Cemetery Dance Magazine: Issue #69
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I've reviewed so many books from Cemetery Dance Publications, even one that was an anthology celebrating Cemetery Dance Magazine, and yet I had never once picked up an issue of the magazine that started it all. I decided to rectify that situation, but rather than buy a paper issue of the magazine, I decided to check out a digital download. Downloading the magazine digitally meant that I would be downloading an older version of the magazine - a year older to be exact - but I figured that by picking this random issue, I could get a good view of what other issues would be like without shelling out a load of pocket money.
I soon discovered that Issue 69 was a special end of the world edition celebrating apocalyptic fiction. I enjoy all sorts of fiction, but am intrigued by various authors views of what might bring about the end of days. This magazine might be just what the doctor ordered.
Right away, I could see I was in for some interesting reading. It started with an excerpt from Brian Hodge's novel The Weight of the Dead which talks about a post-apocalyptic society that deals with murder in a very interesting way. That's not the only original tale of a dystopian society and its laws - there's The Left Behind by Kaaron Warren, a story in which the judges of the land learn form their mistakes...mistakes which may bring about a true downfall of man by coddling the few children left among the survivors.
Other intriguing short stories to be found in this issue include Miracles for the Damned by Simon Clark in which an entity seeks to drive the remaining souls of the world to their deaths through insanity; Mother / Nature by Kealan Patrick Burke in which a woman who has endured physical, mental and emotional abuse her entire life finally finds peace in the arms of the force who has decided to take back the Earth and Marking the Passage of Time by Brian James Freeman, a tale in which a man spends the last moments of his life on Earth hiding in the bathroom of his apartment with his wife while he remembers the warning about the end of times his father gave him long ago.
Also found in this issue are a number of columns. In Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone by Bev Vincent, we get news about all things Stephen King - books, movies and more. Then there's The Mothers and Fathers Italian Association (otherwise known as M.A.F.I.A.) by Thomas F. Monteleone. This month's column is about the strange and yet credible occurrence that takes place often in the world of fiction - the fact that as you are working on a literary project, someone across the country from you is working on the very same project. The fact that this happenstance has been experienced by this author more than once is actually rather amusing on our end and I would imagine highly frustrating on his.
There are numerous reviews of books, movies both new and old, nineteen stories of apocalypse and dystopia and more. I enjoyed reading about other author's ideas of the best apocalyptic stories and was surprised to note the mention of a tale that not too many in this new generations of readers have heard about. I never thought I would see mention of On the Beach, a book that was big when I was growing up and one that I found to be an excellent read. Of course, I knew I would see The Stand there, but I was also surprised that some, like myself, would find the good versus evil thing intriguing, but in the form of Randall Flagg...leaving something to be desired.
So what is my final verdict on Cemetery Dance Magazine. I found the short stories and story excerpt to be quite enjoyable. Some of the columns were interesting, while others were not exactly of my taste. Though there were a few more reviews than I would ordinarily want to read in a magazine of this caliber, I was happy to learn of a few more books I might want to get my hands on and to know that my opinion of some of the latest post-apocalyptic movies was shared by others. All in all, Cemetery Dance Magazine was quite an interesting reading experience and I will probably find myself picking up an issue or two if that issue's theme grabs me.