One of the go-to genre magazines in the UK is Black Static, from the people who brought you Interzone , one of the longest-established science fiction magazines in the world. Black Static is definitely set to follow in its hallowed footsteps, and one of the first sections many go to is the reviews, headed by Peter Tennant.
In the latest issue (#37), he reviews Terry Grimwood’s Soul Masque chapbook from Spectral Press and, in part, this is what he thought of it:
“What is interesting here, challenging even, is that the author gives us a picture of people fighting in a heavenly cause, but at the behest of an agency that adopts methods most of us will find dubious. People into drugs and kinky sex, career criminals, are all coerced into fighting the good fight, angels with more than dirty faces. Each character has the potential for good, but that ability has been warped, replaced with a pain that can only be relieved through action, and the Singer exploits their weakness. The writer appears to be implying not only that conflict corrupts, however noble the cause, but also that the ‘corrupt’ and malleably weak can be the most effective when it comes to waging war, though hand in glove with this he cleverly introduces a note of ambiguity as to who the real monsters are in this scenario.”
He concludes by saying:
“Add to this the novel method of telling, the terse but lyrical language, the scenes of mayhem that punctuate the narrative, and it may well be the author’s best story yet. I loved it.”
Check out the latest Black Static for the full review – available from TTA Press.