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Top Ten TV Programs and Films Based on Stories from F&SF

Our weekly #TBT Throwback Thursday feature usually focuses on a specific issue of the magazine, but we’re headed into a summer holiday weekend that usually includes some of the newest movie blockbusters, so this week we’re bringing you a special edition…

The Top 10 stories from F&SF that were turned into TV shows or movies.

10. “The Dark Tower” (2017)

First glimpse of Idris Elba in The Gunslinger movieWe’ll start with this one because the movie hasn’t been completed yet. Here’s a first glimpse of Idris Elba as The Gunslinger, Roland Deschain. Scheduled for release in February 2017.

 

 

 

Cover of F&SF, February 1981Based on: A series of stories by Stephen King that appeared in F&SF between 1978 and 1981, which were published in book form as The Gunslinger in 1982.

  • “The Gunslinger” (F&SF, October 1978)
  • “The Way Station” (F&SF, April 1980)
  • “The Oracle and the Mountains” (F&SF, February 1981)
  • “The Slow Mutants” (F&SF, July 1981)
  • “The Gunslinger and the Dark Man” (F&SF, November 1981)

Read more

Interview: Pat MacEwen on “Coyote Song”

Tell us a bit about “Coyote Song.”

The story concerns a head-on collision between modern forensics and three different magical traditions:  Native American, Voudoun, and Cambodian.  My home town is usually considered an agricultural backwater, but people come here from everywhere and bring their cultures and beliefs (and recipes!) with them.  The main character is half Miwok, so she represents the folks who were here first – the Native Americans and the Animal People.  Everyone and everything has been changed again and again by the repeated influx of new groups. Sometimes that causes conflicts, sometimes adaptation and unexpected fusions.

 

What was the inspiration for this story, or what prompted you to write it?

This story grew out of events I was part of while working as a forensic tech (a CSI) at the Stockton Police Department.  Stockton took in about 40,000 Southeast Asians after the Viet Nam War, including Hmongs, Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians, and I spent a lot of time working in those communities.  There are lots of other ethnic groups too.  Our last 911 survey of translation needs said there were 125 different languages and dialects being spoken in town.  A whole set of traditions comes with every one of them.

 

Was “Coyote Song” personal to you in any way?  If so, how?

Nearly all of the characters and events in the story are based on cases I worked, or heard about from other CSIs.  I’ve filed off the serial numbers on the people, as I don’t want to embarrass anybody (although one of the minor characters is wearing a real name, at that person’s request).  I wanted to convey the reality of being an immigrant and what I’ve seen it do to families, and to tell the story from the point of view of the First Nations, who were invaded by everyone else.

 

What kind of research, if any, did you do for this story?  Can you tell us more about the bangengut phenomenon?

We had a major problem with ‘bangengut’ for a while – that’s what the Cambodians call a sudden death syndrome with mysterious causes. The victims are usually young men who wake up screaming in the night, and then fall over dead, without a mark on their bodies.  One theory was that it’s caused by some new form of ergotism affecting rice, which is a dietary staple.  Now it looks more like it’s genetic – the victim has a nightmare and that sets off tachycardia, causing a heart attack.  Even if you survive the first attack, the Khmer say the Angel of Death will simply come back and try again, until she gets you.  The families are horrified by autopsies, so they used to hide the body when this happened.  Well, that automatically looks like a homicide to Western cops, so then we were off to the races.  It’s better now, since we’ve been able to hire some Southeast Asians, and the assimilation process has opened up more lines of communication.

 

What are you working on now?

My first novel was Rough Magic, the first book in a trilogy called ‘The Fallen’ which also looks at refugee communities in Stockton, only these particular refugees are elves.  So the crime scenes often involve either magic or magical creatures, and the forensic techniques the CSIs use have to deal with that.  The second book, True-Born, will be coming out later this year and has a lot to do with election year politics as well as another series of very odd murders.  So I’ve been having a lot of fun with that.  I’ve also got a blog on WordPress called “Fae Forensics.”  That is told from the point of view of the main character in ‘The Fallen’ – Sathyllien, a former fairy queen who now works as a CSI for the local police and tries to solve these murders.

