The Thinking Man’s Crumpet 3#

As its editor, Coral King says ‘TTMC has balls’.  Originally, set up as a small press magazine for emerging female talent the girls were unfortunately a bit shy in their contributions, which is perhaps just as well for us blokes as those that did contribute were worryingly good at horrifying.

Issue 3 begins with Control a fairly hardcore SF short by Anna Stephens and a follow on from a previous Q tale that I rather liked. The protagonist is a HILDA -Hazardous Lifeforms Disposal Expert and believe me she disposes. ‘…the stairwell was momentarily tinted rose as minuscule scraps of flesh and blood hung in the still air.’ The ideas are interesting, it’s fast paced and energetic and the language is at times exciting and full of colour.

Solstice by Franklin Marsh is about young Carl who’s off to a festival at Stonehenge but you get the feeling he won’t be coming back. One of Marsh’s great strengths  is his dark humour and perhaps I was expecting more of it here.

Beyond the Door by Bennedict Jones is the highlight of the magazine for me.  It’s a story with minor faults – at times one feels the characters and situations are too much drawn from real life rather than utilised to further the plot – but this is only a pedantic  quibble. The door, is real enough, terribly frightening and the story leaves a very bad aftertaste in the mind. In other words its a goodie.

David Karataš (his name has a wee symbol over the ‘s’ which I can’t find on the computer)  gives us the Strange Crucifixion where four pilgrims are off to solve the problems of good and evil. I’m afraid that good is going to be the loser. It’s not a story I especially enjoyed, and its not the best of his stories, but there is some eerie quality about Karataš’ work that defies analysis. I have seen many of his incipient tales  on Filthy Creations writers workshop and every time I read one I get the sense that this writer is unique. I also find it incredible that a man can write in a language that is not his own and still achieve this credibility. Read it and see if it doesn’t somehow affect you.

Rubbish by Suzanne Jackson is an apparently mundane tale about the neighbour. It’s very short but extremely good and in the end it’s not mundane at all – its damned scary.

This edition features authoress,  Sue Rule. Ghost is a story of a steady woman and her arty friend. It’s an extremely believable and poignant tale with an acerbic end.  She Walked into the Night is another ghost story of equal merit. ‘Can you fall in love with a ghost?‘ Rule makes us believe you can in a plot that twists and turns.

Maidenhead by yours truly, Craig Herbertson is a sequel to Soap 7 published many years ago in ‘Works 7’.  There’s a ship, a girl and a media virus to contend with.

Perhaps its the simple bloke mentality but I would rather the fonts changed less –aesthetically it looks great but it was at times a bit tough to read. At the risk of being lambasted for stereotyping, I’d like to bet that women wouldn’t have any problem with this.

Artwork by Karn Mcloud and Roger Pile and a bit of poetry make this absolutely sterling value for money.

The Thinking Man’s Crumpet is available at