"Looking In, Looking Out" by Gareth D. Jones is the first story offering, thought it's not in a traditional story form. Told in brief daily log style this story is about an alien reaching out to attempt first contact with the human race. The ending is somewhat expected once the reader gets the flavor of the tale, but is no less effective.
Murky Depths Forum
Gareth D Jones’ Looking In, Looking Out nearly made me cry. Which was the last thing I expected from a double page, diary-style piece, told from the dispassionate and innocent viewpoint of an alien, that can’t have been more than a few hundred words. I read it on the bus and hastily had to pull myself together for fear of losing face in front of the village school kids. It’s not what he says, it's what he doesn’t.
The first prose story is "Looking In, Looking Out" by Gareth D. Jones and is one of the best in the issue. An alien intelligence makes contact with an unborn child. Its observations make for a very good short-short story.
It was interesting as I said - to expand: it was also well executed and it brightened up my journey into work - always a good thing.
Jonathan C Gillespie
Looking In, Looking Out by Gareth D. Jones is a visually interesting story consisting of a double page spread of several paragraphs, almost thought balloons, arranged in a counterclockwise circle around a picture of a fetus and the Earth. Each paragraph is a log entry by an alien species attempting to communicate with people on the planet. They find the only mind flexible enough to understand them as a fetus and so begin to interact with and teach it. Then comes the twist. Simple, quick, and pleasant.
This glaring low-res snapshot doesn't come close to doing "Looking In, Looking Out" by Gareth D. Jones justice. This was one of the very first stories I pushed for the issue. Inventive, funny, poignant. But that layout just takes it to another level. *** gorgeous beyond all reason, man. It's easily my favorite presentation of any piece in the 'zine. Any piece in any 'zine, in fact. First big house I buy, I'm having Terry blow this one up to ridiculous scale so I can hang it on my wall.
We've got one of the most unconventional and touching tales of first contact I have ever read.
UK SF Review
Looking In, Looking Out written by Gareth D. Jones is an unorthodox piece, set across a double-page spread, read anti-clockwise in chunks of days. In centre there is a neat bit of art of a baby in front of a planet which reminded me in part of the film 2001.
Each day text is in the form of a report from an alien on his attempted communcation with humans on Earth. An easy read, which packs a not so obvious sad ending when it’s realised just what the alien is communicating with, and why communication ends.
The layout and presentation, and the diary form of the story makes it a compelling read; a truly memorable story.