Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Injustice Magazine Review: Astounding Frontiers issue 2

Cower not, fierce reader! Today we look at the second excursion into the pulp magazine field from Superversive Press. Yes, I have a couple of others I will get to soon, including Cirsova, but right now let's look at the stories here and their qualities.

Short Stories:

Dead Man Walking by Scot Washam- We've got a zombie story. But, our sole human's object is unusual, though his motive is not. I'm not sure how pulpy it is, but it is tense.

The Long Freeze(part 1) by Karl Gallagher- Hmm. Postapocalyptic adventure with two cryosleep inhabitants? Yeah, this is a bit pulpy.

The Robber Council(part 1) by Brian Niemeier- Ok, I'm not sure this is pulp, because it's a bit long in its pacing. This is also more of a historical adventure, so maybe towards the Conan/Kull type tale, but right now, we've got one very good scene, that will draw you back for more.

The Last Lesson(part1) by Russell May- Time travel stories and causality. I'm hoping it will become more of a conflict later on, but right now, it seems very one sided.


In the Seraglio of the Shiek of Mars by Ben Wheeler- We've still got a great romance here, and the pacing is poised to pick up a lot with the next installment. For now, there's the stirrings of conflict, and very much the awareness of threats.

Daughter of Sol by Cory McCleery- Well, THIS is definitely pulp. While there's no "genre mixing" (genre doesn't exist, it's marketing for people that like little boxes) yet, I wouldn't be surprised by a serious input of romance and the fantastic in addition to the already amazing space opera elements present.

Nowither by John C. Wright- Look, I read it, it was really good, but I know I'll reread when the novel gets its full release. Yeah, cool stuff here.

Galactic Outlaws by Nick Cole and Jason Anspach- More from the second of the Galaxy's Edge books. If you haven't read it, worth your while.


The Stolen Mind by M. L. Staley- Hmm. This  is intriguing, and while there is conflict, it's mostly one sided for a large chunk of the story. Also, this seems far more toward the SciPhi crowd, or the equivalent of its time. But there's still plenty of subterfuge and misdirection and desperation to save the world.

Into Space by sterner St. Paul- No real action, nevermind an active conflict, this has a lot of nice touches nonetheless. A secretive scientist and a reporter he has been friends with see the start of a new but miscalculated great experiment.

Compared to issue one, there's a great improvement in the story choices toward pulp aesthetics, especially with McCleery's entry, and all the entries are good reading. Even the cover is a better fit to the idea of pulp storytelling. I question the number of stories that ran unfinished outside the serials; mostly due to the fact that they all start this issue. The vintage stories are a good addition, though I'm a bit at a loss as to these choices (I know they're likely public domain, but a LOT should be). I'd prefer to see perhaps one action oriented story versus two that are much more "men with screwdrivers" tales.

8 of 10 fell deeds.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

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