The URL for the blog is here:  https://patmacewen.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/magic-murder/

Oh, and there’s another Coyote story in the submission queue!

 

“Coyote Song” appears in the May/June 2016 issue of F&SF.

You can buy that issue here: https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/toc1605.htm

You can subscribe to F&SF here: https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/subscribe.htm

 

F&SF, June 1958

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.

* * *

Fantasy & Science Fiction, June 1958, cover by Mel Hunter#TBT to the June 1958 issue of F&SF and this Mel Hunter cover illustrating a satellite. Sputnik, the first satellite, was launched into orbit in October 1957, so there was a lot of interest in the technology the following year.

The issue leads with “Captivity,” a long novelet by Zenna Henderson in The People series. It was nominated for a Hugo in 1959. It was Henderson’s first award nomination, and one of several she received for books, stories, and a screenplay in The People series.

The rest of the issue features an interesting mixture of authors and stories.

“The Dreistein Case,” an epistolary story about an anti-gravity research debate, by J. Lincoln Paine was reprinted from The Washington Star. Paine was a pseudonym for Arnold Kramish, who worked on the Manhattan Project and survived the uranium enrichment explosion in Philadelphia. After the war, Kramish worked at the Atomic Energy Commission (as liaison to the CIA), the Dept of State, and for the Reagan administration as the chair of the study that recommended the Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars program. And after =that=, he became one of the leading historians of the Manhattan Project and the nuclear era. “The Dreistein Case” concerns a scientist who wants research funding that isn’t forthcoming until Soviet advances in the field are revealed. Thematically, it’s a good fit with the Mel Hunter cover, and the first hint of Kramish’s future writing career. A good reprint choice by F&SF.

“The Communicators” by Edward S. Aarons continues this theme with a story that takes place after a nuclear war between the US and USSR. Aarons was much more famous as a writer of mysteries and spy novels, including The Assignment series. That background shows here. He wrote one sequel to the story, “The Makers of Destiny,” that appeared in the September 1959 issue of F&SF.

“Devotion” by Kit Reed is another uniquely Reed-ian proto-slipstream allegory about a man who loves his… well: “Harry Farmer loved his teeth.” But Harry is not a kindly or compassionate lover of other people’s teeth and the story takes a dark turn.

“Services, Incorporated” is by the prolific writer and fan Rog Phillips. He received a Hugo nom in 1959 for his IF story “Rat in the Skull.” “Services, Incorporated” was translated and published in Japanese in 1960 during the first year of Hayakawa’s SF Magazine.

Miriam Allen deFord, image courtesy of FantascienzaIn “Gathi,” Miriam Allen deFord (pictured to the left, image courtesy of Fantascienza and isfdb) uses a grove of sentient trees to explore how women support (and don’t support) each other. It’s a more sophisticated development of some ideas and themes in her earlier — and only second published — story “The Daughter of the Tree” (F&SF, Aug 1951).

“Eripmav” by Damon Knight is a pithy piece of sf alien flash about cellulose vampires that ends with a pun on “steak.”

The last story in the issue is “The Questing Tycoon” by Leslie Charteris, a reprint of one of his Simon Templar adventures.

There’s also a science essay by William Morrison, a poem by Karen Anderson, and book and magazine reviews by Anthony Boucher. In other words, it’s another typical issue of F&SF, with a wide range of entertaining and remarkable stories and features.

F&SF, June 1955

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.

* * *

Fantasy & Science Fiction, June 1955, cover by George Salter#‎TBT‬ to the June 1955 F&SF and this whimsical George Salter cover.

The issue leads with “You’re Another” by Damon Knight. The story is famous for “livies,” the first depiction of reality television, although a better comparison for contemporary readers might be “The Truman Show,” since Knight’s hero doesn’t start out knowing he’s on tv. Boucher’s story introduction says “I don’t know where you’ll find a wackier (or more enjoyable) tale of future speculation than this.”

