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Editor’s Note for May/June 2018

Welcome to issue #737. The May/June volume of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction takes off with eleven brand new stories, all our regular columns, and the winners of the latest F&SF Competition. You won’t want to miss it.

If you’re a subscriber… well, you’re probably already reading the issue by now! 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 2018, cover by Alan M. ClarkThis month’s cover illustrates “The Barrens” by Stephanie Feldman. The artwork is by the World Fantasy Award winning illustrator Alan M. Clark, his first piece for F&SF. To see more of his work, visit his website at alanmclark.com.

THE BARRENS

Stephanie Feldman won the Crawford Award for her debut novel, The Angel of Losses, published by Ecco in 2014. She has recently started writing short fiction as well, and “The Barrens” marks her first appearance in this magazine. She tells us that her story is what happens when you mix four years of being a DJ for your college radio station with a decade of reading Weird NJ magazine and a lifetime of watching horror movies. We think you’re going to enjoy this twisty tale.

THE LUCK OF BALDEMAR

Over the past year and a half, Baldemar has quickly become our favorite wizard’s henchman… even though his master Thelerion is no one’s favorite wizard (except perhaps his own). Matthew Hughes introduced us to the streetwise young Baldemar in “Ten Half-Pennies” in our March/April 2017 issue, and gave him bigger problems to solve when he came face-to-face with “The Prognosticant” in our May/June 2017 volume. In “Jewel of the Heart,” which appeared earlier this year, Baldemar’s encounter with the Helm of Sagacity saw him rewarded with the gift of luck. Now in his latest adventure, “Argent and Sable,” Baldemar’s about to find out that maybe not all that luck is good.

MORE GREAT FICTION

Our science fiction this month includes “Crash-Site,” an outer space adventure set in the War Hero universe by Brian Trent, who’s beginning to become a regular in the magazine. Lisa Mason has appeared recently in these page with tales of dark fantasy, but this month she brings us “The Bicycle Whisperer,” a near future story about bicycles, freedom, and forgiveness. And Nina Kiriki Hoffman asks us to explore “The Properties of Shadow,” a far future story about art, an artist’s assistant, and the secret shadow selves that all of us hide.

Nor have we neglected the fantasy portion of our title. Gardner Dozois brings us “Unstoppable,” a fairy tale about a king’s use – and misuse – of magic. Can those who abuse their power ever be stopped? Dare Segun Falowo, an extraordinary young Nigerian writer who debuted with “We Are Born” in our September/October issue last year, returns this month to the village of Àlá (which means dream in his traditional Yoruba) with “Ku’gbo,” a story about change and growth. And Albert E. Cowdrey asks us to “Behold the Child,” a reminder that perhaps, as Hemingway observed, all truly wicked things start from innocence.

In addition to the familiar faces, we also welcome three young authors making their first appearance in the magazine. Amman Sabet introduces us to “Tender Loving Plastics,” a near future science fiction story about the foster care system. In “Inquisitive,” Pip Coen relates the experience of Saffi, a young neuroatypical girl who struggles to find her way in a very rigid society. And Melanie West gives us “What You Pass For,” a historical fantasy inspired by the life of Janet Collins, an African American dancer in the 1930s who was offered a position with a prestigious ballet company on one condition, that she paint her skin white before appearing on stage.

OUR OTHER COLUMNS AND FEATURES

For the third time in three issues, Paul Di Filippo is ready to tickle your fancy with more “Plumage from Pegaus.” This time he considers that those who “Live by the Word, Die by the Word.”

Charles de Lint recommends some Books to Look For by Kij Johnson, Craig Schaefer, and Carolyn Turgeon, along with two new books celebrating the twenty-year anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With “Tourists and Native Speakers,” James Sallis provides a thoughtful and critical perspective on recent science fiction, literary, and mainstream fiction. And for our monthly Curiosities column, rediscovering lost writers and books, Phoenix Alexander introduces us to the work of George Schuyler and The Beast of Broadhurst Avenue, a rare early example of African American science fiction.

