Monday, October 13, 2008

Review - GUD (Greatest Uncommon Denominator)

I met the editor of GUD over at LinkedIn and scored a review copy of GUD. It took me a while to get through the pdf version, as I'm an ink and paper miser and don't like reading on the screen. But, at long last, I've finished it.

GUD bills itself as: "GUD (pronounced "good") is Greatest Uncommon Denominator, a print/pdf magazine with two hundred pages of literary and genre fiction, poetry, art, and articles."

First off, I'd have to say that GUD could just as easily stand for Gloomy Utter Doom. Of course, if that's what you're into, it's a veritable banquet. Now that I've peeled myself off the floor and listened to some Blues to pick me up, I'd like to tell you more about it.

The issue I reviewed is the Spring 2007 issue. It's chock full of stories, poetry, and art. It also has a couple of non-fiction pieces. I won't go into the poetry as I'm not the best judge of poetry. I'll stick to what I know. The stories were, as I said, very dark. But they were also well written and unique.

John Mantooth's "Chicken" was so full of emotion as to make me almost gasp. His treatment of a young man's bravado, fear and regret overlaid onto a troubled alcoholic seeing another troubled young man who is frighteningly past caring was a moving, credible symphony of bitter memory.

I enjoyed Jason Stoddard's "Moments of Brilliance". He set the bread crumbs along my path. I knew where they led, but it made me want to run there all the more. Besides, I'm a sucker for the musings of how other beings or even robots might think. The gradual awareness, the piecing together of the various visual and aural input to decipher its surroundings and the meaning of life. Can't say more...

In AB Goelman's "4 Short Parables Revolving Around the Theme of Travel", I found a welcome respite from the doom and gloom and a fun time travel romp.

"Cutting a Figure" provided a bit of comic relief while still making some social commentary. Charlie Anders had me hooked with his dual duty breast implants. Need I say more?

Last, but not least, I'd like to mention "She Dreams in Colors, She Dreams in Hope" by F. John Sharp. His well-rounded characters deal with sweat-shop socialism. The man who seems the most resistant, lets another man's dreams invade his own and imbue him with hope that he carries into the waking world.

If you don't buy the magazine to experience it for yourself, I suggest you head over to their website, if for no other reason than to check out the cover art by Konrad Kruszewski. He also has another very striking image within.


kaolin fire said...

Thank you very much for this!

I do seem to have a penchant for Gloomy Utter Doom (it seems to cheer me up?). :)

Ann Wilkes said...

No problem. Thanks for the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Cool review!

And now that you mention it, the stories I've sold to GUD (issue 0 and issue...4?) are pretty Gloomy Utter Doom.

Hopefully my issue 0 piece was too little to really add to your gloom :)

Ann Wilkes said...

Thanks Shweta. I liked your piece. It reminded me of that one old Twilight Zone episode where the boy has powers and holds the whole town hostage. Only this boy's not evil. Just curious...imaginative. :)