For those of you who don't already know, Jamais Vu is the latest relevant horror magazine on the block from the fine folks at Post Mortem Press, publisher of my second novel People of the Ethereal Realm. I was excited when I heard that Post Mortem were going to publish a magazine featuring horror fiction. When I heard that Paul Anderson was assigned as editor-in-chief, I knew the magazine was in good hands.
Jamais Vu is everything I expected and more. Within the beautiful covers are 85 pages of book and movie reviews, articles, poetry, and, of course, horror fiction. In the mix are interesting factoids about random subjects such as fungus infected ants to strange Swiss statues to a pair of horror themed comic strips. This magazine has an eclectic mix that keeps you turning the pages, but, for me, the meat is in the horror fiction. Of the seven stories there was only one that I didn't like, and it had nothing to do with the quality of the writing, but more that it wasn't my taste. Those are the kind of odds that have made an instant fan out of me.
The first story, "Photo Captions" by Gary A. Braunbeck, sets the tone of magazine as far as the fiction is concerned. A stunningly real and depressing portrait of how low life can sink, this one will grab your heart and squeeze. It's like a behind-the-scenes look at so many unfortunate news stories, but I won't tell you which stories, because that's a part of the shock ending.
Michael Kelly's "Bait" is beautifully written, and though I had a good idea where this story was going, it was one of my favorites. From the title you can guess that it's a story revolving around fishing, but there's so much more. Sometimes the darkest secrets are oh so close.
I would call Jessica McHugh's "Another Pleasant Valley Sunday" a mix of Ira Levin's Stepford Wives meets "It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby, and I'm cool with that. This one is surreal, and, like "It's a Good Life", this story would have made for a great episode of The Twilight Zone...well, and R-rated episode.
"Video Nasties" by Max Booth III is perhaps the most aggressive of the seven stories that, like the issue opener, takes on a serious societal issue. Following the story are two essays that straddle two sides of the issue of media's influence on violence in society.
When I finished Cameron Suey's "Shiva" I stared off into space for a moment and thought deeply about what lies in wait after death. This story is as touching as it is powerful. One of my favorites of the bunch.
"The Hydra Wife" by Sandra M. Odell was the one I didn't connect with. Well written, this story just didn't hit my jive, though I imagine the bizarre surrealism will have found the tale placed on the top of many a reader's favorites list.
Finally, the issue closes with what may have been my favorite tale, "Another Friendly Day in the Antique Trade" by Adam-Troy Castro. This one brought me back to what I found so enthralling about Stephen King's early short fiction. The opening sentence says it all. Yes folks, there's a mouth in the sidewalk and it ate Otis Hinkman. That may sound preposterous, but I guarantee you'll read this one with zeal and savor every last morsel.
Jamais Vu has what it takes to stick around for a long time and I'm certain the readership will grow with every issue. I'm hooked. Already looking forward to issue 2, which promises a new story by none other than Jack Ketchum.
You can purchase Jamais Ju from amazon, Post Mortem Press, and all major on-line retailers.
In an attempt to secure new fiction from well-known authors, there has been a kickstarter campaign that you can find HERE if you are interested in further supporting Post Mortem Press and their amazing endeavor with Jamais Vu. Whether you choose to kick down a few bucks or not, you certainly must give this magazine a read. You will not regret it.