In her latest film column, Kathi Maio considers some of the big problems and small triumphs of “Downsizing,” the latest in a long tradition of films about shrinking people. And in their final science column for the magazine after more than twenty years, Pat Murphy and Paul Doherty are “Asking Questions.” And the print version of the magazine also offers up fresh cartoons by Kendra Allenby, Arthur Masear, and Nick Downes.

We also announce the winners of F&SF Competition #95, “Titles the Rearrange,” and welcome everyone to participate in Competition #96, “Crime Blotter,” for a chance to win some pretty cool prizes, including subscriptions to the magazine.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

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

So grab a copy in your favorite format and treat yourself to this month’s fabulous stories and features.

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

Editor’s Note for March/April 2018

The March/April edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction features the return of the Faerie duelist La Héron in a new story by Charlotte Ashley, plus so much more.

The new issue can be found in most Barnes & Noble stores, as well as many local independent booksellers. You can 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, Mar/Apr 2018, cover by Cory and Catska EnchThis month’s cover illustrates “The Satyr of Brandenburg” by Charlotte Ashley. The artwork is by Cory and Catska Ench. To see more of their work, visit their website at www.enchgallery.com.

THE RETURN OF LA HÉRON

Charlotte Ashley introduced regular readers of this magazine to the Faery duelist La Héron and her brawl-first, ask-questions-later assistant Sister Louise-Alexandrine three years ago in our March/April 2015 issue. The story was a finalist for the Aurora and Sunburst Awards, and since then Charlotte Ashley has become one of the magazine’s favorite new writers, bringing us an alternate history of Canadian settlement in “More Heat Than Light” (F&SF, May/June 2016) and another story of duelists, “A Fine Balance” (F&SF, November/December 2016). This new adventure was inspired by the famous fencing exhibition between the Chevalier de Saint-Georges (an Afro-French symphony conductor and professional duelist) and La Chevalière D’Eon (a transgender French diplomat, soldier, and spy) at Lilles in April 1787.

LIKHO

After publishing “Wormwood is Also a Star,” a story about Chernobyl, politics, and children with strange powers, in the May/June 2013 issue of F&SF, Andy Stewart found that he could not stop thinking about the damaged nuclear reactor and the political situation in the Ukraine, especially when he was reading profiles of young urban explorers sneaking into Pripyat armed with Geiger counters and cans of spray paint. The result is this hallucinogenic novella that goes into the heart of a great disaster to find something even worse.

MORE GREAT FICTION

Our other fantasy offerings this month include “Hideous Flowerpots” by Susan Palwick, a story about acceptance and healing, “The Next to the Last of the Mohegans” by Joseph Bruchac, making his F&SF debut, and “A Swim and a Crawl,” a dark fantasy about being caught between the ocean and the cliffs, by F&SF regular Marc Laidlaw.

For the science fiction portion of our title, we have “Deep Sea Fish,” hard science fiction about the exploration of Titan, written by Chi Hui, one of China’s celebrated young authors. This translation by Brian Bies is the story’s first appearance in English. We also have another story of humanity’s future, “A Dog of Wu” by Ted Rabinowitz. And Wole Talabi returns to the magazine with “The Harmonic Resonance of Ejiro Anaborhi,” a story about a young girl in Nigeria, a mysterious artifact, and the cost of social protest.

We also offer two lighter pieces that provide fresh twists on classic science fiction tropes, with William Ledbetter taking us on a hunt for “The Beast From Below” while Paul di Filippo, in his latest Plumage from Pegasus column, wants everyone to know that “The Varley Corps Want You.”

Finally, we close the issue with “Down Where Sound Comes Blunt,” a new story from World Fantasy Award winner G. V. Anderson. We aren’t going to tell you anything about the story because we don’t want to give anything away.

The issue also includes two poems, “Diaspora” by Mary Soon Lee and “After the Wolf,” a sneakily acrostic piece of verse by Jeff Crandall, making his first appearance in the magazine.

