Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: The Speculative Edge, Issue 2

Dear Readers,

originally I want to post this review on August 30. Unfortunately I could not do the final polishing on that day because at this time I stayed in hospital.
So with a slight delay you get a review of a new magazine with the second issue available in September. This is the second time I review a magazine afterAlt Hist Issue 4 a few weeks ago.

in July 2012 I received a mail from Shane R Collins, an author unknown to me at this time. He told me that he is the editor of a new magazine called The Speculative Edge and he asked me if I would like to review the first issue (which releases August 1st) or the second issue (September 1st).
He wrote: "We are a monthly publication that will feature an eclectic mix of short fiction, poetry, reviews, interviews, essays and contests - all under the speculative umbrella."
That aroused my interest and Shane R Collins sent me more information in form of a press release kit. After reading the document I agreed to review The Speculative Edge, Issue 2 and Shane R Collins has been so kind as to send me a copy of the final proof of The Speculative Edge, Issue 2.

I think before reading my review you should know what is the intention behind the magazine.

"The Specultive Edge Mission Statement 
At The Speculative Edge, our mission is - in a word - balance. We want to bring you fiction that is both exciting and enlightening, poetry that is imaginative and accessible, reviews of both big-name and independent books and movies. We'll give you insightful interviews with New York Times bestsellers and lesser-known authors. Above all else, we want to publish work that is both genre and literary.
Within the pages of our magazines, you will find find cutting-edge short stories and poems. You can find reviews of novels and movies, and exclusive interviews with New York Times Bestsellers and up-and-coming authors you won't find anywhere else. We will also host contests and from time to time, special themed issues.
Want to know how it all began? Check out our guest post on Grasping for the Wind Grasping for the Windas Shane and Danielle discuss starting the magazine." [Source]
This is exactly the text which you find on the official The Speculative Edge website.

Is there a better benchmark for a review? I think no.

The Delivery

The Speculative Edge, Issue 2 (digital and print, September 2012) 
[ISBN-13: 978-1479134342 and Kindle ASIN: B0091NR7CG
edited by Shane R Collins

What will you get for your money? Let me have a look at the table of content: The 93 pages are filled with one editorial, two interviews with two excerpts, six short stories, seven poems, eigth show previews, two movie reviews, two book reviews - Sorry I need to breathe - and a flash forward.

I must say that is impressive and fits to the mission statement on the formal level. But what about the content?

Let me invite you to stroll with me through the world of The Speculative Edge, Issue 2.

Don't be shy. Come closer. I do not want TO SHOUT!

Ladies and Gentlemen, 
this is the so called Letter from the Editor by Shane R Collins. Within one page the author puts you in the perfect mood to enjoy the magazine. The magic word is transition .... But not only one plain transition. There are at least two .... 

Everbody finished with this section? Please do not dilly-dally. You can do that as soon you have your own copy.

Attention! Attention! Please be quiet when we cross the Author Spotlight area. Danielle Rose interviewed Alyson Noël and Sarah M Ross for you.  No, please. Do not ask me about these authors. If you want more information read the interviews. At the end of the area you get the opportunity to read excerpts of Fated by Alyson Noël and Avenge by Sarah M Ross.
I did not read the excerpts because I'm not interested in these books. But I can tell you that the interviews have been conducted well.

Nobody got lost so far? That's good because we will now enter the field of Fiction.

Memory Board by Blaise Lucey  is frightening and thought-provoking story about the sense and importance of memories. 

A  mirror, a remote control and imagination are the main ingredients of You are a special Mirror by Kyle Hennings. A short but intense peace of work.

Per aspera ad astra could be the motto of The Division if Bone and Flesh by Joe Jablonski.  But there is much more in this bittersweet story. 

The Answer by Rory Fleming starts like a fantasy novel and develops in a direction you do not expect.

A reminiscence from future to the past revolving around a famous picture. To tell you more would give away the heart of The Last View of Earth by T. C. Porter.

Lunar Lunacy by Jack Horne is the a short but intense proof that even in future money can't buy you happiness - neither on Earth nor on the moon.

Hello! Hello! Wake up! I know you have been mesmerized six times in a row. But we did not reach the end of The Speculative Edge, Issue 2.

Open your mind for Poetry. What shall I say about these poems? I feel overstrained to dignify these poems in an adequate manner. I think I have to read them several times to discover the intrinsic values.

Warning!! We are leaving the world of written words and prepare to dive into the world of TV series and movies. Fasten your visual mind seat belts and take the ride. 

With the extended preview of the third season of The Walkind Dead, previewer John Carneya delivers a feast for all fans and soon to be fans of the show.
I live in Germany and not all US series find their way over the pond. But the first season of The Walkind Dead has been aired in Germany.
 Despite the fact that I don't like zombies I watched some episodes from the first season. I have to admit it is a well executed series and the preview promise a lot for the third season.

Also the next show found its way to Germany. The eights  season of Supernatural has been previewed  Kyle James Kernon. I must say the series is not my cup of tea. All fans of Supernatural will like the preview. 

I like Walter Bishop but I have been disappointed by the fourth season of Fringe. Fortunately the preview of the fifth and final season by Kyle James Kernon gave me a bit hope that it will be worth to see the final season.

In case you like vampires you will be happy to read the preview of the fourth season of The Vampire Diaries by Kyle James Kernan.

delivers more that just previews of ongoing series. It covers also new upcoming shows and gives a clear recommendation whether worth to watch or not. Thanks to youtube I could see trailers of these new shows in order to build up my mind. To my surprise the recommendations fit for me.  Again the question will be if these series will be aired in Germany or not.

