski’s Into the Depths, moves with a slow pace but reaches the sort of climax that leaves the reader breathless. It is certainly one of the best science fiction stories I’ve ever read, because not only does it offer plenty of food for thought but the thrilling way in which it is written, ensures that the piece remains entertaining throughout. McCarthy’s It’s All Part of the Experience is magnificently weird. It’s the kind of story which makes one appreciate the power of imagination, whilst remaining accessible throughout. What I particularly liked about this one, is that it hooks you from the word go and that despite that fact that it’s weird, the reader at no point feels alienated.
Although I enjoyed all entries in this issue, Marlow’s My First Day is easily my favourite one in this issue. It is a truly terrific and refreshingly original offering. The simplistic manner in which it is told ensures that this is one story that can easily be enjoyed by all, irrespective of what one’s preferences are. Without a doubt this is one of the best short stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
Miller’s Scaarak Storm is a beautiful examination of the frailties of human nature. I particularly enjoyed how the story treats the subject of revenge without taking the moral high ground and whilst staying highly entertaining. Davis Sunnydale Drive is another entertaining story of mystery and intrigue. Elements which Davis craftily entwines with the delicate nature of human beings. The story immediately hooks one in and builds a terrific momentum leading to its fiery conclusion, one which I found surprisingly powerful and satisfying.
If Marlow’s entry was my favourite, Haynes’ Taking Chances is definitely my second favourite. It’s a simple examination of the very complex nature of human beings. Although this seems to be a running theme with this issue of Kzine, each story deals with this theme from a unique angle and I found the way it’s tackled in Taking Chances incredibly rewarding. An awesome effort which I strongly recommend.
Heuser’s Things Best Left Alone, aptly concludes the latest issue of Kzine with its sharp twist towards the end. However, this review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the amazing cover Windett created for this issue. Check it out.
So to sum everything up all I can say is that if you’re a fan of entertaining yet often thought provoking short stories, Kzine is the perfect companion for you. Issue 5 continues to prove the strength of this zine. I simply can’t recommend this enough, and I look forward to the next instalment.
Find out more on Kzine by visiting: http://www.kzine.co.uk
Get your own copy of issue 5 from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00B4YEY3A
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B4YEY3A