The Journal of Strange Among the Familiar
Paul Anderson, Editor –in-Chief
Post Mortem Press
reviewed for Hellnotes.com
I’ll be honest; I opened this second issue of Jamais Vu with no small amount of trepidation. Too many times, that ol’ devil, the “sophomore curse,” has wrought havoc to the most well intentioned magazine. Brothers and Sisters, I am here to testify – that curse is no more. Can I get an amen?
JV2 may even be better than the first issue. It is 96 pages, ten additional pages compared to the previous issue, a veritable cornucopia of diverse reading that includes fiction, poems, reviews and Harlan Ellison’s thoughts on germs, men, and swine, not necessarily in that order.
And then there are the features. Alexandra Christian looks at the rise and fall of monster porn, which she suggests might just be the latest attempt at legitimizing rape as erotica. Instead of ripped bodices and heaving bosoms, we have amorous dinosaurs, randy sasquatches and other initially noncensual, unnatural couplings that would probably make me cringe if I dwelled on the topic.
On a slightly related, but decidedly less creepy topic, Jessica Dwyer interviews Bobcat Goldthwait about his most recent film, Willow Creek, a look at “found footage” films and power of local legends, in this case a thankfully less horny Bigfoot. When chatting with Bobcat, as might be expected, there is some topic drift. And just to prove Dwyer is a glutton for punishment (or just really likes mythical hairy primates), she returns to review the granddaddy of cryptozoology “found footage” films, The Legend of Boggy Creek. Brad Carter wraps up the cryptid celebration with his short story “How the Sasquatch Mourn Its Dead,” which tells the end story of a Bigfoot hunter. In spite of being set in Arkansas, I am pleased to report there are no interspecies couplings.
Lucy A. Snyder writes about meeting Chuck Palahnuik, and Paul Anderson interviews Jonathan Maberry. In each case, it is an insightful look at a popular author. And Maberry’s daily work regimen is advice that fledgling writers should take to heart.
The fiction is also outstanding: Jack Ketchum contributes “Oldies,” a surprising selection from editor Anderson. Ketchum is known for a more visceral style of writing. This is a very different type of horror, of self-realization and loss. It is nothing short of heart-breaking.
Stephen Wolf’s “Valedictorian” tells of a post-apocalyptic educational system. “Long Lonely Empty Road,” is Billie Sue Mosiman’s story of pluck, luck, and serial killers. “Functionality” is Lucy A. Snyder’s cautionary tale of military technological advancements. And “Karmic Interventions” is William D. Carl’s morbidly funny narration of the unluckiest lothario on the bar scene.
So, having dodged the dreaded sophomore curse, I think we need to applaud editor Paul Anderson and publisher Eric Beebe; Jamais Vu is a top notch magazine that has no where to go but up.
Can I get another amen?