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5.20.2009

Heliotrope #5

Heliotrope is a nice speculative magazine. I printed Issue 5 and read it the other night; I was impressed with the finished product. #5 is a Michael Moorcock retrospective. It includes a couple of interesting stories and a number of fine articles that have effectively elevated my interest in reading Moorcock's fiction.

That's right, I haven't looked at anything this esteemed author has written. I'm pretty late to the fantasy genre, folks. Well, actually I read a lot of fantasy in my youth--C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, of course, but also Dahl and Bradbury and a host of others whose names escape me.
But then I got onto the science fiction and horror train and, with brief forays into mystery and suspense, that's where I've stayed.

There are some great fantasists out there, and I'm really intrigued in looking at some of these Moorcock titles. I think one of the things we all do as we age and mature is search for outlets that will help us, even in small ways, recover that sense of child-like awe that seems to dissipate a little more each year.

Yeah, getting older stinks from that perspective. Remember those languorous summer days of your youth, when the world was bright and fresh and a single day stretched on forever?

I think that's what fantasy can do, in some cases. It can take you back there.

Now, of course these genres all overlap, and much of the sci-fi and horror I read has fantastic elements. But I haven't read sword and sorcery since Tolkien, and even that was pretty light on it.

Neil Gaiman's story in Heliotrope #5 is good; it kind of grows on you. It's about resisting that urge to charge into adult life; it's as if Gaiman is warning us--Don't do it! Stay with Elric, stay in the ruined temple! Adult life is filed with sadness and awkward moments!

Indeed, the story is peppered with awkward moments--sexual tension and bullying, to name just two. But for our protagonist, Richard, those things are mediated and mitigated by his strong appreciation for the fantastic.

It's a good tale and, as I said, many of the articles are strong. Heliotrope is closed to submissions, but they pay well and produce a nice product. Print that magazine and tip them a buck or two if you like what you see...

On an unrelated note, what happened to me? I'm starting to enjoy country music, and so is our little girl. When she cries, we put on some Kenny Chesney and she quiets down. I've already documented her love of Conway Twitty...Sheesh.

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