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The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2013
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May 2007
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, founded in 1949, is the award-winning SF magazine which is the original publisher of SF classics like Stephen King's Dark Tower, Daniel Keyes's Flowers for Algernon and Walter M. Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz. Each 160-page issue offers compelling short stories and novellas by writers such as Ray Bradbury, Ben Bova, Ursula K. Le Guin, Mike Resnick, Terry Bisson and many others, along with the science fiction field's most respected and outspoken opinions on books, films and science.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Website

A review by Sandra Scholes

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I was thumbing through the pages looking for a theme in the stories and I would like to think that I've found one. Hunting runaway slaves. "Among Friends," by Deborah Ross is a more modern take on the theme while "The Lost Faces," by Sean McMullen gives a different account of Rome's dealing with the subject of slavery under Caesar's reign. There are other stories in this issue, but I couldn't get any two the same other than the ones above.

Editorial:

In "Books to Look Out For" Charles de Lint reviews the latest fantasy, horror and science fiction currently in the marketplace. Every Day by David Lenman, The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson, A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle, Peter Gillis and Eduardo Francisco, Fair Coin by EC Myers, Quantum Coin by EC Myers, Taken by Benedict Jacka, Fables: Werewolves of the Heartlands by Bill Willingham and Earth Faerie Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World by Signe Pike. All the novels sound interesting but it is de Lint's review of Every Day by David Lenman that made me look twice. It is an original book, the idea of a young man waking up in a different body every day would be alarming, yet interesting for all who read it. When it happens to A, as he is called, he leads a kind of schizophrenic life where he can plunge into any body and live that life. It starts out as an exercise to see what their lives are like without interfering or changing them in any way, but when he meets one girl, he decides to break his own code and try to help her out of a bad relationship.

"Plumage from Pegasus" by Paul Di Filippo introduces us to the Kozmic Kickstarter. It is four and a half pages of pure humor in an science fiction vein. It is almost as though Di Filippo was away and someone else came in to guest edit, but no, it's him, and I didn't know he had such a good sense of humour, so you're in for a treat.

"Books" by James Sallis concentrates on two books instead of Charles de Lint's many; American Science Fiction Novels of the Fifties edited by Gary K Wolfe, Volume One 1953 - 56: The Space Merchants, More Than Human, The Long Tomorrow, The Shrinking Man, Volume 2, 1956 - 1958: Double Star, The Stars of My Destination, A Case of Conscience, Who?, and The Big Time. Sallis has written about many novels which have become famous, or have become movies later. In this article, he celebrates the golden age of the science fiction novel. he believes that as writers, we should revisit the older novels writers like of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Alfred Bester and H.P. Lovecraft where the writing was always fresh. If new writers haven't studied what are considered the classics, their writing may not seem as good or as fresh as a result.

"Films" by Kathi Maio talks of "All Man-Eaters Great and Small," where she brings to light environmental and social documentaries. While we as younger adults took in Freddy Krueger's evil slashing antics in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, and Michael Myers in the Halloween sagas, Kathi Maio likes to indulge her brain in such movies and documentaries as Vanishing of the Bees, Flow, Sickos by Michael Moore, and Carbon Nation by Peter Byck. As most movies have a serious shock of effects that are meant to move us, these instead have real shock value as they could really happen to us.

"The Cave," by Sean F. Lynch

This story is the result of the author's trip to the Idaho's Craters of the Moon National Monument with his two sons who were ten at the time and said that the experience "was a tad claustrophobic." When an old man stumbles into a village they reluctantly give him a drink and in return he tells them a tale of being a prospector who had travelled in search of treasure, but never found anything that would pay enough for board and lodgings on his travels. He takes out a parchment, all old and tattered, telling them it is a map for a cavern that an ancient race had mined once. He says he went into the cave and a month had passed, and when he went in, he was a boy, but came out a frail old man. No one believes his story; and blames the drink on his supposed addled state of mind. The rest of the story goes on to tell the truth as it happened, which is unusual and by no means exciting.

"What the Red Oaks Knew," by Elizabeth Bourne and Mark Bourne

Jimi Bone only wants to buy a handmade decoration from a girl called Pink, but when she discovers he has a dragon in his trunk, he needs to keep it a secret from other people. She decides it would be a good idea to take him to somewhere secluded in the hills, a cabin they could hide in. Jimi is reluctant to do this even though the guy who owns it owes her dad a favour. There was still the issue of the dragon, where would they hide it and think it would be better to take it somewhere secluded and leave it in the hope that it would be forgotten. It is an inventive story of East meets West in the Ozarks.

"The Boy Who Drank From Lovely Women," by Steven Utley

I would class this as the surprise story in the entire magazine where a man born in 1780 to a prosperous family in Paris and once he made love to a maid at his father's household, he went on to womanise, gamble and drink to excess, much to his father's annoyance. As his cash had begun to dwindle, his father found that their fortune had gone into making his greedy son happy instead of the family budget and saw only one course of action -- he sends his son into the army, thinking it will make a man of him, but it does nothing more than fuel his sexual fire for loose women, gambling and drinking as the other men he serves with are of the same mind. He has his fair share of women, but when he has tasted the delights of Sophie, a beautiful woman who thought the world of him, she thinks he is the one for her. But he, in turn, isn't the sort of man who can stay with one woman, and in her despair she curses him. One of the funnier moments in this story is that he is recounting it to the famous of all womanisers, Casanova.

"The Long View," by Van Aaron Hughes

This story has Emzara Ghali-Gordon, a Jabaan woman who feels she is trapped by her children, as she feels she has no real place anywhere she ends up. Considered by her own people to be an outcast, or a coward as the name Jabaan suggests. For, instead of going to war, she wanted to get good grades so they could get decent placements in jobs elsewhere on other planets, just to get away from the rut of where she was. The story tells us that no matter where we go, we can never get away from the past or those you know. What Emzara does haunts her, but the story seems so premature in its ending even though it is well written.

These stories are alien, mythical and at times timeless. I enjoyed most of them, but there were some that appealed to me like the unusual "The Man Who Drank From Lovely Women," "The Trouble With Heaven," while "The Long View," "The Lost Faces," and "What The Red Oaks Knew," are personal experiences of grief, loss or conflict. Whoever gets a copy of this magazine (which is more like a book) can enjoy some of the more unusual stories around, no matter what the weather.

Copyright © 2013 Sandra Scholes

Sandra has reviewed for several websites, blogs and magazines including, The British Fantasy Society, Active Anime, Fantasy Book Review and Quail Bell Magazine -- but she's writing a flash fiction about a couple of dragons who can cook -- go figure!


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