How does Andy Cox do it? Reading the latest issue of Crimewave — with its fascinating mix of top-notch practitioners (including a variety of writers famous for their stellar work in the horror and science fiction genre, such as Stephen Volk, Christopher Priest and Melanie Tem) makes this writer particularly envious and nostalgic – not least for the days when Crime Time was a print magazine (although I never ran as much fiction as Cox seems able to in this handsomely designed volume). Without knowing his editorial policy — did Cox give his writers a specific brief or just ask for solid examples of their work? — it’s hard to see quite why this collection has such a unifyingly dark feel, rich with atmosphere and a certain surreal consciousness at the heart of most of the stories. Short fiction has been enjoying something of a renaissance lately, and it is perhaps to the credit of collections such as this that this new awakening of interest has been inspired. If there is a caveat, it’s that there is no introduction by Andy Cox (although there are notes on individual contributors). Perhaps next time — and aficionados will be waiting for Crimewave 13.

Crime Wave is published by TTA

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