The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Tag: literary magazine (page 2 of 18)

Book Review: Eclipse Vol. 1 Written by Zack Kaplan, Art by Giovanni Timpano

Review by E. Kirshe

 

Eclipse, author Zack Kaplan’s debut work, has a promising sci-fi premise that doesn’t quite find its footing.

 

In Eclipse, Earth’s sun has turned deadly and living things can no longer go out unprotected in daylight or they will be burned to a crisp. Much of the population burned alive the day the sun became deadly and the remaining humans now lead nocturnal lives. One day, a body is found in New York City. The victim was murdered by sunlight- literal writing on the wall says this is the work of a religion-crazed killer.

 

Bax, the main character, is immediately drawn into the narrative because he works outside during the day in an iceman suit. It’s believed the killer must be using one of these suits if he was able to keep a victim outdoors until they burned. Bax teams up with the police to protect the killer’s next target- the teenaged daughter of a solar industrialist.  

 

The plot follows a lot of action story tropes. Grizzly loner with a sad past, Bax, must protect a teenaged girl from a psycho-killer. It’s not super clear why this mostly falls to him and not the police. He occasionally gets information before them and doesn’t share it even though there’s no clear reason not to trust them. There’s a slight corporate criticism element and the killer is a religious fanatic. It’s later revealed that his motivation is mostly that he went crazy (for good reasons) but the event that led to it has no clear motivation by the exposition we get. Also what’s unique about the killer doesn’t seem as important as it should but perhaps that’s explored more in later issues.

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St Moritz, a short story by Leisha Douglas

In the sixties, the Palace Hotel resembled a castle with Victorian-era decor and intimidating furnishings. The green velvet chairs with ornately carved arms in Lila’s bedroom seemed too formal to sit in. The satin bedcovers, monogrammed with a large, flowery PH, were so heavy she dreamed of drowning the first few nights of vacation. The only thing she liked was the extra-long bathtub in which she floated every afternoon, and the huge towels warmed by their special holder. She lingered, wrapped in one of those towels, as long as possible before dressing for the ritual, four-course dinners in the hotel dining room.

Lila hated the inevitable tension at meals regarding whatever dress her mother picked out for her. Clothes and manners were Grandmother Jacqui’s favorite topic. The inadequacy of Lila’s wardrobe was Jacqui’s frequent target. It allowed her to imply that Lila’s mother lacked the taste and sophistication to be a proper member of the Taylor family.

Back in the States, Lila’s grandparents insisted their grandchildren join them every Sunday for the country club brunch without their parents. Both Lila and her brother, Tad, were thus expected to dress appropriately. One recent Sunday, when Jacqui eyed Lila’s new yellow culotte dress and said, “Doesn’t your mother know how to dress a young lady?” Lila exclaimed, “Leave my mother alone!” Startled by her own anger, she became immediately self-conscious when she realized club members were discreetly eyeing them. Continue reading

“After Eliza,” a short story by Tom Gartner

Eliza said once that she couldn’t imagine not being in love with me.  Seems her imagination was faulty, though, because now, not only is she not in love with me any more, she doesn’t return my calls, my emails, my letters.  I’m not sure what would happen if we ran into each other by accident. I’m guessing she’d force a smile, stop for a minute and talk, then frown and say she was late for something.  But I’ve been wrong about her so many times. It’s possible she’d just purse her lips, tighten her shoulders, look away from me, and keep on walking.

When she said that, we were in her apartment, a shabby little cave in the Sunset District of San Francisco.  This was a year ago, six months before we broke up. November. We’d just gotten back from a camping trip to Yosemite, and she was sick.  She’d gotten laid off. She had student loans the size of Everest. The apartment was freezing, with only a time bomb of a space heater to warm it up.  Mice had chewed holes in everything chewable and left miniature turds all over. Her books, her clothes, her papers, her CDs were scattered around like fallen leaves.  She hated the apartment, was desperately ashamed of it. But we were snuggled in her bed under two quilts, our clothes still damp from Yosemite snow, completely lost in each other.  Her skin was hot with fever, and she couldn’t stop coughing. She wanted to make love.

