You know, I keep referring to Crimewave as an anthology series when I talk about it elsewhere—and because of the way it’s put together I’m going to discuss it analytically as though it were an anthology—though it’s technically a magazine. The truth of the matter is that it falls somewhere between the two states. Much as its stories are wont to do: crime, mystery fiction, the occasional supernatural piece, all doing their damnedest to defy direct classification. Instead, Crimewave is composed of stories that are decidedly more interested in just telling a good story.
And in that effort the latest volume of Crimewave—Crimewave 12: Hurts, edited by Andy Cox—succeeds, in really rather spectacular fashion.
Granted, there are some stories that aren’t holding their own alongside the better pieces in the issue. But they’re few in number, and don’t hurt the whole overmuch. The more interesting dichotomy is the distinct split between pieces that provide closure and those that end prior to, or without, resolution. Indeed, in many ways, Crimewave 12: Hurts is a volume of anticipations.
This issue of Crimewave leaves one feeling always on the edge of something; always seizing one’s breath, and forever holding it. And, ultimately, the stories on display here that court a firm resolution are somewhat stronger in tone and execution, though all of the stories linger in their own respects. And some of the best stories in the issue are among the longest, allowing them to explore fully the dissolution—of lives, of relationships, of self—that they cover.
Moreso than a direct adherence to one particular genre, that sense of wounding, of loss, is what is pre-eminent in the aptly named Crimewave 12: Hurts. And in that territory there’s a lot of thematic...