Friday, 29 August 2014

Review: Aurealis #72

Aurealis #72
Aurealis #72 by Michael Pryor (Editor)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: I've submitted to Aurealis in the past, unsuccessfully. I don't think that has unduly influenced my review, but it was the reason that I took up their half-year free subscription offer to see what they were buying.

This is the first issue of the magazine I've read, and so far I'm unimpressed. The copy editing is very poor, with missing apostrophes, missing words, and homonym errors abounding. The two stories themselves weren't to my taste, sordid, pessimistic tales, but others may disagree with me there.

This issue opens with an editorial talking about what the magazine wants to publish. It's the usual stuff: well written, original, startling. I didn't find either of the stories, or the non-fiction article or the reviews, particularly well-written, original or startling, myself.

The first story has two four-hundred-year-old immortals who remember Shakespeare. They're jaded and alienated, and have either become atheists since Shakespeare's time or were, unusually for the time, atheists all along (this is never explored). They appear to have gained no wisdom in 400 years, speak very much in contemporary slang, and when there's a flashback to Shakespeare's day the period language isn't convincing or competent (Shakespeare makes a basic grammatical error).

The second story involves uplifted animal/human hybrids, and is basically a noir detective story.

The main article is an extremely basic, and not very up-to-date, piece on the importance of reviews for indie authors.

I have another four issues left in my subscription, so hopefully this is an anomaly, but I'm no longer expecting great things.

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