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Editor’s Note for July/August 2018

Welcome to issue #738. The July/August volume of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction enlivens your summer reading with ten brand new stories and a poem, plus all our regular columns. It’s perfect to take to the beach, to read on your train or flight, or simply to enjoy while lying in a hammock in your own back yard.

Subscribers are already receiving their issues. But if you’re looking for a copy, you can find us in most Barnes & Noble stores, as well as many local independent booksellers. You can also order a single copy from our website or buy an electronic edition from Amazon, AmazonUK, and — now, available worldwide and in every electronic format — through Weightless Books.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2018, cover by Bob EggletonThis month’s cover shows “Big Mars.” The artwork is by the Hugo Award winning artist Bob Eggleton.


Sometimes, when you publish a fantasy and science fiction magazine, Bob Eggleton paints a picture of the moons of Mars and you snap it up for your cover and then you go looking for stories and a poem to match.

If you’re smart, one of the first people you go to is Mary Robinette Kowal. “The Lady Astronaut of Mars,” her alternate history of space exploration, won the Hugo Award in 2014, and she revisited that world in “Rockets Red,” which appeared in our January/February 2016 issue. Now she has two books coming out that are set in the same universe. “The Phobos Experience” is a standalone adventure that takes place in a past where we’ve already sent people to the red planet and its larger moon, and we think it perfectly matches the retro spirit of this month’s cover art.

If you’re really smart, you might also turn to William Ledbetter, not just because he’s a bona fide rocket scientist, but because he’s already written so many entertaining space adventures, published in these pages and elsewhere. “Broken Wings,” much like “The Long Fall Up,” his Nebula Award winning novelet from our May/June 2016 issue, features regular people put into situations that test their mettle and push them to the limits of their abilities.

We also turned to one of our most favorite and versatile poets, Mary Soon Lee, who brings us “Red Rising,” if space rebels are your thing.


This issue’s memorable novella quickly brings us back down to Earth. L. X. Beckett makes her F&SF debut with a story that explores what happens when social capital collides with the gig economy and holds our livelihoods and even our lives in the balance. This is the first story we’ve seen across our transom that imagines a near future where these trends are pushed to their potential extremes, and we think the issues here are worth exploring.


Our other science fiction this month includes “Morbier” by R. S. Benedict, who debuted last year in F&SF with “My English Name” and “Water God’s Dog.” It takes place in the unlikely setting of a country club in Connecticut. And James Sallis brings us “Bedtime Story,” a flash piece about an alien invasion that won’t help you sleep any easier.

The issue also has plenty of fantasy served up. “The Queen of the Peri Takes Her Time” by Corey Flintoff is based in part on his experiences as a foreign correspondent who frequently traveled through Dubai. Rachel Pollack returns to our pages with “Visible Cities,” which presents the origin story of Jack Shade’s lover and fellow Traveler, Carolien Hounstra. “Hainted” by Ashley Blooms, who is making her first appearance in the magazine, is set in the coal-mining hills of Eastern Kentucky. And “The Adjunct” by Cassandra Rose Clarke will take you back to school and teach you a few things you didn’t know about universities and the universe.


Charles de Lint recommends some Books to Look For by Steven Brust, Ken Grimwood, Patricia Briggs, Brian Andrews, and D. N. Erikson, and takes a close look at A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison, the new biography by Nat Segaloff. Michelle West is Musing on Books by Tanya Huff, Aliette de Bodard, Hannu Rajaniemi, K. R. Richardson, Robert V. S. Redick, and Ursula Vernon. And for our monthly Curiosities column, rediscovering lost writers and books, Paul Di Filippo explores The Wreck of the Titan, or Futility, by Morgan Robertson, a 1912 novel that seems to predict the fate of the Titanic.

In his latest film column, David J. Skal goes to Netflix and looks in the queue at “The Ritual,” “The Frankenstein Chronicles,” and “Altered Carbon,” which he recommends, and “Mute,” which he does not. And in our science column, Jerry Oltion explains “Why Do Kites Fly.” The print version of the magazine also offers up fresh cartoons by Nick Downes, Bill Long, and Danny Shanahan.


We hope you’ll share your thoughts about the issue with us. We can be found on:

So grab a copy in your favorite format and take a reading vacation. Enjoy!

C.C. Finlay, Editor
Fantasy & Science Fiction | @fandsf


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