OUR OTHER COLUMNS AND FEATURES

Charles de Lint recommends some Books to Look For by Richard Kadrey, Alice Hoffman, Mark Henwick, Kevin Hearne, and Kari Maaren, along with a look at a new book on the legacy of Hugo Gernsback. Michelle West’s Musing on Books column considers new work by Sarah Rees Brennan, JY Yang, Emily Winfield Martin, and Steven Brust. And for our monthly Curiosities column, rediscovering lost writers and books, Robert Eldridge reads the first English translation of the Korean classic The Cloud Dream of the Nine by Kim Man-Choong

In his latest film column, David J. Skal takes you to the fiftieth Sitges Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantastic, an annual October event on the Catalonian seaside just outside Barcelona, and covers a wide range of new international films, including a review of festival favorite “The Shape of Water.” Jerry Oltion makes his science column debut with a piece on “Naked Eye Astronomy.” And the print version of the magazine also offers up fresh cartoons by Arthur Masear, S. Harris, Danny Shanahan, Bill Long, and Kendra Allenby.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

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

So grab a copy in your favorite format and enjoy.

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

Editor’s Note for January/February 2018

Happy New Year! And welcome to the January/February 2018 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

The new issue can be found in most Barnes & Noble stores, as well as many local independent booksellers. You can 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, Jan/Feb 2018, cover by Mondolithic StudiosThis month’s cover illustrates “Galatea in Utopia” by Nick Wolven. The artwork is by Mondolithic Studios. To see more of their work, visit their website at www.mondolithic.com/.

GALATEA IN UTOPIA

Nick Wolven is one of the most consistently inventive observers in contemporary science fiction, able to look at the news or at social trends and then extrapolate those ideas to logical extremes while always remaining deeply rooted in the lives of his characters. “Caspar D. Luckinbill, What Are You Going to Do?” — Wolven’s F&SF story about advertising and terrorism — was selected to appear in The Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2017 and was also reprinted by Wired.com. In “Carbo,” which appeared in our last issue (Nov/Dec 2017), he turned his sharp-eyed observations on the unexpected misogyny of self-driving cars. And in this month’s cover story, he once again brings us something new and entirely unexpected.

JEWEL OF THE HEART

Matthew Hughes first introduced us to Baldemar, a wizard’s henchman, in “Ten Half-Pennies” (F&SF, January/February 2017), which described how a young scholar became the assistant to a rough-and-tumble debt collector with some dangerous clients. Baldemar’s adventures continued in “The Prognosticant” (F&SF, May/June 2017), in which his employer, the thaumaturge Thelerion the Incomparable, dispatched Baldemar on a mission to acquire a powerful magical artifact. In this month’s novella, “Jewel of the Heart,” Baldemar is sent someplace where his street smarts will be tested to their limits and he’ll face dangers unlike anything he’s ever seen before.

MORE GREAT FICTION

We have some great science fiction lined up for you this month besides Nick Wolven’s cover story. Vandana Singh offers “Widdam,” a story about climate change and poetry and machines destroying the world. Gardner Dozois returns to our pages with “Neanderthals,” a bit of science fiction adventure. And Robert Reed brings us “An Equation of State,” a story of diplomacy.

In addition to Hughes’s novella, we also have “Aurelia,” a dark fantasy story by F&SF regular Lisa Mason. And Mary Robinette Kowal returns to our pages with “A Feather in Her Cap,” possibly the first adventure ever to mix hat-making and assassination.

Two other writers make their F&SF debuts in this issue. Steven Fischer’s “A List of Forty-Nine Lies” is a flash piece that packs a powerful punch. And J. D. Moyer considers the scope of a life in “The Equationist.”

Finally, we close the issue with “The Donner Party,” a brand new horror story by Dale Bailey. Long-time readers of F&SF have read a lot of Dale Bailey’s stories in the magazine over the past twenty-five years, but we guarantee you’ve never read one like this.

