Filler content with indigenes

A magazine review that originally appeared in The Fix #1:-

Reviewed by Peter Tennant

Appearance wise, Indigenous Fiction is at the Colonies end of the spectrum rather than the Challenging Destiny end, but without that magazine’s defining quality of carelessness. Issue 6 comes with a black and red wraparound cover, a moody, art deco image of a nymph in greenery by Lauren Halkon. Interior illustrations are thin on the ground, and those that do appear have been supplied in house by editor Sherry Decker. The only non-fiction is six pages of reviews of Horror related material by Michael McCarty.

IF defines itself as publishing fiction that’s ‘wondrously weird and offbeat’, and if the eight stories in this issue are anything to go by Trading Standards have no cause for concern.

Leading off, Antony Mann’s ‘Green’ is a quirky tale of a non-conformist who revolts against the world of perfectly contoured and tended gardens. It’s written with an enviable lightness of touch, a witty and insightful blow against the perils of standardisation.

‘On Monday the Movers Came’ by Ryan Miller is a simple but powerfully felt story of opportunities lost and never to come round again, while Ceri Jordan’s ‘The Book of Forgotten Words’ cleverly plays with the old adage that knowledge is power by giving us a world where words are hoarded by the elite, a story that majestically slides through the Scylla and Charybdis of absurdism and whimsy to deliver something more moving and substantial than the premise might suggest.

Kathryn Roach’s short ‘Divine Nature’ traps a woman in a sideshow game to reveal how our machines are distancing us from reality. ‘Near the Dark Heart of the Sea’ by Scott Standridge has a Hodgsonesque feel about it, the story of a sailor abandoned to his fate upon the deep, the kind of piece where atmosphere counts for everything and here done compellingly well. Closing the issue there’s ‘Bat Flashman and the Boy Wombat’ by Geary Danihy, a story that’s as deliciously funny as its title suggests, an account of what really happens when grown men slip into spandex and go out to save the world.

Two more stories and five poems make up the remainder of a magazine that not only encourages high expectations in the reader, but has the chutzpah to deliver on them.

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