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The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2013
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2013
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

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Stephen M. Davis

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There are some excellent stories in this edition of Fantasy & Science Fiction -- with the magazine as a whole gravitating far more to the fantasy genre than the SF.

"Grizzled Veterans of Many and Much" by Robert Reed explores the intriguing idea of Transcendence, with people being effectively hooked into a massive computer core, their physical lives being shortened, but their virtual lives being extended for many lifetimes of experience, giving them the ability to do the many things they wished to do, like write a series of books, drawing on the virtual structure to allow them to master those things they never were able to master, but wished to, in their physical bodies.

The character Whitsun and his burro Francesca move through a time-altered New Mexico in "Changes," using the power of something known as wealfire to remove temporal anomalies, or to heal damage done by those anomalies. The story moves to its climax as Whitsun is joined by a Husky who takes the name Treats and who seems, like the other members of the pack, to be telepathic. This is certainly not the first story ever written with telepathic dogs, but here author Rand B. Lee finds just the right touch to make this idea believable.

"Wormwood is Also a Star" from Andy Stewart offers a kind of alternate history of Chernobyl, with a group of orphans left stranded in a building after the initial evacuation, but safe due to a force they seem to have conjured up into an area known as the Angel's Tear -- a kind of radiation-repulsing zone in Pripyat, where one of the characters, Mitka, performs research on the orphans, falling in love with one of them, Vitaly, in the process. Vitaly can read people through physical contact in such a way that he can often reveal to them things they might wish to remember, or things they very much might wish to forget. This becomes a kind of complication for other characters, namely Mitka's husband and her father, a highly placed general who doesn't mind bloody hands in the interests of furthering his goals.

Dale Bailey's "The Bluehole" is an intriguing story, mostly set in the early 80s, with many pop-culture references to the period. Without wishing to give too much away in an otherwise fairly generic horror-story-with-a-mysterious-lake, the main character must come to terms with his ultimate treatment of his best friend in the summer of his thirteenth year -- a best friend he may be in love with, and who meets a tragic end in the lake known as Bluehole.

In total, the magazine holds together well, with the editor finding a very decent mix of humorous stories to complement some of the more serious attempts.

Copyright © 2013 Stephen M. Davis

Steve Davis is a Visiting Professor of English with Devry University.


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