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Editor’s Note for Mar/Apr 2016

The March/April issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is now on sale! You can order a single copy of the issue from our website or buy an electronic edition from Amazon or AmazonUK.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2016, cover by Jason Van HollanderThis month’s cover art is by Jason Van Hollander, winner of the International Horror Guild Award for Art and two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award for best artist. In 2004, he contributed a Curiosities column about Josephine Pinckney to our pages, but this is his first cover for us. You can see more examples of his work at his website,, where we encourage you in particular to check out his Hell Stamps collection. That’s because this month’s cover illustrates Marc Laidlaw’s story “The Ghost Penny Post.”


Marc Laidlaw is probably best known to readers of Fantasy & Science Fiction for his fantasy adventure tales of Gorlen Vizenfirth the bard and Spar the gargoyle, and the peculiar curse that binds them. The Gorlen and Spar stories have been appearing intermittently in our pages for twenty years, most recently with “Rooksnight,” our cover story for May/June 2014.

But few people know that Marc Laidlaw’s first appearance in F&SF came in the form of a Letter to the Editor back in our January 1977 issue, published when he was just 16 years old and neither email nor internet forums had yet displaced the time-tested system of setting one’s thoughts down on paper and transferring them across vast distances by the simple act of affixing a stamp and entrusting them to the care of the local postal service. That seems especially appropriate for this month’s cover story, a different kind of fantasy adventure that harkens back to those earlier, but most certainly not simpler, days.


We have other fantasy and horror-tinged stories in this issue. This month’s novella is “The Liar” by John Murphy, his first appearance in F&SF. If you’ve ever wondered what the result would be like if Garrison Keillor wrote a Stephen King story then look no further. Justin Barbeau introduced us to Nanabojou, the old trickster, in our November/December 2014 issue with “Nanabojou at the World’s Fair.” He returns this month to tackle “Nanabojou and the Race Question.” It’s been a few years since James Cambias last appeared in the magazine, but he comes back in monster-sized fashion with a monster movie inspired story, “Golden Gate Blues.”

But our magazine also promises science fiction, and we deliver that as well. Cat Rambo’s “Red in Tooth and Cog” is a story about a different kind of urban wildlife. Back in 1986, Nancy Kress won the Nebula Award for “Out of All Them Bright Stars,” which appeared in our pages. We’re glad to have her back with “Belief,” a thoughtful and thought-provoking story about science and faith. Sheila Finch’s Guild of Xenolinguist stories have been appearing in F&SF for more than twenty-five years. Juliette Wade has been exploring similar issues with stories set in her Allied Systems universe. This month the two of them collaborate to bring us a new Lingster story, “The Language of the Silent.” Chris DeVito brings a short piece of speculative baseball fiction with “Diamond.” And N.J. Schrock is a Ph.D. chemist who makes her fiction debut with “The Silver Strands of Alpha Crucis-d.”


Every issue features one story that we also offer for free download online, via our free electronic digest for Kindle. (The UK version is available here.) This month’s free story — which you can also find in the print edition — is “A Mother’s Arms” by Sarina Dorie. Science fiction has a rich tradition of stories told from alien points-of-view. One of the most delightful and unexpected adventures we’ve read recently in this vein was Sarina Dorie’s “The Day of the Nuptial Flight” in our July/August 2014 issue. With this new story, Dorie returns to that unnamed planet and offers us another perspective on the recent human arrivals.

Even if you don’t subscribe to the magazine, you can click on this link and read Dorie’s story and all the columns in the issue for free.


In Books to Look For, Charles de Lint reviews Carry On and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Malediction and Boundary Lines by Melissa F. Olsen, Dead Heat and Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois. For Musing On Books, Michelle West reviews An Ancient Peace by Tanya Huff, An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet, Slade House by David Mitchell, The Vagrant by Peter Newman, and Arkwright by Allen Steele. Kathi Maio takes a close look at movies about Mars and reviews The Martian, Paul Di Filippo brings us “The Prince and the Pulpster” in his latest Plumage from Pegasus, and Douglas Anderson’s Curiosities column considers Monk’s Magic, the 1931 novel by Alexander de Comeau.


After you read the issue, we hope you’ll share your thoughts on one of these sites:

In the meantime… enjoy!

C.C. Finlay
Fantasy & Science Fiction


One Response to “Editor’s Note for Mar/Apr 2016”

  1. Story Up: The Liar | Murphy's Blog on March 11th, 2016

    […] you’re a subscriber, you’ve got it already. If not, the roundup here has some ways to order a copy online, and of course there’s always your friendly newsstand […]

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