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Editor’s Note for the 70th Anniversary Issue

I was reading stories from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction long before I know The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction existed.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, September/October, cover by David A. Hardy
There were no other science fiction readers in my family growing up. No parent or aunt or uncle to pass me secondhand copies of pulp magazines or leave them lying around for me to find. Instead, I was introduced to genre fiction in our rural town’s public school, where we read and talked about “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury, “The Fun They Had” by Isaac Asimov, and “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. The school library shelves seemed to have an endless supply of copies of A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr., Flowers for Algeron by Daniel Keyes, and collections of The People stories by Zenna Henderson.

All of these — along with so many other authors, stories, and novels, some with much more adult themes, that I would discover later on my own — originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Even though they were genre fiction, something popular, intended to appeal to students who might be reluctant to crack the spine of any book, much less something “serious,” they also had a literary respectability about them. These were entertaining, fun stories to read, that simultaneously encouraged, even demanded, thought and discussion. So, by the time I was 12, my reading tastes and preferences were already being shaped by the very short list of editors who had helmed a magazine that I would not encounter for another decade.

And now, after a long, anfractuous, journey, I’m part of that very short list.

For the past five years, one of my guiding principles as the editor of F&SF has been to find work that still accomplishes those two goals. I scour the submission queue for stories that are fun to read — entertaining, compelling, and well-crafted — with a narrative that pulls you from paragraph to paragraph, page to page, from the first sentence to the final line. At the same time, I’m also hunting for stories that have at least one additional layer to them beyond the surface, something that makes you think, even if it makes you think by making you laugh, that makes you want to discuss the story, to consider the way it reflects our lives and the world we live in. I believe that it’s this particular combination of qualities that has made the stories in F&SF continually feel fresh and relevant in every decade of its existence.

We have a wonderful collection of those kinds of stories for you in this issue as we celebrate the magazine’s seventy years of publication. In typical F&SF fashion, they span the genre from literary fantasy to wuxia adventure, from the near future on Earth to the far future in outer space, from ridiculous satire to thoughtful speculation, from one of the genre’s Grand Masters and some of its most awarded figures to up-and-coming authors, from the debut story of a brand new writer to the final tale from one of science fiction’s greatest writer/editors.

Once you add in a couple poems, a special essay from Robert Silverberg, our usual columns and features, and some cartoons, you have an issue that is both like every other issue of F&SF and also something special.

We hope you enjoy this one, even more than usual.

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

If you’re looking for a copy of this issue, you can find F&SF 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.

September/October 2019
70th Anniversary Issue


“The White Cat’s Divorce” by Kelly Link
“American Gold Mine” by Paolo Bacigalupi
“Kabul” by Michael Moorcock
“Erase, Erase, Erase” by Elizabeth Bear


“Little Inn on the Jianghu” by Y.M. Pang
“Under the Hill” by Maureen McHugh
“Madness Afoot” by Amanda Hollander
“The Light on Eldoreth” by Nick Wolven
“Booksavr” by Ken Liu
“The Wrong Badger” by Esther Friesner
“Ghost Ships” by Michael Swanwick
“Homecoming” by Gardner Dozois


“Last Human in the Olympics” by Mary Soon Lee
“Halstead IV” by Jeff Crandall


Three Score and Ten by Robert Silverberg
Books to Look For by Charles de Lint

  • This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
  • Radicalized by Cory Doctorow
  • Becoming Superman: My Journey from Poverty to Hollywood by J. Michael Straczynski
  • The Golden Age of Science Fiction by John Wade
  • Dracopedia Field Guide by William O’Connor
  • Best Game Ever by R. R. Angell

Books by James Sallis

  • The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

Films: Love Death + Some Regression by Karin Lowachee
Science: Net Up or Net Down? by Jerry Oltion
Plumage from Pegasus: A Giraffe Yoked to an Ox: A Review of Flora Columbia: Goddess of a New Age by Paul Di Filippo
Curiosities: Science Fiction: Complete with Everything: Aliens, Giant Ants, Space Cadets, Robots, and One Plucky Girl by No-Frills Entertainment (1981) by Thomas Kaufsek

Cartoons by Mark Heath, Danny Shanahan

David A. Hardy‘s cover art shows Saturn as seen from one of its moons.


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


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