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F&SF, April 1995

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, April 1995, cover by Jill Baumann‪‪#‎TBT‬ to the April 1995 F&SF and this Jill Bauman cover for “El Hijo de Hernez” by Marcos Donnelly.

The issue leads with “The Lincoln Train,” Maureen McHugh’s chilling alternate history that asks if you can fight evil with evil. The intro mentions that the story was written for Mike Resnick’s Alternate Tyrants anthology, but that volume wouldn’t come out until 1997. In the meantime, McHugh’s story was published in F&SF and won the Hugo and Locus Awards and was also a finalist for the Nebula and Sidewise Awards. It was selected for Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction: Volume 13, the Nebula Awards Showcase 31, The Best From Fantasy & Science Fiction: The Fiftieth Anniversary Anthology, and The Best of the Best: 20 Years of The Year’s Best Science Fiction, as well as being translated and reprinted in numerous other places.

It’s followed by “Another Fine Mess,” a light-hearted ghost story by Ray Bradbury, who was still writing some top work at 75.

“Old Mother” by Linda Nagata is a science fiction story in which poisonous snakes have invaded Hawaii and spaceships are leaving Earth. (Coincidence?)

“The Finger” by Ray Vukcevich is a fantasy story satirizing Robert Bly and the 1990s Men’s Movement.

“Shootin’ Babies” by Jeff Bredenberg is a delightfully weird sf story about a toxic lake that turns DNA samples into slime babies.

“A Place With Shade” by Robert Reed is a terraforming story that’s a sequel to his 1992 novel The Remarkables.

“El Hijo de Hernez” by Marcos Donnelly is a near future story that mixes science fiction and fantasy.

Although not counted officially with the fiction, the issue also offers a “Plumage From Pegasus” humor column by Paul Di Filippo. “Pencil Me In,” skewering time-wasting on the internet, was just Di Filippo’s second column in the series. It’s now been running for 22 years.

The issue rounds out with Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s editorial about her year’s reading, a couple book columns, and some cartoons.

Bradbury has passed away, as has Bredenberg, who died untimelyily from brain cancer, and Donnelly seems to have stopped writing genre fiction, but 20 years later, Rusch, McHugh, Nagata, Vukcevich, Reed, and Di Filippo are all still active in the field and entertaining readers. That’s a pretty good track record.


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