And she said that.  She couldn’t imagine not being in love with me.  I guess at the time I was the only thing going right in her life.  As for my life—maybe she wasn’t the only thing going right, but she was the only one that mattered. Continue reading

“Endings,” an essay by Pamela S. Carter

Sometimes I see scenes from my life like a long, disjointed movie on which the credits should have rolled hours ago. But it just keeps going, at least for now. Still, my lifetime, like the life cycles of the ash trees in my backyard, is finite. My trees, although a year or two younger than I am, are at the end of their life cycles, according to an arborist who came out to determine why they looked so poorly this fall. He recommends cutting them down and replacing them with young catalpa trees, but I am torn. It will take years for the new trees to provide the shade the old ones do now, and I don’t want to leave my son John, who will inherit this house, with the cost and worry of taking down the ash trees. The trees are living beings but not sentient, as far as I know, so I assume they have no sense of their impending end of days.

Damn those trees. Until this fall I always took them—and their shade—for granted. I even planted a garden of shade-loving plants beneath the shelter created by the giant canopy of the tree on the north side of the house. But then I believed Paul, my third husband and the love of my life, would live forever. He certainly seemed invincible. In his sixties he had low blood pressure, even lower cholesterol, and the sex drive of a teenager. He shoveled snow, raked leaves, kept the yard weeded, and built every stick of furniture in our house—right up till he developed a pain in his right upper abdominal cavity in the spring of 2014. He went to the doctor in July, spent the summer months undergoing tests, was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in late October, and died in the predawn darkness of November 7, 2014. It happened too fast for me to comprehend. Continue reading

Poetry by Annie Blake

She is a Meat-Eating Carousel

children love riding them      i am part of the game too

but i’m trying to be a bit more civil      

i have a megalodon jaw      but i only ever touch potato      

we are devices that rotate      like the hands of a clock

its face only as wide as earth      i wonder if i will live long enough     

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Poetry by Dean Baltesson

Affairs Of Snow

The snow lies

in tarnished piles

of moonlight

pushed aside from

sidewalk and step

 

you prepared this exit

light drowning from your window

leaving me to wander

the poor brick

of the neighbourhood

 

for all this uprooted winter

had I not been captive

to mysterious seductions

I might still walk lightly

on pure snow.

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“The Last Sunday in September,” a short story by Conor O’Sullivan

I grew to hate All-Ireland Sunday, keeping this torment concealed from my family. The day stiffened my resolve to leave Dublin after wasted college years. I went to flat parties with childhood friends and pale girls who rolled their eyes at my slurred advances. Now winter lingered, inducing darkened days that lead to early gatherings in pubs and late nights on the quays.   

A taste of whiskey was lodged in my throat, the fetid sweat off a weekend binge bleeding into the walls.  I forgot it was All-Ireland Sunday for a moment, although this business of Dublin versus Kerry soon flooded my consciousness. I reached across the bedside table for my watch, the hands on the dial approaching two p.m. Sundays had become an effort in killing time. Ashen clouds brushed the sky through a slit in the curtains. My mum had come in earlier to say she was going to my aunt’s house for the afternoon.

‘Try and at least drag yourself out of bed for the throw-in!’

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Poetry by Donovan James

Dating without alcohol

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Poetry by Megan Denese Mealor

Photo by Brian Michael Barbeito

Tunneling

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Book Review: Monstress vol. 1 Awakening Written by Marjorie Liu art by Sana Takeda

By E. Kirshe

 

Monstress Vol. 1 compiles a compelling story into a physically beautiful book. This volume is a collection of the first six issues of the Monstress series.

 

The surface plot is engaging fantasy fare- we have a young woman with a mysterious past driving her current path which includes danger and dark magic. She holds a dark power- in this case a literal demon living inside her- and is caught in the middle of an old war. Liu is a fantastic storyteller. She tackles a lot of different themes in this fairly short volume and does so almost seamlessly.

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