OUR OTHER COLUMNS AND FEATURES

The issue also includes a new Plumage From Pegasus column by Paul di Filippo. We think that “Toy Sorry” is going to be a great way to wrap up the holidays. And you’ll find two poems, “Creator” by Mary Soon Lee and “This Way” by Neal Wilgus.

Turning to our review columns, Charles de Lint recommends some Books to Look For by Alex Bledsoe, Claire North, and Marcus Sakey, and comic books by Matt Wagner and Terry Moore, and an art book by Mark Crilley. In her Books column, Liz Hand considers new work by JJ Amaworo Wilson, Karen Tidbeck, and Josh Malerman. And in our monthly Curiosities column, rediscovering lost writers and books, Graham Andrews takes us Up the Ladder of Gold, a 1931 techno-thriller by E. Phillips Oppenheim that includes a villain who inspired Ian Fleming and James Bond.

In her latest film column, Kathi Maio offers a thoughtful critical evaluation of “Mother!” with a focus on Jennifer Lawrence’s performance and the sometimes destructive power of religion. The print version of this issue also delivers fresh cartoons by Bill Long, 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:

So grab a copy in your favorite format and enjoy.

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

More Important Things

Here’s a picture of the opening ceremonies of the 1966 Worldcon from the Eaton F&SF Archive at UC Riverside, taken by Jay Kay Klein. The young man in front is reading the April 1966 issue of F&SF instead of paying attention to the event.

We wonder if anyone recognize the authors sitting in the front row with him? Or if you want to take a guess at which story he’s reading?

Here’s the Table of Contents for the issue, courtesy of isfdb:

4 • We Can Remember It for You Wholesale • novelette by Philip K. Dick
24 • Cartoon: “There’s that funny noise again!” • interior artwork by Gahan Wilson
25 • Appoggiatura • short story by A. M. Marple
31 • Books (F&SF, April 1966) • [Books (F&SF)] • essay by Judith Merril
41 • But Soft, What Light … • short story by Carol Emshwiller
45 • The Sudden Silence • short story by J. T. McIntosh
62 • Injected Memory • [The Science Springboard] • essay by Theodore L. Thomas
63 • The Octopus • poem by Doris Pitkin Buck
64 • The Face Is Familiar • short story by Gilbert Thomas
75 • The Space Twins • short story by James Pulley
79 • The Sorcerer Pharesm • [Dying Earth] • novelette by Jack Vance
101 • The Nobelmen of Science • [Asimov’s Essays: F&SF] • essay by Isaac Asimov
112 • Bordered in Black • short story by Larry Niven

Editor’s Note for November/December 2017

Welcome to issue #734, the November/December 2017 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

The new issue can be found in most Barnes & Noble stores, as well as many local independent booksellers. You can 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, Nov/Dec 2017, cover by Kent BashThis month’s cover illustrates “Attachments” by Kate Wilhelm. The artwork is by Kent Bash. To see more of his work, visit his website at http://kentbash.com/.

EVERYTHING HINGES…

Although she had already been publishing in the pulp magazines for several years, Kate Wilhelm first appeared in F&SF with the January 1962 issue. That story, “A Time to Keep,” was a psychologically fraught tale about a professor with repressed memories, and it showed the kind of character insights and close study of constrained lives that made her work so remarkable during the rest of the 1960s. In the following decades, Wilhelm went on to win two Hugo and several Nebula awards, most recently in 2006 and 2009 respectively, and in 2016 the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America renamed their Solstice Award — for outstanding contributions to the field — to the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award.

Her most recent story for F&SF was “The Fullness of Time” in our July/August 2012 issue. Time has long been a theme in her work, and this one is no different. How can it be, when there are ghosts involved? Of all the different “Attachments” found in this new story, the most important one may belong to a person who once made hinges.

THE RETURN OF GORLEN THE BARD

If you’re not already familiar with the adventures of the bard Gorlen Vizenfirthe, all you need to know is that he’s been cursed — his hand replaced with the stone paw of a gargoyle named Spar, who is reciprocally afflicted. Together, the two of them search for a cure to their problem and frequently end up in fresh varieties of trouble.

