The subject of the most recent in my series of literary journal and genre magazine reviews is a publication I have a hard time describing yet enjoy very much.
Cough Syrup Magazine publishes both online and print editions four times a year.
What They Say About Themselves: “The Wyrd. Those In Between moments you experience at 3AM that you try to explain, try to make someone understand but no one gets it. The Fourth Dimension, the Fourth Plateau. The Creeping Strangeness. The Clarity of ‘Oh shit it’s always like this’, but no one can sees it. The Fucking Weirdness that’s always around. And the reverse alchemy of trying to distill that feeling into a story or poem or art. The Glimpse of Horrible Ecstatic Clarity and we all just want everyone to have a taste. You want to see it , to feel it. It’s here. Dig the day.”
Issue Reviewed: “It’s Working,” a collection of short stories
Genre: All over the place. Mostly literary realism, some speculative content, very adult oriented.
One Story I’ll Remember Not to Forget: “The Day Off,” by Mark Keane. An anonymous Irish Civil Service worker decides to take a day off from work. Not much happens that day, mostly because the narrator doesn’t know what to do with himself. This darkly comic tale made me laugh out loud with the line: “My choice, my decision to take a day off and I had to get through it.”
Exploding Helicopters: Three Explosions. Good dramatic tension in most stories.
Profanometer: Sonovabitch. The story cited in my review actually had no profanity at all, but some stories in this collection did turn up the dial on the coarse language.