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F&SF, March 1994

Over the past year, we’ve been doing a #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) feature on the F&SF Twitter account and Facebook page. For the new year, we thought it might be good to add them here where they can be easily found under the “F&SF History” tag.

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Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 1994, cover by Bryn Barnard‪‪#‎TBT‬ to the March 1994 F&SF and this cover by Bryn Barnard for “The Wild Ships of Fairny.”

The lead story is “A Marathon Runner in the Human Race” by Dave Smeds, a humane imagining of an abundance future with extended longevity. It is part of Smed’s Nanodocs series, following “Reef Ape” (Asimov’s) and the critically acclaimed “Suicidal Tendencies” (Full Spectrum). “Doing Alien” by Gregory Benford is a fictional follow-up to his recent non-fiction column about the possibility of intelligent life in outer space. “Second Contact,” about people watching an eclipse in Cornwall, was the first US publication by British writer Gary Couzens. It became the title story of his first collection Second Contact and Other Stories (2003).

At this point the issue switches gears from science fiction to myth, horror, and fantasy.

“Director’s Cut” by James Morrow is a one-act play deleted from the final draft of his novel Towing Jehovah, published the same year. It’s followed by “Two Lovers, Two Gods, and a Fable,” by Esther M. Friesner, a deconstruction of myth and the Kennedy assassination. “Sous la Mer” by Carrie Richerson is a horror-tinged story of brother and sister. She was nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1993 and 1994. “The Convertible Coven” by Susan Wade is about a young witch who has a VW Fastback with a sunroof as her familiar. This issue also includes a first published story, “Brixtow White Lady” by Clarion grad Felicity Savage.

The anchor story (pun intended?) is also the cover story, “The Wild Ships of Fairny” by Carolyn Ives Gilman. This fantasy about a post-colonial resource-stripped island goes well with her Forsaken Isles novels, published in 2011 and 2012.

Unusually, and for one of the only times since “Recommended Reading” was introduced in issue #2, there’s no book reviews column in this issue. Orson Scott Card’s “Books to Look For” column ended with the February issue and Charles de Lint’s column would not start until April. To make up for the lack, Kristine Kathryn Rusch discusses a pair of recent books by Sean Stewart and Joe Haldeman in her editorial. The issue also marks the return, after a 4-year hiatus, of the “Inside Science Fiction” column by Charles Platt. Rusch’s editorial promises that the column will become a regular feature again, but this was its last appearance in the magazine. Bruce Sterling’s science column demystifies broadcast towers and Kathi Maio’s film column discusses “Heart & Soul” (and better movies).

All in all a packed issue, with nine stories covering the spectrum of the genres, plus the columns. Just what you expect from F&SF.

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