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Sheree Renée Thomas to be new editor of Fantasy & Science Fiction

Sheree Renée Thomas will become the 10th editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

November 3, 2020

Sheree Renée Thomas has been named the new editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, taking over with the March/April 2021 issue. She replaces C.C. Finlay, who will be stepping down to devote more time to writing. Gordon Van Gelder remains the magazine’s publisher.

Fantasy & Science Fiction closed its online submissions form in early October in preparation for this editorial transition. The few remaining stories in queue will receive replies shortly. Thomas plans to re-open F&SF to submissions in January 2021.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction was launched in 1949, and has been one of the leading magazines in the field for more than seventy years. For more on the history of F&SF, see its entry in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction or Wikipedia.

C.C. Finlay’s writing career began with frequent appearances in Fantasy & Science Fiction, publishing more than twenty stories in the magazine between 2001 and 2014, earning Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and Sidewise Award nominations, along with four novels, a collection, and stories in numerous other magazines and anthologies. He guest-edited the July/August 2014 issue of F&SF, which included Alaya Dawn Johnson’s Nebula-winning novelet “A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i.” In January 2015, he was announced as the new editor of the magazine and took over officially with the March/April issue. His tenure as editor is the fourth longest in the magazine’s history, following Ed Ferman, Gordon Van Gelder, and Anthony Boucher. He was a Hugo finalist for Best Editor Short Form in 2020, a finalist for the Locus Award for Best Editor in 2020, and a finalist for the World Fantasy Award for editing F&SF in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. The January/February 2021 issue will be his last.

Sheree Renée Thomas is the award-winning writer and editor of Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora (2000) and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (2004), which earned the 2001 and 2005 World Fantasy Awards for Year’s Best Anthology. She has also edited for Random House and for magazines like Apex, Obsidian, and Strange Horizons. She is a member of SFWA, HWA, SFPA, and Cave Canem. Thomas is an author and poet with three collections, Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future (Third Man Books, 2020), Sleeping Under the Tree of Life (Aqueduct Press, 2016) and Shotgun Lullabies: Stories & Poems (Aqueduct Press, 2011). Widely anthologized, her work also appears in The Big Book of Modern Fantasy and The New York Times. She was honored as a 2020 World Fantasy Award Finalist for her contributions to the genre. Thomas will be the tenth editor in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction‘s storied history. Her first appearance on the masthead will be in the March/April 2021 issue.

Editor’s Note for the November-December Issue

Cover, for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November-December 2020, by David A. HardyDavid A. Hardy’s cover art illustrates “Skipping Stones in the Dark” by Amman Sabet, a generation ship story that follows an AI’s attempt to provide continuity and maintain social cohesion beyond its original crew. In all, this issue brings you ten new stories, three poems, and all our usual columns and features. Three writers make their first appearance in the magazine.

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“The Bahrain Underground Bazaar” by Nadia Afifi

Bahrain’s Central Bazaar comes to life at night. Lights dance above the narrow passageways, illuminating the stalls with their spices, sacks of lentils, ornate carpets, and trinkets. Other stalls hawk more modern fare, NeuroLync implants and legally ambiguous drones. The scent of cumin and charred meat fills my nostrils. My stomach twists in response. Chemo hasn’t been kind to me.

“La Regina Ratto” by Nick DiChario

Giuseppe spent the first night in his new apartment trying to sleep through the scratching and scuttling noises of small creatures. When he rose the next morning, he saw three rats standing on their hind legs in his kitchen, gazing up at him like shiny-eyed children. “”

“How to Burn Down the Hinterlands” by Lyndsie Manusos

Begin with rage. Begin with the memory of your mother. Her smell, her sounds, her silhouette against the fire. Remember the way she was dragged from your home, taken because she had reached too high, her ambition deemed too great. Because she forged a weapon she shouldn’t have. Remember their promise: that the world would be saved. That this sacrifice was for the greater good. One woman versus the entire kingdom. Was that not an obvious choice? Remember snarling, spitting, and crying in the arms of bigger, lesser men.

“The Glooms” by Matthew Hughes

As Baldemar sculled the little skiff toward the jetty, he thought he saw a figure he recognized, though for the man to be present here in Golathreon was improbable. But the westering sun, down low on the waters of the Sundering Sea, made the gentle waves flash with gold, and all resolution was lost in the auric glare.

“A Tale of Two Witches” by Albert E. Cowdrey

After speaking with the sheriff, Rosie Merckel decided she’d better make a pit stop on the way out of his HQ.
     “Wouldn’t want to have to go in that house,” she muttered.

“A Civilized and Orderly Zombie Apocalypse Per School Regulations” by Sarina Dorie

For the last twenty years, my school district has been enforcing mandatory A.L.I.C.E. training drills in case we ever need to safely respond to an emergency, such as intruders, school shootings, or irate parents. I doubt our district ever imagined my sixth-grade class would need to use our training to respond to a zombie apocalypse.

“The Homestake Project” by Cylin Busby

Just after dawn, I drove my rental the three miles from the motel to the Homestake Mine. It was hard to miss, the rolled, dark earth that gave the Black Hills their name, churned and piled at the base of the mountains. I parked the Ford among all the other strictly American cars and made my way into the office.

“On Vapor, Which the Night Condenses” by Gregor Hartmann

The five-armed sea star looked like a toy. It was made of a soft, pliant material with no sharp edges, in happy eye-catching colors that would delight a child. Lying on a workbench, it begged to be touched. Philippa Song thought it was the most adorable murder weapon she’d ever encountered.

“The Silent Partner” by Theodore McCombs

He found something less than a mouse on Mrs. Fowler’s stone front porch as he climbed her stoop to ring the bell. Just the head, worked over by fine cat teeth, and a gristly tuft of throat and dusky belly. Some neighborhood feral was taking good care of the old woman, evidently. He lingered with one foot on the stoop, a little too interested. He bent carefully, wrapped the mouse head in a used tissue, and pocketed it. Then he knocked on the door.

“Skipping Stones in the Dark” by Amman Sabet

The Fold was my embarking name, but there’s nowhere else to set foot anymore. No other starships. So one imagines the pointlessness of a distinct name.
     Coursing the black, my humans give birth, grow old, and die within me. They mark distance using the voyage, mark time by how fast a ray of light completes it. The meter and the hour are things of the past, for Earth was left behind many generations ago. They only have each other now. And me.


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


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

72nd Year of Publication


The Bahrain Underground Bazaar – Nadia Afifi
La Regina Ratto – Nick DiChario
How to Burn Down the Hinterlands – Lyndsie Manusos
The Glooms – Matthew Hughes
A Tale of Two Witches- Albert E. Cowdrey
A Civilized and Orderly Zombie Apocalypse Per School Regulations – Sarina Dorie


The Homestake Project – Cylin Busby
On Vapor, Which the Night Condenses – Gregor Hartmann
The Silent Partner – Theodore McCombs
Skipping Stones in the Dark – Amman Sabet


Least Weird Thing of All – Beth Cato
Mended – Mary Soon Lee
Space Isn’t Like in the Vids – Beth Cato


Books to Look For – Charles de Lint
Musing on Books – Michelle West
Films: Three Degrees of Shirley Jackson – David J. Skal
Science: Is Math Real? – Jerry Oltion
Competition #100
Coming Attractions
Index to Volumes 138 & 139
Curiosities – Paul Di Filippo

Cartoons: Mark Heath, Kendra Allenby, Bill Long
Cover: David A. Hardy for “Skipping Stones in the Dark”

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