Issue 3 reviewed in Whispering Spirits

Review if G.U.D. Magazine, issue#3

Greatest Uncommon Denominator Magazine (ISSN 1932-8222)

Reviewer: Susie Hawes

Review featured in Whispering Spirits Digital Magazine (PDF) -- download to read their 2008 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

I opened my PDF issue of G.U.D., curious to see what Debbie Moorhouse, Kaolin Fire, Julia Berend, Sal Coraccio and Sue Miller had roped me into. The front cover showed some kind of bat-winged contraption, dismembered and displayed like an exhibit at the Smithsonian.

Greatest Uncommon Denominator. What’s that suppose to mean?

Well, apparently, it means quality in writing, regardless of genre.

The stories in G.U.D. are a wondrous mixture of the strange, the chilling, the exciting and the hilarious, all served with a dash of poetic style and a plethora of beautifully rendered illustrations. That’s the bottom line, folks; I loved this magazine.

“Caged in my hand, the downy chick sits still— save for a heartbeat flutter on my palm….”

Wonderful! The first entry in the magazine, a poem by Beverly A. Jackson, whets the appetite. The first illustration, “Dragon and Gear”, uses thick, bold lines to wed the sinuous with the stiffly mechanical. Wow.

The first story, “A Song, A Prayer, An Empty Space”, by Darja Malcolm-Clarke, whisks us away to a sun-baked land bereft of the abundant touch of God. The people have to set their prayers into coins, and for the poor of the land how is that possible?

This magazine continues to flow through ideas, emotions and landscapes strange and familiar, using words, poetic images and illustrations to carry us along. It chills us, touches us and makes us laugh.

There are a few stories that don’t quite jell. Tina Connolly’s “Facts of Bone” is strong with emotion and imagery and her characters well developed, but the plot is a bit muddled. Alex Dally MacFarlane’s “Chica, Let Me Tell You a Story” has a good voice, but it needs to be a bit longer to really set the tale.

Then you get a story like Chad Brian Henry’s “Measurements.” The choices faced by these characters will haunt you.

“When he leans over it, she can see the vertebrae sticking out of his back like faces on a totem pole. They each look like they have their own expression, but they’re all just variations of determination and despair.”

Wonderful. Please pick this one up.