They had a variety of things on hand including an unusually large amount of speculative poetry in both collections and magazines which caught my eye though they only thing in that line I bought was Suzette Hadin Elgin’s The Science Fiction Poetry Handbook.
I did recognize the names of several people in their publications: Lee Clark Zumpe, Laura Givens (though more as an artist than writer), and Bryan Thao Worra through his work at Innsmouth Free Press.
Since I appreciate writing decent stuff is hard work and it’s hard to get it noticed after you write it, I’m a tiny bit susceptible to purchases that are motivated a bit by charity as well as self-interest (or instruction with the Elgin).
So, after chatting with the magazine’s editor Tyree Campbell, I picked up a copy of Outposts of Beyond, October 2014.
Now I not going to extend the reviewing madness into magazines. However, given that this magazine isn’t well publicized — I don’t recall seeing mentions of it in Locus or Locus Online, I decided to give my impressions.
I am not going to review every story. There are six of them as well as three poems and two reviews. Part of that is because most of them, after reading them a bit longer than a month ago, have left my brain entirely. In fact, any significant memory of them left my brain after only a week.
These are mediocre stories. I mean mediocre in the classic sense — nothing special, nothing memorable, middling. They all have the necessary parts of stories: characters, conflict, resolution. It’s just they just made almost no impression on me.
The sole exception was Pedro Iniguez’s “Road to the Sun”. (I’m guessing at the title. It’s “Road to the Sun” at the start of the story and in the table of contents but “Rod of the Sun” on the cover.) But then I have a fond spot in my heart for Earth-abandoned-to-the-robots stories like Brian Aldiss’ “Who Can Replace a Man?”, Clifford Simak’s City, and Paul Di Filippo’s “Providence“.
The reviews were all of Alban Lake Publishing titles which seems a bit unethical. On the other hand, they weren’t slavish reviews, and I would imagine publicity has been hard to come by for the publisher’s releases.
However, Outposts of Beyond is not a magazine I have any interest in returning to.