- File Size: 1992 KB
- Print Length: 73 pages
- Publisher: Gehenna & Hinnom; 1 edition (June 27, 2017)
- Publication Date: June 27, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B072VK2VRL
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,544 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Hinnom Magazine Issue 001 Kindle Edition
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So when I mentioned not really being into short story collections that was a bit of a lie. I've enjoyed my share like Kelly Link, who does some amazing short story collections (of her own work). One thing I appreciate about her short stories is that they often will follow the same theme and in a sense you might feel they have a lot more in common than two different stories should. A magazine collection like this doesn't have the benefit of one author writing everything, but rather the editors of the magazine picking and choosing what to include. In a sense you can get the same outcome, but even that may or may not be desirable depending on what the point of the magazine is. In this case the clues seem to come from the opening introduction (which is kind of long) and the opening interview. So strap in I guess.
My first question really was who the target audience was. The opening introduction went on about different types of fiction and their purpose and while it was a fun little philosophical exercise, I'm not entirely sure I caught the point. If it was meant to frame the mind for the stories you're about to read I found myself kind of confused. As I mentioned before this magazine really seemed to focus on horror, but the introduction was much more broad than that. This is fine though because the cover really seems to make it clear, so probably no one came in expecting a mixed box of chocolates. It also helps that I am personally a fan of horror.
The next section is the interview and here is where things started to click a little more for me. The topic was Lovecraft and the material was dense. Fitting if you ask me, Lovecraft is very dense to read and while a lot of people know about Lovecraft mythos, not many probably actually bothered trying to slog through it. I think that this part is really aimed more at the academic or heavy enthusiastic reader, because there is a lot of author name dropping that the casual observer might not follow. Furthermore one of my chief observations for Lovecraft is that it is written like a science journal and frankly can be very dry to read. The interview kind of hints at that, without saying it in such a plain way and that implies to me that they see it maybe differently than me. None of this really matters though because none of the stories are truly written in a Lovecraft style, which would be hard to emulate and frankly questionable. After all, I know of few people who have actually read Lovecraft, especially for pleasure and not just a class, why would you want to emulate that style?
The stories themselves are the focus and should be the focus, though I haven't spoken a great deal about them. This is on purpose as described above because short story collections are easy to come by and while the quality of the stories do matter, so to does the publication their in. How are they arranged, what is selected, is there a theme. . . Ect. A true mixed bag of short stories would probably not be recommendable because taste varies widely. These stories are all of the suspense and horror genre, at least in some degree. The first one opens strong and the other are mostly enjoyable too, though the length also varies greatly. One of them is a mere two or three pages (depending on your font size). Hardly a short story, almost more of a poem at that point.
The stories are okay, some better than others, but most are at least able to give you a sense of what they are going for. The length helped a great deal for me in that the longer ones tended to have more of an impact. The two or three pager could of, but I think it really needed more length. Actually it was the weakest in my view for a few reasons, but I really don't want to go into specifics. The fact is that the entire volume is less than 100 pages and that includes the introduction, the interview and then there is a film review at the end, so content wise it is a little pricey for what you are getting if you just value the short stories.
Before I conclude I do want to touch on how it ends. There is a review for a movie, a horror movie, but a movie all the same. I think it's a valid touch to switch mediums from one to another in a magazine, but I'm not entirely sure I felt it made sense for this magazine in particular. I've mentioned the target audience question before but come to the end and I'm really wondering who the target audience is. The review is thoughtfully written (And considerably longer than the one I'm posting here) but does it make sense? The interview at the beginning goes into great detail and quite the academic dive into Lovecraft who is himself, quite the academic subject. The introduction is all about fiction, and I guess it could be any medium, but there was no part in the magazine where I was thinking to myself, multimedia.
So in conclusion, this isn't a bad magazine, there is some good writing, some interesting philosophy and some academic discussions to be had. However I do have to ask myself who am I that wants to read this? The obvious answer is horror, but book horror and movie horror are so drastically different that I'm not sure I'd marry the two like this, especially not when the meat of the publication is short stories, IE, print medium. Parts of this just felt a little out of place. Also the length for the price struck me. I don't like to think of books as valued by their word count, but you can't ignore that as a factor and if you multiply the word count by say, four, and the price likewise then you are looking at a very premium price for a magazine. Sure magazines are about this expensive off the shelf, but they include a great deal of production value, pictures, art, glossy finish, none of which this thing features.
In conclusion, I think there is very real value here, but I think my recommendation is going to depend more on who you are, and the target audience here might be a narrow shot.
It is always so refreshing to see original works by independent authors and many of these tales will chill you to the bone (no pun intended). The Magazine opens strongly with "The Saraya", a story that takes place in an ancient tomb filled with ravenous animals and, from there, the Magazine ventures into the darkness of war, to demonic items and creatures beneath the city steps and beyond. Hinnom magazine is truly the real deal. A digestible (only 72 pages) yet incredibly rich work that begs to be devoured in one sitting. Hats off to Gehenna Publishing House and the editing that assembled such a great work. 5 stars. Get it today!
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