November 23, 2012

Rabid Reads: Lamplight Quarterly Vol. 1: Issue #1

Lamplight Quarterly | Volume 1 | Issue 1 | Sept 2012
edited by Jacob Haddon
Apokrupha LLC.
ISSN: 2169-2122

This year has seen the debut of more than a fiction short fiction markets, which probably isn't that newsworthy considering there are new markets popping up every year. But I've had the good fortune to read a couple new online fiction mags that are really promising, and I think I need to include Lamplight Quarterly to that list.

I think I first heard about this magazine from Robert Dunbar, added with the debut issue offered to readers for free, and I decided to give it a go.

Within the table of contents are a couple of familiar names and a few new ones. There are a half-dozen short stories, among them a featured artist who is also interviewed for the magazine. This time around the featured artist was Bob Ford, with a short story called "Early Harvest," followed by an interview conducted by Jeff Heimbuch.

There was also a reprint of one of Ambrose Pierce's stories, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." I haven't read a lot of Pierce's work, and the last time I did was years ago, so this was a nice change of pace and retrospective on classic horror. I think "Lamplight Classics" (the working title for classic reprints) could be a good gateway for folks who don't really go back to read stuff that's older than they are.

There's also the first part of a serial novella. "And I Watered It With Tears, Part 1" by Kevin Lucia. This was one of the stories I was really interested in checking out. Andrew and Deyquan are each down on their luck. Stuck in line to pay his power bill before his lights are cut off at home, he and everyone else in the building are basically scraping by with lives that seem to be slowly going from bad to worse. Well, worse comes in a hurry when a woman at the head of the line has a breakdown and appears to have killed herself in the ladies washroom. But when Andrew and Deyquan see what's become of her, suicide seems unlikely--and the condition of the dead woman's body is the least of their problems. Argh. I gotta wait until the next issue of this quarterly to read Part 2? Argh. Ah well, it's a great hook to entice readers to pay up for that second issue, I'll say that much.

The stand-alone stories are not without their charm either, as I especially enjoyed William Meikle's "The Kelp" and Nathan Yocum's "Elgar's Zoo."

So, I presume the next issue comes out sometime in December. I'll be waiting.

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