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Editor’s Note for May-June 2020

The May/June issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction will take you into the near future, the almost recent past and the further past, across the galaxy, into other worlds, and reveal new parts of the world we already live in.

This is the spot where we usually tell you that you can find copies of the new issue in Barnes & Noble stores and at many local independent booksellers, but, you know, global pandemic.

Bookstore and newsstand sales account for a quarter of more of the sales of our paper copies every issue. With storefronts shuttered to enforce social distancing, this means we’re taking a significant hit. More than ever we depend on our subscribers, whether it’s to the paper copy or one of our electronic editions. And so I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has a current subscription, a new subscription, or a recently renewed subscription to the magazine.

If you’re not a subscriber and you’d like to subscribe right now, here are some links!

* Paper subscriptions here:
* Electronic subscriptions via Weightless Books anywhere in the world here:
* Electronic subscriptions for Kindle US:
* Electronic subsriptions for Kindle UK:

You can also buy single copies of this issue:

* Paper copies from our website
* Electronic copies, available worldwide and in every electronic format, from Weightless Books

Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June, cover by Maurizio Manzieri


Maurizio Manzieri‘s amazing cover art illustrates “Who Carries the World,” a new Great Ship story by Robert Reed.

For those of you familiar with the Great Ship already, it needs no introduction. For new readers, imagine a mysterious and derelict starship the size of a jovian planet wandering the empty reaches of space until humans discover it and set off on a galaxy-spanning voyage, filling the vessel’s vast caverns, oceans, and habitats of every kind with thousands of intelligent species. This is the premise that Robert Reed introduced with “The Remoras” in our May 1994 issue, and one that he has revisited in novels and stories ever since. A ship like that contains infinite stories. This is the latest.


Other science fiction in this issue includes “Hornet and Butterfly” by Tom Cool and Bruce Sterling, a story the authors describe as “what cyberpunk would look like if somebody had invented it in 2019 in Hong Kong.” Ray Nayler makes his F&SF debut with “Eyes of the Forest,” a fast-paced hard sf story about explorers on an alien planet. And Rich Larson returns to our pages with “Warm Math,” a clever variation on the Cold Equations dilemma.

This issue’s fantasy is anchored by another writer making their first appearance in the magazine. Holly Messinger’s novella “Byzantine” mixes history and fantasy and twisty political machinations with the Fall of Constantinople. Richard Bowes’s newest story for us, “In the Eyes of Jack Saul,” mixes history and fantasy from a different period of time — we’d tell you more, but we don’t want to spoil the surprises. Leah Cypess returns to our pages with “Stepsister,” a wonderful fairy tale inspired adventure. And M. Rickert goes to similar source material, but pushes it in a complete different direction to come up with “Another F*cken Fairy Tale.”

Some horror and humor round out the issue. Rebecca Zahabi (“It Never Snows in Snowtown,” F&SF Nov/Dec 2019) returns to our pages with another unsettling tale, “Birds Without Wings.” While Joseph Bruchac brings us “Indian Love Call,” another off-kilter adventure featuring Billy and Arlin, who previously appeared in “The Next to the Last of the Mohegans” (F&SF, Mar/Apr 2018).

Paul Di Filippo gives us a new Plumage from Pegasus column — “Faster, Publisher! Binge! Binge!” We also have poems by Mary Soon Lee and Jane Yolen. And the print edition also includes cartoons by Kendra Allenby, Bill Long, and Arthur Masear.


This month we introduce a new Games column by Marc Laidlaw, where he takes a look at “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” and “A Plague Tale: Innocence.” Charles de Lint suggests some Books to Look For by Andrew Vachss, Wren Handman, Faith Erin Hicks, BR Kingsolver, and Margo Lanagan and Kathleen Jennings. James Sallis reviews new collections from Sarah Pinsker, Susan Palwick, and Kameron Hurley. Karin Lowachee’s film column looks at some South Korean cinema, including “Parasite.” Jerry Oltion’s science column takes a look at the impact of satellite proliferation. We announce the winners of F&SF Competition #99. And our Curiosities column takes a look at Hackenfeller’s Ape by Brigid Brophy (1953).


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

71st Year of Publication


“Byzantine” – Holly Messinger


“Stepsister” – Leah Cypess
“Birds Without Wings” – Rebecca Zahabi
“Who Carries the World” – Robert Reed


“Hornet and Butterfly” – Tom Cool and Bruce Sterling
“Eyes of the Forest” – Ray Nayler
“Warm Math” – Rich Larson
“An Indian Love Call” – Joseph Bruchac
“In the Eyes of Jack Saul” – Richard Bowes
“Another F*cken Fairy Tale” – M. Rickert


“Mab’s Wedding” – Jane Yolen
“First Contact” – Mary Soon Lee


Books to Look For by Charles de Lint
Books by James Sallis
Plumage from Pegasus: Faster, Publisher! Binge! Binge! by Paul Di Filippo
Games by Marc Laidlaw
Film: The Disease of Class Divisions by Karin Lowachee
Science: Starlink, Star Junk by Jerry Oltion
Results of F&SF Competition #99
Curiosities: Hackenfeller’s Ape by Brigid Brophy (1958) by Paul Di Filippo

Cartoons by Kendra Allenby, Kendra Allenby, Bill Long, Arthur Masea

Cover: By Maurizio Manzieri


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


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