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Editor’s Note for May/June 2016

The May/June issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is now on sale! You can order a single copy from our website or buy an electronic edition from Amazon or AmazonUK. Or just subscribe now and never miss another issue!

This is the 725th issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2016, cover by Max BertoliniMax Bertolini’s cover illustrates “The Stone War” by Ted Kosmatka. Bertolini is a multi-talented artist who did the chocolate bunny cover for our September 2005 issue that featured Kelly Link’s “Magic For Beginners.” His first cover for us illustrated our June 2004 issue, twelve years ago, and this issue marks his 12th cover for the magazine. Bertolini lives in Italy, but his work has appeared in comics and on covers of books and magazines around the world. You can find out more and see examples of his work at


For the past few years, Ted Kosmatka has been busy writing video games and working on novels. His quantum physics driven thriller, The Flicker Men, was published last year to wide acclaim. With this new novelet for F&SF, Kosmatka shows his versatility, using the fantasy setting to explore some big thematic issues. It’s unlike anything we’ve read in quite some time.


This issue contains several other fantasy stories. Canadian author Charlotte Ashley debuted in F&SF last year with “La Héron,” a Dumas-inspired tale about dueling and broken vows that is currently a finalist for the Prix Aurora award. Ashley returns this month with “More Heat Than Light,” a new adventure set in a parallel world where the French Revolution comes to Quebec and revolutionaries take up arms against the English in the monster-ridden wilderness. In “Steamboat Gothic,” Albert E. Cowdrey returns to the fictional suburbs of St. Genevieve Parish, Louisana, previously visited with “The Private Eye” in our August 2009 issue. And “Ash” by Susan Palwick is a look at tiny houses, and the things we make room for in our lives and why.

Our science fiction this month includes “Last of the Sharkspeakers,” a novelet by Brian Trent that we can’t say too much about without spoiling some of the surprises. “The Nostalgia Calculator” by Rich Larson is wry science fiction satire by one of the field’s most energetic new young talents. “The Great Silence” was written by Ted Chiang for a video installation by artists Allora & Calzadilla at Philadelphia’s Fabric Workshop and Museum. We’re reprinting the text here for our readers who haven’t had the chance to read it. “Caribou: Documentary Fragments” by Joseph Tomaras is a look at biological behavioral controls – how they might work and how they might go wrong.

On the horror side, we offer “The Secret Mirror of Moriyama House” by Yukimi Ogawa, a multi-lingual writer living in Toyko who has published a small handful of outstanding stories over the past few years. This is her first appearance in F&SF.

This month’s novella, “Coyote Song” by Pat MacEwen, brings you a story at the intersection of horror, fantasy, science, and police procedurals. Regular readers of the magazine know Pat MacEwen for her fiction, most recently “The Lightness of the Movement” (March/April, 2014), which was a Tiptree Award finalist, but her work outside these pages is just as interesting. It includes a decade as a Crime Scene Investigator, war crimes investigations for the International Criminal Tribunal, and her current position as a consultant on archaeological matters involving human remains. Her new novella combines forensics with three traditions of magic – Cambodian, Native American, and Voudoun. We think it will surprise you.


Every issue features one story that we also offer for 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 “The Long Fall Up” by William Ledbetter.

“The Long Fall Up” is a classic science fiction story that explores how humanity will bring forth new generations in microgravity? And what happens when the people who control access to gravity control reproductive rights? William Ledbetter has worked for almost thirty years in the aerospace industry, where he has designed aircraft components, and helped design rockets and parts of the International Space Station. Now he turns that expertise to fiction, and brings us a story about the ways people adapt technology to choose their own destinies.

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


Charles de Lint reviews the Bookburners serials by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, Nebula Awards Showcase 2015, edited by Greg Bear, the Never Never trilogy by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher, a pair of genre-themed art books by Design Studio Press, and Here’s To My Sweet Satan by George Case. Elizabeth Hand reviews Interior Darkness: Selected Stories by Peter Straub, Good Girls by Glen Hirshberg, and The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle. David J. Skal reviews the first season of Amazon’s television series “The Man In The High Castle” based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. We share the winners from our F&SF Competition #91. And for our Curiosities column, Paul Di Filippo reads Twilight Stories by Rhonda Broughton, an 1872 collection of fantastic stories by one of the forgotten early masters of the genre.


After you read the issue, or even part of it, we hope you’ll share your thoughts with us. We can be found on:

In the meantime… enjoy!

C.C. Finlay
Fantasy & Science Fiction


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