I have just received my copy of Neonbeam 5 – and this thing looks really great – 8 ½” square – nice shiny cover – looks a bit like a graphic comic book– with cover art (Girl in the Fire) by Scott Springer – the double column layout inside really suits the pieces – and many internal illustrations. There is, as mentioned before, a free pdf download available – but this is a really nice object to be in possession of. And priced at £3.51 (probably about $7) – this book is a great bargain. 78 pages of entertainment! I get described as ‘insanely talented’ in the introduction – so a book with great understated integrity.
My short story ‘Almost Lovers’ twists around the various preconceptions and prejudices in typically sublime style! Also includes three excellent poems by Rob Plath (‘hulk hogan & dry humping’, ‘who the hell is groucho marx?’, and ‘wine compass’), two awesome poems by the deranged deviant David McLean (‘i do not’ and ‘words are like snow’). There is also an interview the mad fucker, in which he talks about alcohol, religion, philosophy, poets, myspace, age, what makes him happy (and surprisingly this is not something illegal), and other stuff. There are also two photos (one which looks supremely demented) that will defy even the most heterosexual men not to facepaint.
There is a great introduction ‘Parity for Squares!’, by Neonbeam editor, Sammi Leng, a dark humour/mixed genre story by Gregory L. Hall (Death Farm), poetry by Felino Soriano, The Doomsday Book by George O’Gorman is a very non-standard story that involves the Holy Grail, poetry by Robert S. King, an interview with Jeremy C. Shipp (author of the novel ‘Vacation’, novella ‘Flapjack’ – featured in the Bizarro Starter Kit, and writer of short film ‘EGG’), poetry from William Doreski, a wonderful short story ‘Bath Time at La Chapel Blanche’ by Richard James (somewhat in the territory of Murakami – but still uniquely his own style), poetry from Colin James, ‘What Lies Beneath’ is a great story by Paul Weinburg that is hard to say too much about without giving away many of its secrets, poetry by Aaron A. Polson and Bruce Harris, a delightful short story by Sammi Leng herself – A Matter of Taste – a story very much to my tastes, ‘ID’ by Peter A. Balaskas is a longer fictional piece which starts with a Shakespeare quote about killing all lawyers – certainly made me warm to the piece straight away, poetry by Darryl Salach and Alan King, and a very intriguing story by William de Rham (‘Last Run in Zermatt’).
There are links to both the free download and for purchasing in print on the right-hand side. Considering how good this thing is in print, and the price, I would recommend the later most heartily. Spend money and kill trees, I say.