This month I picked up the monster extravaganza that is Forbidden Futures Magazine, a literary exploration of nightmares and horror. As a huge fan of literary magazines from the science fiction and horror genres, I’ve been meaning to read this one for some time, and as it turns out I’m only sorry I didn’t buy a copy sooner.
It opens with an essay by editor and writer Cody Goodfellow titled “My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters”. Discovering that the rage and destructive nature of monsters like Godzilla can actually be empowering was a pivotal moment for him. Not sure I agree with it entirely, but it was an interesting perspective to consider when reading a horror magazine.
“The Parachute” by Evan J Peterson was a disturbing adventure into online dating with a homoerotic and horrific end. The story called “The Land of The Blind” by SG Murphy had probably my favorite illustration by Mike Dubisch of a one eyed alien woman called a Mynaabi. A cautionary tale about eating the natives. Mike Dubisch’s spectacular and beautiful art illustrates this, and every issue of Forbidden Futures.
Rudy Rucker’s short story “The Third Bomb” was a standout for me. Perhaps it was the forced insanity upon a captor at Guantanamo, or the tentacled vision of the president after having his head blown off, but it really stayed with me. Other stories that made an impact was the alien invasion gone wrong tale called the “Nichols Defense” by Brian Evanson, and a serial killer’s ponderings titled” Where the Dead People Live” by Christopher Farnsworth.
Generally I wouldn’t comment on graphic design in your average literary magazine, but the publisher, Oddness, has done some incredible work in this issue. The text design and image layout are clearly very skillfully done, especially in “The Chapel of The Dominion”, the short poetic story by Elizabeth Rayne. Honestly the only part that was a bit of a slog to read through was the interview near the beginning. I’m not a big fan of reading written interviews. All in all I’d give this issue nine and half stars out of ten, and will be keeping an eye out for the next issue!