Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

"Prole, Issue 8" (Prolebooks, 2012)

I've not seen this magazine before, though I've heard about it. Their submissions guidelines say "Anything that sniffs of literary elitism is highly unlikely to make it through the editorial process. ... Obscure references and highly stylised structures and forms that exist only to aggrandise the writer and appeal to the coffee lounges of our older universities are not welcome"!

This issue has about 75 pages of stories and 25 pages of poetry. The presentation's plain - no reviews or bios. Perhaps it was a themed issue, because the stories were about: a prospective suicide; a recent divorcé on a days-long train journey who meets a (dying?) man; a first-person death-bed scene; mourning a young daughter; a government assassin; the aftermath of the Nuclear bombs in Japan; a undertaker preparing his brother's coffin; two US Navy decoders who go off the rails.

The stories are longer than I'm used to. The poems are either death-haunted or inventive, though the latter poems sometimes outstayed their welcome.

All in all, a welcome addition to the magazine world, especially for story writers. A few more magazines like this would transform the scene for me.

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