Reviewed by David Goudsward
Having reviewed the previous issues of Jamais Vu, I can safely say the magazine continues to live up to its name, a French term for recognized things that seem totally unfamiliar. It is not the strongest issue of the three so far, but editor Anderson has a vision of the content and he remains true to that ideal.
As with previous editions, the strength of JV3 is the fiction, both prose and poetry. Contributors this issue include Tom Piccirilli and Steve Rasnic Tem, so you know you’re talking top shelf fiction. There is also an excerpt from Toxicity, a recent novel by Max Booth III that has been getting tremendous reviews. This 3-page excerpt aptly demonstrates why.
The five brief forays into the art of poesy are particularly strong this issue. “So What Caused This?” by John Grey is a lyrical look at cause and effect in the industrial age and “In which I Feel Nostalgic about My Mother’s Death” is unsettling as a poem, doubled by the fact the poetess is 10th grader Abigail Rizzo. Rizzo is going justifiably going to have a lot of other writers looking over their shoulders to see how fast she’s gaining on them.
Nonfiction essays continue to improve in quality and quantity. Jessica Dwyer’s overview of the “Found Footage” genre and KT Jayne’s look at the Slender Man meme are of particular note. And of course, Harlan Ellison® continues to outdo himself, providing another thought-provoking yet wildly entertaining column, this time on the fine art of conflict avoidance through mondegreen. Paul Anderson’s interview with Craig Spector, co-founder of splatterpunk movement in 1980s horror is fascinating, if you happen to like splatterpunk. If you prefer your horror less visceral, the 15 page interview is about 10 pages too long.