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Editor’s Note for July/August 2015

Welcome to the 720th issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction! If you don’t have a copy yet, you can subscribe here or order a single copy here.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2015, cover by Jill BaumanThis month’s cover art is by Jill Bauman. This is her tenth cover for F&SF (a couple of her earlier covers were finalists for the Chesley Award), and her first since 2009. You should check out her website at www.jillbauman.com/

The cover illustrates this month’s novella, “Johnny Rev,” by Rachel Pollack. Pollack may be better known to some of our readers for her comic book writing on Doom Patrol or for her role in creating the Vertigo Tarot Deck with Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman. But she is also a Clarke Award and World Fantasy Award winning author. Her latest novel, The Child Eater, is about two very different boys bound by magic and pursued by the book’s eponymous enemy across two worlds. This month’s F&SF cover story is also a story of magic and danger, and we think you’ll enjoy it. It marks the return of Jack Shade, a present day private eye occultist shaman, who previously appeared in F&SF in “Jack Shade in the Forest of Souls” (July/Aug 2012) and “The Queen of Eyes” (Sept/Oct 2013).

“The Deepwater Bride” will introduce many of our readers to Tamsyn Muir, a New Zealand writer who has lived in the United States and now resides in the U.K. We don’t think this is the last time you’ll be seeing her work.

Longtime readers of this magazine may remember Richard Chwedyk best for his saur stories, including “Bronte’s Egg,” which won the Nebula Award in 2003. He says he is finishing up two more novellas in the series and then a much-anticipated collection will follow. In the meantime, he offers us “Dixon’s Road,” a story that took him almost twenty-five years to finish. “Dixon’s Road” is the story in this month’s free digest edition – so if you don’t subscribe (and why not?), you can download it and read this story on any free Kindle app.

We haven’t seen much short fiction from James Patrick Kelly (on Twitter at @jaspkelly) recently because he’s been working on his new novel. Luckily for us, he made time to polish “Oneness: A Triptych” for readers of F&SF. Meanwhile, Oliver Buckram returns to our pages with “This Quintessence of Dust” while Van Aaron Hughes brings us “The Body Pirate” and Betsy James offers us “Paradise and Trout.” It’s a mix of stories that will take you from a trout stream in the mountains, into the future, and across the depths of space.

This issue also features some familiar characters and worlds.

Raffalon the Thief returns in “The Curse of the Myrmelon” by Matthew Hughes. Raffalon appeared most recently in “Prisoner of Pandarius” in last January’s issue. The introduction to the story provides some new information on where Raffalon’s adventures fit into the Archonate universe.

Over the past few years, one of our most popular science fiction series has been Naomi Kritzer’s Seastead stories about a chain of man-made islands built by people who want more freedom and less government. This latest installment is “The Silicon Curtain.” It’s the perfect introduction for new readers, but also has plenty for the series’ fans.

Gregor Hartmann introduced us to literary con man (is that fair? it seems fair) Franden and the planet Zephyr last January in “The Man from X.” He returns this month with “Into the Fiery Planet” and gives us a closer look at Franden’s new home.

Plus we have our regular columns. Charles de Lint recommends new books by Alex Bledsoe (plus related music by Tuatha Dea), Melissa F. Olson, Pati Nagle, and James Goss, plus Spectrum 21 and a new biography of Joss Whedon by Amy Pascale. James Sallis offers an in-depth critical reading of Find Me, by Laura van den Berg. Kathi Maio reviews the new “Cinderella” remake in the context of all the Cinderella movies, and highly recommends the new documentary “Merchants of Doubt.”

In addition to the reviews, Pat Murphy and Paul Doherty bring us a new science column on “Traveling Through Time.” Paul De Filippo plucks Plumage from Pegasus with “Babel in Reverse is Lebab.” And the Curiosities columns presents American Denim: A New Folk Art (1975), an art book with text by Peter Beagle. Plus we have cartoons by Arthur Masear, Frank Cotham, J.P. Rini, and Danny Shanahan.

If that seems like a lot to squeeze into 260 pages, it’s because it is! F&SF has never been a better bargain. You can order print or digital copies of the issue here: www.sfsite.com/fsf/toc1507.htm

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