Review: Fable

Annexe stalwart, Alexander Mee, delves into the newly formed fiction Zine, Fable.

The experience of meeting a perfect partner on a night out is (and I suspect always will be for me) a rare, near mystical event. The attraction, discovery and wonder of that singular event, the connection and intensity that I fear and welcome remind me of coming to review Fable.

I’ve not come across a zine that I’ve so wanted to love before. Fable touched so many of my buttons with its striking cover, brilliant concept and its surging ambition that it might have been designed by my soul mate.

Now on my second reading, I’m put in mind of awkward breakfasts, and discovering that the night’s dream is evaporating. Instead of loving Keats, they’d misheard and been talking about Steps throughout the night. Fable’s faults (though there are only a few) explain the slight, sticky bitterness I feel now, as I realise it’s nearly but not quite.

Still Hollie Furniss is undoubtedly a talent. Her interpretation of Bearskin is clear and clever, neatly inverting gender roles. It spoke to me, as fables must, and it had something new to say, as this zine should. The interview with Rebecca Atherton was interesting, and the extra illustrations, provided by Liam Smith, were cracking.

The single real issue for this zine is that it suffers from a lack of context. I liked Rebecca Atherton, and I looked for more info about her, but the interview expected a level of knowledge beyond me. Similarly, an interpretation of a classic work could have used an introduction, if only to highlight the brilliant work Hollie had done.

The only thing I could have done without was the text vox pops from the general public. They felt somewhat like filler.

I will recommend this to anyone, to everyone. Its a great zine in its initial stages that deserves a wide audience and contributors to match the obvious talent of its creator. I’ll come to love it, eventually, but I’ll always be dreaming of the partner I imagined I met that first night. Maybe as it grows it will move ever closer to that ideal.


Fable is the new storytelling zine from Hollie Furniss.
You can read more about it on the Fablezine site.

Alexander Mee is an audio producer, creating work for Roundhouse and Fuel. He is also a co-producer on our upcoming production of The Odyssey.


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