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Editor’s Note for January-February 2020

Happy New Year and welcome to a new issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. We start the year with “Chisel and Chime” by Alex Irvine. It’s a tense, high stakes fantasy novella about the relationship between art and power. Max Bertolini created the cover that illustrates this story.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February, cover by Max Bertolini

And there’s more great fantasy in this issue. Matthew Hughes returns to the world of Baldemar, the wizard’s henchman, and gives us a taste of the “Air of the Overworld.” Albert E. Cowdrey has a supernatural mystery to solve in an old L.A. hotel with “Falling Angel.” Corey Flintoff returns to our pages and visits a bucolic university town for an “Interlude in Arcadia.” Auston Habershaw gives us the lower class’s view of a familiar fairy tale with “Three Gowns for Clara.” And Melissa Marr makes her first appearance in F&SF with “Nameless,” a Red Riding Hood inspired tale about a feminist utopia invaded by “wolves”: hopefully, you like swords and rage.

Our science fiction offerings are just as diverse. Essa Hansen makes her short fiction debut with “Save, Salve, Shelter,” a dark story about one woman’s effort to save as many animals as she can for the exodus from a ruined Earth. Michael Cassutt brings us “Banshee,” a more hopeful tale about transhumanism and space. Elaine Vilar Madruga, a talented young Cuban writer, delivers the “Elsinore Revolution” and an evolving view of Shakespeare in a translation by Toshiya Kamei. Julianna Baggott turns “The Key to Composing Human Skin,” a story about familial bonds and change. And Rahul Kanakia demonstrates “The Leader Principle” in a story that cleverly updates “The Man Who Sold the Moon” for the twenty-first century.

Enjoy!

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

THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
January/February
71st Year of Publication

NOVELETS

“Chisel and Chime” – Alex Irvine

NOVELETS

“Save, Salve, Shelter” – Essa Hansen
“Air of the Overworld” – Matthew Hughes
“Banshee” – Michael Cassutt
“Falling Angel” – Albert E. Cowdrey

SHORT STORIES

“Elsinore Revolution” – Elaine Vilar Madruga
“The Key to Composing Human Skin” – Julianna Baggott
“Interlude in Arcadia ” – Corey Flintoff
“Three Gowns for Clara” – Auston Habershaw
“The Nameless” – Melissa Marr
“The Leader Principle” – Rahul Kanakia

DEPARTMENTS

Books to Look For by Charles de Lint
Recommended Reading by C.C. Finlay
Film: Ad Astra Per Corde by Karin Lowachee
Science: Where’s My Flying Car? by Jerry Oltion
Curiosities: Man’s Mortality by Michael Arlen (1933) by Rich Horton

Cartoons by Nick Downes, Arthur Masear, Arthur Masear, Kendra Allenby

Cover: By Max Bertolini for “Chisel and Chime”

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

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

Editor’s Note for the November/December 2019 issue

The first thing we bought for this issue was the cover art by Bob Eggleton, a piece he titled “The Sky House.”
Fantasy & Science Fiction, November/December, cover by Bob Eggleton

From there, it was a matter of finding the right writer to pen a tale worthy of the illustration, and we turned to reader favorite (and ours, because we’re readers too) Charlotte Ashley, who’s most recent appearance in the magazine was another cover story, “The Satyr of Brandenburg,” back in our March/April 2018 issue. She turned in a tale that is as delightful as it is unexpected, and the perfect accompaniment to this castle in the sky.

The rest of the issue is a balance of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, with a couple stories that blur those boundaries or just make them altogether meaningless. The complete table of contents can be found below. Gregor Hartmann, Matthew Hughes, Michael Libling, James Morrow, M. Rickert, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Andy Stewart, and Marie Vibbert all return to the magazine, and we welcome Sam J. Miller and Rebecca Zahabi, who are making their F&SF debuts. Plus you’ll find a poem by Jane Yolen, columns by our usual assemblage of experts, and cartoons for the print edition.

Enjoy!

