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December 2004
Book Reviews
Charles de Lint
Elizabeth Hand
Michelle West
James Sallis
Chris Moriarty
Plumage from Pegasus
Off On a Tangent: F&SF Style
Kathi Maio
Lucius Shepard
Gregory Benford
Pat Murphy & Paul Doherty
Jerry Oltion
Coming Attractions
F&SF Bibliography: 1949-1999
Index of Title, Month and Page sorted by Author

Current Issue • Departments • Bibliography


"The Missing Twist"

IN THE June 2004 issue, we asked competitors to supply the last page of a famed manuscript, one that revealed a twist ending. The response was fabulous, but in their haste to reply, some did not read the directions carefully enough: Although we gave an example that quoted Sauron from Lord of the Rings, some entrants used the example as the basis for their answer. Alas, it was only an example; we wanted entrants to come up with their own twist endings.

Anthem by Ayn Rand
Then next to the sacred word, "Ego", Gaea scratched the word "Maniac" when Prometheus was not looking.
—Karen Ann Jacobs
Fontana, CA

Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Frodo woke up in a cold sweat and suddenly realized it was all a dream. It was then he noticed the ring upon his finger and a matching ring on the hobbit snuggling at his side. His nightmare had just begun!
—Nate Hall
Tucson Arizona

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy found something on the ground and picked it up. It was a sheet of asbestos. A whole pile of asbestos insulation had been left lying around. "Hey, guys," he shouted to the others, "how about we write on this stuff instead of paper?"
Oslo, Norway

The Bible
The characters, names, and incidents portrayed in the preceding story are a work of fiction, and any similarity to the name, character, or history of any person alive, dead, risen from the dead, or to past events, is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

The preceding work is protected pursuant to the laws of first copyright, granted under the authority of the Emperor and Senate of the great Roman Empire, and these laws are in force both here in Rome and in other parts of the known world soon to become part of Rome.

Any unauthorized duplication and/or distribution of the preceding work, whether or not this action is undertaken for profit, constitutes civil liability and will result in criminal persecution ending in most painful death. Hail Caesar!
—Eugene Calabrese
Maple, Ontario, Canada

"Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes
p.p.s. i forgot to say that my hollywood ajint just got me 20 millyun dollurs to star in a siens fikshin moovee. The prodooser tells me charly gordon your going to be a sooperstar!! you dont need to be smart if you got karisma and 20 millyun dollurs.
—Adrian Marlowe
Tampa FL


PRE-THERAPY TITLES: Some genre works needed a bit of counseling before they were published. Give up to six examples of these poor titles before therapy bolstered their image.

Current title: Beauty, by Sheri Tepper
Before therapy: A Nice Personality

Email entries to carol [a-t] cybrid [d-o-t] net.

Be sure to include your contact information. Entries must be received by January 15, 2005. Judges are the editors of F&SF, and their decision is final. All entries become the property of F&SF.


First prize will receive a signed limited edition copy of Confusion by Neal Stephenson (published by Hill House).
Second prize will receive advance reading copies of three forthcoming novels.
Any runners-up will receive one-year subscriptions to F&SF.

Results of competition #69 will appear in the June 2005 issue.

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