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subTerrain – Winter 2006

Generally speaking, I hate theme issues – if I wanted to read that much about a single topic, I’d buy a book – but subTerrain’s issue on “Money” won me over.

Generally speaking, I hate theme issues – if I wanted to read that much about a single topic, I’d buy a book – but subTerrain’s issue on “Money” won me over. The fiction, though surprisingly short (subTerrain accepts nothing longer than 3,000 words) has real bite. These are stories about people who have difficult relationships with money: a schizophrenic who has to beg for change to pay for his prescription, a homeless man who kills another homeless man for his stash of cardboard, a corporate drone awaiting bad news during the latest round of downsizing. And then there’s “Twenty-Six Cents,” by Adrian Z. Dorris – a story told from the point of view of a quarter: “I’ve been a thousand phone calls: 911s, drug deals, surprise visits, wrong numbers, and desperate messages slurred hot and thick into bacterial receivers. I’ve been stolen, lost, and collected…I’ve been the first pull of a slot machine. And the last.” Other features include a series of color photos by Fred Herzog, documenting urban life in Vancouver since 1953, an interview with economist Dierdre McCloskey, and reviews of Canadian fiction and poetry. subTerrain is laid out like a glossy, and its contents are just as appealing; I read it from cover to cover in a single evening.
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