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Editor’s Note for May-June 2019

The May/June issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is upon us! With ten stories, two poems, and all our regular columns and features, there’s plenty to entertain you for the next sixty days.

Most of our electronic and paper subscribers have already received 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, cover by Cory and Catska EnchCory and Catska Ench’s‘s cover illustrates “New Atlantis” by Lavie Tidhar.


“Generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendour, piety and public spirit.” These are the qualities of the New Atlantis conceived by Sir Francis Bacon, the English philosopher, for his unfinished utopian novel (and aren’t all utopias, by their very nature, ultimately unfinished?), which was originally published in 1627, the year after his death. Now Lavie Tidhar brings us an ambitious new novella and a vision of the future that would have been impossible for Bacon to imagine when he was busy inventing the scientific method and dreaming of utopias four centuries ago. Tidhar is a winner of the British Science Fiction Award, the British Fantasy Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. “The Vanishing Kind,” his previous novella for F&SF, was reprinted in Year’s Best collections by Dozois and Horton.


Our other science fiction for this issue begins with “The Abundance” by Andy Dudak, making his F&SF debut, which takes us to the far future and shows that solving humanity’s material needs will never solve all of humanity’s problems. Bruce McAllister returns to Earth and to the future of genetically engineered animals that he introduced several years ago in “DreamPet,” but this time he goes in a different direction with a piece of flash fiction that will have you holding your “Breath.” The critically acclaimed Debbie Urbanski makes her second appearance in the magazine with “How to Kiss a Hojacki,” a novelet about transformations and becoming the other. And Tobias S. Buckell appears for the first time in F&SF, offering up an “Apocalypse Considered Through a Helix of Semiprecious Foods and Recipes.”

This issue’s fantasy includes “Thirty-Three Wicked Daughters,” a fairy tale from the Newbery-winning author Kelly Barnhill in her F&SF debut. David Gullen, our fourth first-timer in this issue, introduces us to “The Moss Kings,” a piece of classic British fantasy about rule and resistance. Pip Coen returns to our pages with “Second Skin,” his deeply unsettling story about family and making a place for yourself. And Matthew Hughes revisits the world and adventures of Raffalon the thief, who turns out to have a nose for the future in “Sternutative Sortilege.”

Finally, we think many of you will remember “On Highway 18,” Rebecca Campbell’s haunting story about teenagers hitchhiking along the Pacific Coast. She returns with a new piece of postpartum horror in “The Fourth Trimester is the Strangest.”

You’ll also find two new poems slipped into the pages between the stories. Mary Soon Lee offers us a new way to consider “Guinevere” and Gretchen Tessmer takes us on a journey from “From Tierra Del Fuego to the Moluccas.”


Charles de Lint recommends some Books to Look For, by P. Djélì Clark, Jeanne Gomoll, Alice and Lisa Hoffman, and Sylvain Neuvel, plus the new Rod Serling biography by Nicholas Parisi and a boxed set of chapbooks edited by Tom Hirons. Elizabeth Hand considers new Books by Gregory Norminton, Sarah Moss, and Scotto Moore, plus the second edition of Folk Horror Revival. And for our monthly Curiosities column, rediscovering lost writers and books, Paul Di Filippo turns to Atomsk (1949), one of the mainstream novels (with some genre interest) by Cordwainer Smith.

In our latest film column, Karin Lowachee provides a thoughtful analysis of the reasons why the Netflix blockbuster “Bird Box Never Takes Off.” Jerry Oltion’s science column explains “How to Calculate an Orbit.” Plus we bring you the results of F&SF Competition #97 with its “Watered Down” versions of books and films. And the print version of the magazine gives you new cartoons by Danny Shanahan, Arthur Masear, and S. Harris.


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

Happy reading!

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


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