The next story is “Created He Them” by Alice Eleanor Jones, who is described in the intro as a “scholar-turned-housewife.” Jones published a handful of pulp science fiction stories, all in 1955, before moving on to writing fiction for slicks like Ladies Home Journal and Redbook. Of those five genre stories, “Created He Them” is the most reprinted, appearing most recently in Justine Larbalestier’s Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century. It’s a beautifully crafted, wrenching post-apocalyptic story of a bad marriage that functions as both social commentary and character study.

The next new story in the issue is “The Adventure of the Ball of Nostradamus” by August Derleth and Mack Reynolds, part of a long-running science-fictional Sherlock Holmes series featuring the detective Solar Pons and his colleague Dr. Parker of Praed Street. “The Faithful Friend” by Evelyn K. Smith is both an alien invasion story and a bitter, moving meditation on the idea of freedom. After so much science fiction, the issue turns toward Appalachian fantasy with “Walk Like A Mountain,” a John the Balladeer story by Manly Wade Wellman.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, June 1955, interior illustration, artist unknownCharles Beaumont’s “The New Sound” is a wonderfully weird and offbeat story about a necroaudiophile. The story’s first paragraph begins with: “Of all the squirrels in a world full of squirrels Mr. Goodhew was by far the squirreliest.” …and ends like this: “He would listen to death at night. It made him very happy.” At the very end appears one of the magazine’s rare story illustrations (we’ll put it in the comments below). No artist is credited.

The issue ends with “Artifact” by Chad Oliver, a professor of anthropology, who delivers a smart story about archeology and human history.

Like many early issues of F&SF, this one also contains several reprints, in this case, stories by Saki, Willard Marsh, and P.G. Wodehouse. There’s also a poem by mystery writer Carlyn Coffin, Recommended Reading by Anthony Boucher, and a cartoon by New Yorker regular Corka. A pretty extraordinary issue and worth every penny of its 35 cent cover price!

Interview: Yukimi Ogawa on “The Secret Mirror of Moriyama House”

Tell us a bit about “The Secret Mirror of Moriyama House.”

I started writing this story in 2011, when things were still pretty confused and confusing after the Great East Japan Earthquake. I personally don’t believe in afterlife, but I understand many people needed to believe that the dead have a place to go, in times like that. So this is my take on afterlife and the place in-between.

 

What was the inspiration for this story, or what prompted you to write it?

The Moriyama house–the one in real life, where I first got the idea for this story–had the smallest, coarsest garden gate I’d ever seen, and the house even didn’t have a garden! I had to wonder where this gate led to.

 

Was “The Secret Mirror of Moriyama House” personal to you in any way?  If so, how?

My mother went through two miscarriages before she had me and my sister, and these babies that were never born seems to still haunt her after more than 35 years. I’ve never been pregnant, but the idea that she is still haunted haunts me in turn. I hope we sisters made up for it, for her, but I also think that things don’t work that way.

So in a way Yui is my mother (my mother is also good at handicraft) and I hope, if she can ever read this story, she’ll like it.

 

This is your first story for F&SF.  Could you tell us about your writing and publishing journey?

I started writing stories in English around 2009. F&SF was the first place I ever sent my story to. Of course it was rejected, and the story in question has been trunked. And for almost two years the rejections I received all said only “no,” not even personal comments.

I am the only person who understands English in my family, and even my family thought my efforts in writing in a language that’s not my own were meaningless. I think these were some of the loneliest years of my life. Fortunately, since I got first published in 2012, I discovered that there are kind people out there who like my stuff well enough, and who are so very encouraging. I’m glad that I’m no longer so lonely, and HERE I am, having a story in F&SF!

 

What are you working on now?

It seems every time someone asks me this question, I end up saying “more stories about yokai!”

 

“The Secret Mirror of Moriyama House” appears in the May/June 2016 issue of F&SF.

You can buy that issue here: https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/toc1605.htm

You can subscribe to F&SF here: https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/subscribe.htm

 

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