Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction #44: now out!

Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction #44 is now out! It features five stories, arranged roughly in the chronological order of their settings: “A Lesson from the Undergrowth” by Charles Wilkinson, “Snow Crime” by Allen Ashley, “The Return of the Terrible Darkness” by Howard Phillips, “Black Sun” by Douglas Thompson, and “Milo on Fire” by Ross Gresham.

You’re going to love them. (Except the Howard Phillips one.)

The review section isn’t quite as long as last issue’s, but it still features five books (Dodger, A Game of Groans, Martian Sands, Señor 105 and the Elements of Danger and Star Wars: Scoundrels), three films (The Host, Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z), and two television programmes (Astronauts and Doctor Who: Shada).

The editorial explains why I’m not retiring the magazine just yet, and the cover is once again by Howard Watts.


Paperback edition: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Epub version (free)
Mobi version (free)
PDF version (free)
Kindle Store: Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com


Allen Ashley is currently editing Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac for The Alchemy Press, and has stories due in the next BFS Journal and the Eibonvale Press anthology Rustblind and Silverbright. (Four contributors to this issue appear in that book: Allen Ashley, Charles Wilkinson, Douglas Thompson and John Greenwood.)

Charles Wilkinson’s short stories have appeared in Best Short Stories 1990, Best English Short Stories 2, Midwinter Mysteries and London Magazine. A collection, The Pain Tree and Other Stories, was published by London Magazine Editions.

Douglas J. Ogurek’s work has appeared in such publications as the BFS Journal, Dark Things V, Daughters of Icarus, The Literary Review, Morpheus Tales and WTF?! He lives in Gurnee, Illinois with the woman whose husband he is and their five pets. His website: www.douglasjogurek.weebly.com.

Douglas Thompson is a Theaker’s Quarterly veteran, several of his stories having appeared in these pages. He is the author of seven books: Ultrameta (Eibonvale, 2009), Sylvow (Eibonvale, 2010), Apoidea (The Exaggerated Press, 2011), Mechagnosis (Dog Horn, 2012), Entanglement (Elsewhen, 2012), with Freasdal and Volwys & Other Stories due in late 2013 from Acair and Dog Horn Publishing respectively. See: http://douglasthompson.wordpress.com for more information about his activities – plus poetry!

Howard Phillips is one of this magazine’s most prolific contributors, though he has been absent from its pages for far too long, or, those of you who have read his work might say, not long enough. Poet, musician, philosopher: he does it all, though none of it well. In this issue’s instalment of his memoirs he must face his own sexism.

Howard Watts is a writer, artist and composer living in Seaford who provides the cover to this issue. (I spent much of June and July reading his unpublished but fascinating novel, The Master of Clouds. I hope a publisher picks it up soon, because it irks me no end to have read a book that cannot be included on my Goodreads list.)

Jacob Edwards supplies us with several in-depth reviews this issue: Dodger, Star Wars: Scoundrels, Star Trek Into Darkness and Astronauts and Doctor Who: Shada. However, he remains indentured to Australia’s speculative fiction flagship Andromeda Spaceways, editing #45 and #55 of their Inflight Magazine. The website of this writer, poet and recovering lexiphanicist: www.jacobedwards.id.au.

John Greenwood performs his usual co-editorial duties on this issue, and his own fiction has appeared recently in Rustblind and Silverblight, Bourbon Penn and The Ironic Fantastic (forthcoming), receiving such good notices that Stephen now regrets disabusing people of the notion that John is merely a pseudonym adopted for his more scathing reviews.

Ross Gresham teaches at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Other instalments of the Milo/Marmite saga have appeared in TQF34 (“Name the Planet”), TQF41 (“Milo Don’t Count Coup”) and M-Brane SF (“Spending the Government’s 28”).

Stephen Theaker is the eponymous co-editor of Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction, and supplies fewer reviews than usual to this issue, unless he writes more in the gap between putting this section together and sending this issue to press. His reviews have also appeared in Interzone, Black Static, Prism and the BFS Journal. He has two lovely children and an indulgent, supportive wife.


  1. Thankyou for yet another issue of a great magazine. I am off to the beach for a week, so the timing is perfect. I really enjoyed Gresham's story in 41 and I'm looking forward to reading this one.
    One question - why are you down on Howard Phillips? Is he perhaps one of your pen names?
    Some tech stuff - my Android tablet downloads the epub and mobi but then doesn't recognise them. But when I save the downloads with a Windows laptop and then copy them across to the tablet, it reads them with no problem. Since I have three laptops (I wanted to make sure I never ever have to touch Windows 8) this isn't a problem, bit I thought I'd mention it.
    Thanks again for all the good reading.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Chris!

    I wonder if maybe your tablet is not putting the files in a place where your reading apps notice them?

    Howard and I have a long and complicated relationship!