reviewed by Kimberly Villalba Wright

Published in Issue No. 17 ~ October, 1998

Here’s another keeper, folks. Eternity, “The Online Journal of the Speculative Imagination” contains some of the best literature on the web. I’m not kidding. Besides that, Eternity also has audio reviews, occasional poetry, book reviews, and a writer’s den, with articles of interest to writers. They also have poetry and fiction contests.

I’m pleased with the way the site is constructed. Eternity‘s home page is set up like the table of contents of a book, with numbered pages. A reader actually turns pages within a document, which is better than scrolling for Eternity (no pun intended). Plus, the gray granite background is attractive.

The audio reviews are superbly written. I’m even going to buy one of the reviewed albums. The materials reviewed here are made by independent artists and small recording companies, not anything you’d find at Blockbuster Music.

I’m troubled by the book reviews, though. For one thing, the reader can buy the reviewed books through the zine. Do they only review books they like, so that they can help in the selling of the book? I can’t imagine them trashing a book and then offering it for sale. Would the sales pitch go something like this? “This book was so incredibly bad that we are offering it at a 20% discount so you can experience the awfulness of its prose and the shallowness of its characters for yourself.” Despite the fact that you are not going to see any books given the thumbs-down, the book reviews were, like everything else in this zine, well written.

I was really impressed by the stories. One story in particular blew me away, “The Poet and the Cat,” by Gerald Houarner. I admit that the title makes the story sound like a children’s story, but don’t let that fool you. This story was a jaw-dropper, and it reminded me somewhat of Hans Christian Anderson’s stories. This is one of the finest short stories I’ve ever read online, and the rest of the stories featured in this zine aren’t too shabby, either. If you like mind-blowing, reality-twisting fiction, visit this site.

The only drawback to this is zine is that Eternity does not have an archives section. The editor said there was two reasons for this: 1) so that writers are able to sell their work to him and later sell it to others magazines, 2) the magazine would have to buy more web space. Okay, that’s understandable, but I still would like an archives section. Call me selfish. If you do find a story you like, bookmark it and share it with your friends. The editor keeps the issues up for a few months.

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Kimberly Villalba Wright was born in Hollywood, Florida, and has spent most of her life in Mobile, Alabama. She earned a BA in English at the University of South Alabama in 1997. Her poetry has appeared in the Epiphany, Arrowsmith, Doggerel, Dicat Libre, El Locofoco, as well as Poetry Café. This fall, Wright will begin working toward an MFA in creative Writing at the University of Memphis. Wright currently resides in Kennett, Missouri.