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

THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
November/December
71st Year of Publication

NOVELETS

“How I Came to Write Fantasy” – Michael Libling
“The Joy in Wounding” – Charlotte Ashley
“A Geas of the Purple School” – Matthew Hughes
“Bird Thou Never Wert” – James Morrow
“The Vicious World of Birds” – Andy Stewart

SHORT STORIES

“Rejoice, My Brothers and Sisters” – Benjamin Rosenbaum
“Evergreen” – M. Rickert
“A Hand at the Service of Darkness” – Gregor Hartmann
“It Never Snows in Snowtown” – Rebecca Zahabi
“Knit Three, Save Four” – Marie Vibbert
“Shucked” – Sam J. Miller

POEMS

“Swing Between” – Jane Yolen

DEPARTMENTS

Books to Look For by Charles de Lint
Musing on Books by Michelle West
Television: Those Were the Days by David J. Skal
Science: Portable Power by Jerry Oltion
Curiosities: The Arrogant History of White Ben by Clemence Dane (1939)) by Paul Di Filippo

Cartoons by Nick Downes

Cover: “The Sky House” By Bob Eggleton

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

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

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.com | @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.

THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
September/October 2019
70th Anniversary Issue

NOVELETS

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

SHORT STORIES

“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

POEMS

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

DEPARTMENTS

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.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

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

Editor’s Note for July-August 2019

Summer is here (or Winter, for our readers in the southern hemisphere) and so is the July/August issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction!

Many 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, July/August, cover by Mondolithic StudiosMondolithic Studio‘s cover illustrates the inevitable robot apocalypse.

ROBOTS INVADE!

This month, humanity’s doom comes on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Cassandra Khaw, who first appeared as the co-author of “Shooting Iron” in our Sept/Oct issue last year, returns with a story set in London in the aftermath of the great robot war to remind us that “Mighty Are the Meek and the Myriad.”

And across the Atlantic, in the ruins of robot-ravaged New York, F&SF regular Alex Irvine relates “The Legend of Wolfgang Robotkiller.”

FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION,
AND THE DIFFICULT TO CATEGORIZE

Our other science fiction for this issue includes the F&SF debut of Theodore McCombs, who takes us to a near future where computer-aided memory enhancement leads us to “Lacuna Heights.” Dominica Phetteplace returns with another story of the near future at the intersection of social media and private healthcare with “Nice for What.” And another debut author, Eliza Rose, takes us on a colony ship to deep space for a visit to “Planet Doykeit.”

What robot-filled summer issue would be complete without some dragons for balance? On the fantasy side, Deborah Coates gives us an intimate look at the dragon invasion of South Dakota and introduces us to some “Girls Who Never Stood a Chance.” G. V. Anderson takes us to Yorkshire for a gothic tale of haunting and asylums seen in “A Strange Uncertain Light.” And Albert E. Cowdrey returns with another story of William Warlock, a New Orleans lawyer with supernatural abilities and a client who receives “The Legacy.”

And some stories are just too hard to categorize but that’s part of what makes them so interesting. In this issue, we have “The Slave” by Andrej Kokoulin, translated from the Russian by Alex Shvartsman. In 2017, “The Slave” won the FantLab Award and immediately prompted a lengthy debate about whether or not the story is speculative. We’ll let you decide what you think. We also have “The Everlasting Humming of the Earth” by Molly Gloss, whose fiction constantly invites you to forget about categories and consider the human experience instead. 


You’ll also find two new poems slipped into pages between the stories. Mary Soon Lee has a message directed “To Skeptics” and Beth Cato makes her first appearance in F&SF with the assurance that “My Ghost Will Know the Way.”

OUR OTHER COLUMNS AND FEATURES

Looking for summer reading? Charles de Lint recommends some Books to Look For, by Sarah Pinsker, Kim Beall, John R. Little, Melissa F. Olson, and Philip K. Dick: A Comics Biography by Laurent Queyssi and Mauro Marchesi. Meanwhile, Michelle West is Musing on Books by Tim Maughan, Max Gladstone, K Chess, and Cate Glass. And for our monthly Curiosities column, rediscovering lost writers and books, David Langford reviews Charles Eric Maine’s The Mind of Mr Soames, a 1961 novel about science and the social contract.

In our latest film column, David J. Skal shares his delight in the new Mary Poppins movie. Jerry Oltion’s science column explains “How Vaccines Work.” And Paul Di Filippo has plucked another feather of the Plumage from Pegasus to tickle your fancy. The print version of the magazine also offers up new cartoons by Nick Downes and Arthur Masear.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

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.com | @fandsf

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.

NEW ATLANTIS

“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.

AN ABUNDANCE OF GREAT FICTION

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.”

OUR OTHER COLUMNS AND FEATURES

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.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

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.com | @fandsf

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