Issue 3 (November 1988)
82 Pages

Fear Fiction:
Here Comes A Candle – Peter Atkins
– 4 Pages
Dr Dominic Moreton is a well-respected academic, public figure, and now a well-known author.  He has currently been re-working classic childrens poems and stories, making them more politically correct, and most importantly, without the use of violence for our modern-day children.  Or at least that’s what his wife thinks he’s been doing.  But after Dominic takes himself off to bed for the night, his wife discovers a darker layer to his work.  Perhaps nursery rhymes were never meant to be tampered with after all…

Clive Barker’s close personal friend Peter Atkins (‘Hellbound: Hellrasier II, etc) has pulled a downright bizarre short story out of the bag.  Clearly there was an initial idea that spawned this oddly corrupt tale, but somewhere down the line his black-comedy play-around with reality becomes just too derailed from any sense of norm and instead finds itself more puzzling than entertaining.  It’s a shame because the ‘nursery rhyme revenge’ concept seemed to have a lot of mileage in it – the author sadly just missed the mark somewhat when drawing together the all-important horror elements that form the plot altering finale.

In Her Shoes – Ian Watson – 4 Pages
David Latimer had spent much of his life completely immersed in his pottery work.  At forty-five years of age, it was beginning to dawn on him how much he might well have missed out on.  And with his fifteen-year-old daughter Gwen now approaching the career defining stages of her life, Latimer suddenly felt deeply nervous for the young girl.  And with her about to embark on a week of work experience, Latimer was becoming obsessed with the worry.  So much so, that he was beginning to see, hear, smell and taste whatever his daughter was doing…

Surreal is certainly the word here.  Very much in the same dreamlike vein as with his novel ‘Meat’ (1988) that saw its publication around the same time as this short appeared in FEAR magazine, the whole disconnected ambience of the storyline proves to be difficult to become totally accustomed too.  The author’s prose remains subtly disorientating, with passages becoming mildly confusing for just enough time to become off-putting.  The premise and plot of the short seems devoid of any recognisable justification, simplistic with its singular narrative, and altogether rather baffling with its final formation into a workable twist ending.  Although intriguing and undoubtedly imaginative, the short still remains just that little bit too removed from successfully engaging the reader, to be anything other than just an oddly disjointed read.

The Divorce – Don Webb – 2 Pages
Their marriage had lasted for just five years, but now they decided it was time to call it a day and move on.  After all, the marriage itself was nothing more than a work of fiction to them.  So ending it now wasn’t really going to be anything like a rough ride for either of them.  In fact, with their plans of squandering all of their savings in Vegas as a way of starting over afresh, the divorce process was actually looking like it could turn out to be a rather enjoyable experience.  That is, until they take directions for a shortcut to Vegas from a local Navajo at a Rockshop-cum-Restaurant.  Then the trip takes on a sudden and drastic twist of fate…

Webb’s short is a curious little tale that spends the vast majority of its brief life detailing the shallow and altogether placid relationship between the unnamed married couple.  Webb takes to examining intricate (but pretty much irrelevant) details that arise within the tale, but bizarrely leaving the story almost entirely void of any real plot or ultimate direction.  Moreover, when it feels like the tale is beginning to get somewhere, Webb cuts it dead, ending in a weirdly dislocated and quite frankly unsatisfying way.  A short tale with mystery but sadly no real substance behind it.

David Gemmell –Nobody Gets Out Of This Life Alive
– 4 Pages
“Fantasy writer David Gemmell tells Stan Nicholls of the life-and-death circumstances of his writing, a terrifying crisis which set him on the path from LEGEND to GHOST KING and beyond, to his latest book, THE KNIGHTS OF DARK RENOWN.”

Robert R. McCammon – A Sting In The Tale – 3 Pages
“At first accused of imitating Stephen King, Robert R McCammon, author of the recently published SWAN SONG is now seen by some as a rival for the Kingly crown.  Talking to this heir apparent from Alabama, USA, is FEAR’s Stanley Wiater.”

Stephen Laws - Secret Places – 4 Pages
“Byker boy Stephen Laws, British author of GHOST TRAIN, SPECTRE and THE WYRM, shows John Gilbert where to point his camera in a guided tour of Newcastle’s lesser-known haunts – all spectres of his past.”

Guy Magar – Success On A Magar-Budget – 3 Pages
“Directors can be made or broken by their first films – or typecast.  With RETRIBUTION, Guy Magar’s managed to avoid the pitfalls, as he tells Allan Bryce, in his bold switch from television to film.”

Brian Lumley – We’re Only Meat – 3 Pages
“The worst horror are born in the real world, not in an author’s imagination, according to Brian Lumley, author of the NECROSCOPE series of novels.  John Gilbert travelled to Devon to meet the vampire master.”

Clive Barker – Chains Of Love – 4 Pages
“Clive Barker has big plans for next year: new fiction in the form of CABAL and THE ART plus potentially five more films.  Mark Salisbury continues his exclusive, and revealing, interview with this multitalented man.”

Alan Moore – The Unexplored – 3 Pages
“With WATCHMEN and SWAP THIG behind them, comics are still a virgin territory, say Britain’s most famous comic-strip creators, Alan Moore and David Lloyd.  In the first of two interviews, Alan Moore, the writer of the team, gives David Keep the low-down on mythology, superheroes and fame.”

Guy N Smith – Fiend Farming – 2 Pages
“Panned by the critics, loved by his followers, Guy N Smith’s reputation as a controversial horror writer seems at odds with his other activities – interests which would surprise his average reader, as David Whitehead finds out.”

Hellrasier 2: Hellbound – A One Way Ticket To Hellraiser II
– 4 Pages
“The success of Clive Barker’s HELLRAISER ensured that its sequel, HELLBOUND, would be the talk of horror film circles for months.  But British fans will have to talk a little longer – the film’s release date has been unexpectedly put back.  As a consolation FEAR brings you the inside story of the people who made it.”

How To Make A Manic Depressive (How To Make A Movie: Part Three)
– 2 Pages
“Directors must delegate or go crazy.  In the third part of his series on movie-making John Gilbert introduces the people who help create the appearance of chaos, yet maintain an on-set air of sanity.”

The Fear Factor:
Linnea Quigley – Chainsaw Chart
– 2 Pages
“Animals and children are difficult to work with, but when it comes to dangerous whirring implements, Linnea Quigley, star of RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, has few qualms.  She tells Mark Salisbury it’s real-life that scares her.”

Book Reviews:
Bright And Shining Tiger – Claudia J Edwards
Roofworld – Christopher Fowler
Prime Evil – Douglas Winter
Trillion Year Spree – Brian Aldiss & David Wingrove
Fireworm – Ian Watson
Assassin – Shaun Hutson
Faerie Tale – Raymond E Feist
Black Genesis – L Ron Hubbard
Modern Fantasy: The Hundred Best Novels – David Pringle
Koko – Peter Straub

Film Reviews:
Who Framed Roger Rabbit - Directed by Robert Zemeckis
The Serpent And The Rainbow – Directed by Wes Craven
Halloween IV: The Return Of Michael Myers – Directed by Dwight Little
Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master – Directed by Renny Harlin
Anguish – Directed by JJ Bigas Luna
Killer Klowns From Outer Space – Directed by Stephen Chiodo
Nightmare Vacation II – Directed by Michael A Simpson
Witchcraft – Directed by Robert Spera
Prince Of Darkness – Directed by John Carpenter
Nightflyers – Directed by TC Blake


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