Shane R Collins previewed Arrow and recommends to watch the story of  the masked billionaire Oliver Queen. I hope Arrow will be aired in Germany

Shane R Collins does not recommend to watch Beauty and the Biest. If you want to know the reason for his decision, you know what you need to do ......

What do you think about a series with the title 666 Park Avenue? Devil? It is about a couple who move into a might be haunted apartment in New York. Thrilling? Neither for me nor for previewer Shane R Collins.

Open your eyes!
There is still one preview left. The post-apocalyptic series Revolution got a go from Shane R Collins. I'm not really convinced. At least I will have a look in case it will be aired in Germany.

Open your seat belt. We reached the end of the previews. No time for a rest. There is more content waiting for you and it comes in pairs.
Adjust your sight. We change from small screen to big screen.

What do you think about movie remakes? I must say that most of the time I do not watch them. So far no remake could not convince me.
And after reading the review of the Total Recall remake by Kyle James Kernan I feel validated. The remake directed by Len Wiseman is no tbe fit to hold a candle to the original movie by Paul Verhoeven starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The review delivers enough arguments for that.

I must admit I do not know Another Earth. Therefore I read the review by  John Carney with interest. It seems he liked the movie but he could not arise my interest. The reason for that is not the review itself, it is the movie itself.

Now the time has come to return from screen to paper. Indeed The Speculative Edge, Issue 2 delivers two book reviews especially for fans of young adult paranormal romance and for fans of horror. Both are not my cup of tea. But I can confirm that both reviews are well written. I hope you understand that I do not deliver more than book title, author and name of reviewer.

C R Rollinger reviewed Croak by Gina Damico. Just let me quote the beginning of the review in order to give you and impression what the book is about:
"Croak is a young adult paranormal romance. It portrays the story of sixteen-year-old Lex, whose wild behavior gets her shipped off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle for the summer."

Trevor Henkel reviewed  Of Night and Light by Michael C Keith. Again you get a short quote in order to give you a first impression:
"Of Night and Light is an anthology by Michael C. Keith that consists of 42 short stories and brief four-line entries. The stories are all speculative, but the majority are more specifically horror."

Only one section is left be fore we leave The Speculative Edge, Issue 2..

Flash Forward
This section gives you first hints about what to expect in the next issue. No, no, I don't tell you. What would you expect in October? No idea? Ever heard of Halloween .........

We reached the end of The Speculative Edge, Issue 2. I must say it has been an interesting and intense journey. Physically I read 93 pages but mentally I read 279 pages. 
Even not every part aroused my interest, I must confess that The Speculative Edge, Issue 2 is a well excecuted magazine with a content that clearly reflects The Specultive Edge Mission Statement which I quoted at the beginning.

I do not know many magazines but The Speculative Edge gets two thumps up from me.

From 1st of September you can get issue 2 in digital format and in paperback.

And issue 1 is still available in digital format and in paperback.

The Speculative Edge, Issue 1 (digital and print, August 2012) 
[ISBN-13: 978-1478274384 and Kindle ASIN: B008RDMP9G
edited by Shane R Collins

Of course  The Speculative Edge’s staff is highly interested in the opinion of their readers. You can do that on Facebook - The Speculative Edge and on Twitter - The Speculative Edge.

For more information about the magazine itself please visit the official The Speculative Edge website.
Enjoy Reading


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I need to mark this one!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for your kind words, and for giving our magazine a look! We really appreciate it and love your site!


ediFanoB said...

Hi Alex,

I must say - even I do not have that much time for reading - I makes fun to discover magazines. And I have been lucky that I liked The Speculative Edge and Alt Hist.

ediFanoB said...


you and the people aroud you did a great job.

Zoltán Gecse said...

Maybe this magazine is good, BUT... the Internet is full of (wannabe) bloggers who write critics and reviews about series', films and books. I don't know what addtional could this magazine provides. So I don't sense this part of this issue.

Poems and short stories are another story.

Basically this magazine and with the alternative history are sound intertesting to me, but due to the serius lack of my time I don't think to read any of them.

Alan K Baker said...

Hi Edi. Sorry to hear you've been in hospital. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

ediFanoB said...

Hi Zoltan,

I understand where you come from. And we all suffer from lack of time.
I must say I like it to put my nose into other stuff than books from time to time.

Hopefully I'll soon be back with book reviews.

Anyway I appreciate that you visit my blog and leave comments.

ediFanoB said...

Hi Alan,

thanks for wishes. Recovery goes well and I hope to be ack with content soon.

Simcha said...

I have to admit that I'm not a bit magazine reader and have never read any sf or fantasy magazines before. But your review does tempt me to give this one a try.

ediFanoB said...

Hi Simcha,

thanks for stopping by. As I wrote in the introduction of the review, this has been the second time I read a magazine. It has been an interesting experience.

I think if you ask them they will provide you with a review copy.
I would like to know what you thnk of this magazine.

Rosalie Skinner said...

Well, in all honesty I can't see myself reading a magazine like this, though your comments had me almost thinking I might.
I can see it's appeal for people who don't have a TO READ list they can't climb over.
Good to see you back online, Edi.

Sarah said...

Great review Edi!! I got a digital copy off your recommendation and totally agree - worth a read. And Im glad you're feeling better too!!

ediFanoB said...

Thank you Sarah!
Glad to read that you got a copy and that you like the magazine too.

And yes I feel better.

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