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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: https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/subscribe.htm
* Electronic subscriptions via Weightless Books anywhere in the world here: https://weightlessbooks.com/category/publisher/spilogale-inc/
* Electronic subscriptions for Kindle US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ZFZ4O8/
* Electronic subsriptions for Kindle UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004ZFZ4O8/

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

THE GREAT SHIP

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.

MORE GREAT FICTION

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’S COLUMNS

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).

Enjoy!

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

THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
May/June
71st Year of Publication

NOVELLA

“Byzantine” – Holly Messinger

NOVELETS

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

SHORT STORIES

“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

POEMS

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

DEPARTMENTS

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

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 March-April 2020

The March/April issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction will transport you from a hair salon in Lagos to the dusty American southwest, from an alternate past to other planets in the far distant future. Which is why we chose an explorer, beautifully illustrated by Mondolithic Studios, for this month’s cover

If you’re looking for a copy of this issue, you can find F&SF in most Barnes & Noble stores beginning on Tuesday, March 3, as well as at many local independent booksellers. You can also order a single copy of this issue from our website or, if you prefer, buy an electronic copy of the issue, available worldwide and in every electronic format, from Weightless Books.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April, cover by Mondolithic Studios

GENRES WITHOUT BORDERS

Some writers defy easy categorization and then some writers defy any, as you’ll find out when you read this month’s featured novella, “Come the Revolution” by Ian Tregillis. Like much of Tregillis’s fiction, this story combines elements of alternate history, hard science, and fantasy adventure with the exploration of difficult ethical questions and an unmistakable voice.

In his Alchemy Wars trilogy (The Mechanical, The Rising, and The Liberation, published by Orbit Books), Tregillis imagined an alternate version of our world where clockwork robots animated by a supernatural geas rebelled against their human masters. “Come the Revolution” takes place before the first book in the series and plants the seed of that rebellion. Readers who loved the series now have the chance to find out more about it, and readers coming to Tregillis’s world for the first time will be happy to know that there are more books to read when they finish this story.

MORE GREAT STORIES

There’s a wide selection of fantasy and dark fantasy in this issue. We start with “Kikelomo Ultrasheen” by Dare Segun Falowo, based in part on his experiences growing up in his mother’s hair salon in Nigeria. Matthew Hughes briefly departs from his ongoing adventures of Baldemar to bring us “The Last Legend,” a story originally written for Gardner Dozois’s The Book of Legends anthology. Amanda Hollander, who made her short fiction debut in our 70th Anniversary issue last year, returns to serve us “A Feast of Butterflies,” a dark fantasy about small communities and the quest for justice. And Elizabeth Bear makes us a gift of “Hacksilver,” an adventure inspired by the Icelandic sagas that we also rescued for you from Dozois’s The Book of Legends.

Our science fiction offerings start on Earth, reach into space, and take place in the far future. We start with “The Million Mile Sniper” by SL Huang, making her first appearance in F&SF, and putting her background in mathematics and firearms to good (fictional) use. We also have a trio of stories by F&SF regulars. Gregor Hartmann portrays a near future space program in “A Solitary Crane Circles Cold Mountain.” William Ledbetter imagines the survivors dealing with an alien invasion in “Hungry is the Earth.” And Brian Trent gives us an Agatha-Christie-in-space type romp of a mystery with “Death on the Nefertem Express.”

There are also some stories that we won’t bother to categorize for you, although they’re clearly speculative. Amman Sabet, who grew up in New York City, where he picked up some bad habits and never learned how to properly apologize, encourages us to “Say You’re Sorry.” We also have two very short pieces. John Possidente reviews a fictional piece of fiction titled “The Red Sword of the Celiac.” And James Patrick Kelly joins us again after too long an absence in these pages to show us “The Man I Love.”

We also have poetry by Lauren McBride and Deborah L. Davitt, columns by Charles de Lint, Elizabeth Hand, David J. Skal, Jerry Oltion, and Graham Andrews, and a bunch of cartoons.

Enjoy!

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

Paper subscriptions are available directly from us. And electronic subscriptions are available from Amazon, AmazonUK, and Weightless Books.

THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
March/April
71st Year of Publication

NOVELLA

“Come the Revolution” – Ian Tregillis

NOVELETS

“Kikelomo Ultrasheen” – Dare Segun Falowo
“The Last Legend” – Matthew Hughes
“Hacksilver” – Elizabeth Bear
“Death on the Nefertem Express” – Brian Trent

SHORT STORIES

“The Million-Mile Sniper” – SL Huang
“Red Sword tf the Celiac” – John Possidente
“Say You’re Sorry” – Amman Sabet
“A Solitary Crane Circles Cold Mountain” – Gregor Hartmann
“A Feast of Butterflies” – Amanda Hollander
“Hungry Is the Earth” – William Ledbetter
“The Man I Love” – James Patrick Kelly

POEMS

“To My Shipmates at Journey’s End” – Lauren McBride
“4 Vesta” – Deborah L. Davitt

DEPARTMENTS

Books to Look For by Charles de Lint
Books by Elizabeth Hand
Film: Wet Screams by David J. Skal
Science: Natural Disasters in Utopia by Jerry Oltion
Curiosities: Public Faces by Harold Nicolson (1932) by Graham Andrews

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

Cover: By Mondolithic Studios

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 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:

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