Responses to issue 31

Thank you. This is a beautiful issue. I am a great fan of John Gray, and I enjoyed his work in particular. – Ann Howells
What a nice issue! Great cover! I particularly liked End of the World, Bus Stop Monster and Haiku. Glad to be included. – Gary Beck
Have just finished reading #31 Spring/Summer issue, with its consistently high standard of content. Of the stories, Harris Coverley’s ROSETTA PRONE particularly grabbed me. (I don’t know if it’s old age creeping up, but more and more of these dystopian nightmares seem perfectly possible, even likely, to me. And then I think, “Who cares? I’ll be dead anyway by then.” But will I…?) Also enjoyed Harris’s nicely unexplained NATURAL CAUSES poem. (But having just re-read the previous sentence, I’m beginning to feel slightly on edge.) AS DIFFERENT AS AN ARM OR A LEG, Diane Arrelle, was another of those increasingly likely futures (great illustration at the start). I don’t know where I’d be in that situation. (“Who cares? I’ll be dead anyway by then.”)On the more naturalistic plane (“Leaving Gatwick on runway 66”) I enjoyed Krish’s GOOGLE CONVERSATION and A MOVIE IN LAOS. The second reminded me of a Somerset Maugham story I’ve just been reading – THE FALL OF EDWARD BARNARD. I wonder if Krish is an admirer. He could certainly bring the Maugham style of storytelling into the twenty-first century. (I was going to add, “I’ll be dead by then” but it’s too late.)Back on terra infirma, David Rudd’s A HINT OF COMPLICITY immediately had me thinking “Ghost!” – and I was right. But the story had a lot more to offer in terms of empathy and self-scrutiny than the old would-you-believe-it chestnut. Also pleasantly surprising was Stuart Cavet’s THE COFFEE SHOP. I so enjoyed the detailed surrealism, and was dreading an ending of, “And then I woke up and it was all a dream”. I’m so glad he ended it more positively.Of the poems, aside from NATURAL CAUSES, Tony Daly’s FROM WORK TO METRO and Christopher Woods’s HIS CITY appealed to me, along with LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO by Cynthia Gallagher. Best for me, though, was DEEP IN MY COUCH by C.L. Bledsoe (and great illustration!) I’m tempted to reiterate, “Who cares? I’ll be dead by then” , but it doesn’t work that way. (But when I am dead, I certainly won’t care.)All in all, a thought-provoking and satisfying read.  You have reminded me of the inevitability of death. I hope you’re proud of yourself.Hoping I’m still here for #32,Best wishes,Neil K. Henderson.

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