Gorlen debuted in the October 1995 issue of F&SF with “Dankden” and has returned six times since, most recently with the cover story “Rooksnight” in our May/June 2014 issue. Marc Laidlaw, Gordon and Spar’s creator and chronicler, tells us that this new adventure may not be the conclusion of their story, but it is certainly a conclusion. If you’re a fan of sword and sorcery adventures, this novella is one you don’t want to miss.

MORE GREAT FICTION

We’ve told you about the ghost story and the fantasy adventure that highlight this issue, but don’t think we’ve neglected science fiction.

We have a trio of hard sf speculative stories to entertain you this month. “Carbo,” a new novelet by Nick Wolven, offers a fresh take on self-driving cars that we haven’t seen before. “By the Red Giant’s Light” is a new Known Space story from Larry Niven that takes place at the edge of our solar system near the end of our sun. And “Racing the Rings of Saturn” by newcomer Ingrid Garcia, a young writer from Spain, looks at extreme sports in a future where the stakes are political as well as personal. Joining these three, you’ll find “Marley and Marley” by J. R. Dawson, a thoughtful time travel tale about the things that can happen when an older version of ourselves meets a younger version.

We also have some terrific and memorable fantasy lined up for you.

Philip K. Dick Award winner Meg Elison makes her F&SF debut with “Big Girl,” a story about the realization that women are always the wrong size, sometimes astonishingly so. R. S. Benedict — whose first published story was the highly acclaimed “My English Name,” inspired in part by her time in China, in our May/June issue earlier this year — returns with “Water God’s Dog,” another unique and powerful story, this time inspired in equal parts by Sumerian literature and a frustrating job hunt. And David Erik Nelson, whose novella “There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House” was the cover story in our July/August issue, moves from the city to the country with a disturbing road trip through the Midwest in “Whatever Comes After Calcutta.”

And finally we have a delightful new poem for you, “Down at the Goblin Boutique,” by the Irish poet and novelist John W. Sexton.

OUR REGULAR COLUMNS AND FEATURES

Charles de Lint recommends some Books to Look For by David Wiesner and Donna Jo Napoli, Dean Koontz, A. G. Carpenter, Alan Baxter, Grady Hendrix, Christopher Farnsworth, and Angie Stanton. In Musing on Books, Michelle West reviews new books by Elizabeth Bear, Tanya Huff, Linda Nagata, and graphic novels by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. And in our monthly Curiosities column, rediscovering lost writers and books, David Langford turns out an early holiday treat by reviewing A Christmas Garland, a collection of seasonal parodies — whose targets included Kipling and H. G. Wells — by Max Beerbohm, originally published in 1912.

And beyond books? In his latest film column, David J. Skal provides a critical evaluation of Universal’s newest version of “The Mummy” and their monster movie strategy in general. The print version of this issue also offers up fresh cartoons by Bill Long, Danny Shanahan, Nick Downes, Arthur Masear, and S. Harris. Plus we bring you the winners of F&SF Competition #94, “Explain a Plot Badly,” and invite you to participate in our next competition — “Titles the Rearrange.”

THE SCIENCE COLUMN

At the beginning of this year, the F&SF Science Column by Pat Murphy and Paul Doherty went from being a twice-yearly occurrence to a monthly feature. Murphy and Doherty had been writing the column for twenty years, it’s very popular with readers, and the change just seemed to make sense. The first full year of their column concludes with “The Science of Invisibility,” which looks closely at our eyes and what we can and can’t see.

We are saddened to report that, as we were going to press with this issue, Paul Doherty passed away following a brief battle with cancer. As a result, this month’s science column concludes with a short remembrance of him written by his friend and colleague Pat Murphy. While there will be no science column in our January/February issue, Pat will return in March/April 2018 with the last piece they were working on together and a longer tribute.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

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

So grab a copy in your favorite format and enjoy.

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

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