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October/November 2009
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 Secret History of F&SF"

FOR THE 60th anniversary competition, writers had to reveal the secret origin of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. The stakes were sky-high, and because of this we had a record number of submissions…many of them involving Roswell, government conspiracies, or the phrase, "There was a knock on the door."
Congratulations to Daniel Geilman, who wins 60 years of bragging rights to go with his 60-year subscription.


"The tea on the right enhances your appeal to women.  The tea on the left will help you create a tome of the science fiction and fantasy," the old gypsy cackled before disappearing into the night.
Francis turned to Anthony. "Was that her right or our right?"
—Daniel Geilman
Lenexa, KS


"We've finally created a pocket universe," McComas said to Boucher. "Now what are we going to do with this infinite number of monkeys and typewriters?"
—Jacob P. Silvia
Houston, TX


"People," Lucifer bellowed, "I've recently been made aware that the Earth-side antics have gotten somewhat excessive, and while I applaud your innovation, I'm taking heat from the Wet Blanket On High. So tonight, instead of creative smiting, we're going to stay in and try some creative writing."
—Andrea Yost
Westerville, OH

1949: A crack team of futurists and clairvoyants achieves the first successful cybersquat, blocking Florida Sports and Fishing magazine from its preferred URL for the next 59 years.
—Ziv Wities
Tarom, Israel

Young Harry's 1949 birth creates a rift into an alternate universe. Since then, digest-sized booklets called "F&SF" fall through it, periodically. Unaware that he is a wizard, at age ten, he receives a letter from Hogwarts, and a box holding his "familiar."  It is not an owl, but a Turtledove.
—Patrick J. O'Connor
Chicago IL


How do you remember the order of the planets in the Solar System? "My Very Earnest Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets"—as those who opposed the demotion of Pluto from planet status by Neil Degrasse might plaintively protest.

The Solar System now consists of planets and dwarf planets along with all the usual asteroids, comets and other orbital miscellanea like plutoids. If we're going to remember which is what (and in what order) we clearly need a new mnemomic.

Your task is to revitalize the mnemonic based on the currently recognized list of the planets and dwarf planets:

Mercury Venus Earth Mars Ceres Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto Haumea Makemake Eris
You can create up to six different mnemonics. You can make them complete sentences or not, as long as you make them funny. If they're science-fictional or fantastical, all the better.

Please remember to include your address and telephone number with your submission.

(For more information on dwarf planets, see  


Send entries to Competition Editor, F&SF, 240 West 73rd St. #1201, New York, NY 10023-2794,
email entries to carol [a-t] cybrid [d-o-t] net.

Be sure to include your contact information. Entries must be received by November 16, 2009. Judges are the editors of F&SF, and their decision is final. All entries become the property of F&SF.


PRIZES: First prize will receive a six-volume set of The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny, compliments of NESFA Press.
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 79 will appear in the April/May 2010 issue.

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