The Thinking Man’s Crumpet 4#

‘The Thinking Man’s Crumpet’ is edited by Coral King. It was originally, set up as a small press magazine for emerging female talent but it seems that a similar metamorphosis has occurred that sociologists witness in school playgrounds. The boys fill up the available space while the girls sit in the corner.

Fortunately, Anna Stephens has not hid in the cloakroom. The issue begins with her hardcore SF short Interrogation. It is hardcore, it is short and it is squeamishly horrible but all in a good cause. Q is back and he’s nastier than ever. The protagonist is a HILDA which used to be a Hazardous Lifeforms Disposal Expert but for some obscure reason has now become a Hostile Indigenous Life Disposal Agent. Maybe like, the bewildering software on my computer, I have got too old to keep up with new technology and this is a new model. It is a story that gravitates around torture and  reads like it might be written by a man until you get to the testicles.  Enjoyable but scary.

Till When? is a long clever poem by David Thorpe.

Inner Demons is a visceral medical tale which starts with a sore abdomen and ends up up somewhere near Hell. It’s a very good story with perhaps too ambitious  a finishing line for such a short but ‘sweet’ tale. Enjoyed it though

The End of a Strange Tale by Peter Tennant edges out strong contestants as the prizewinner for me. it’s a tale of two unlikely lovers and like Shakespeare’s best it has a very bloody ending.

Finally we have Hot Gates by Reg Jones, a long story that some will enjoy but I can’t review it. It’s a mix of Greek quasi history and vampires, well researched with a twist in the tale. Unfortunately I regard Thermopylae  with an almost religious fervcur and Leonidas as an untouchable icon so my peculiarities forbid comment.

Artwork by Alex Poole and Roger Pile and a neat wee drawing by Rachel in the rear of the mag round off a very good issue that would benefit I think, from more artwork. Rog Pile’s illustration for Hot Gates is absolutely spot on.

The Thinking Man’s Crumpet is available ridiculously cheaply at