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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

Editor’s Note for September/October 2017

Welcome to the 68th anniversary issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction!

The September/October 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 format — through Weightless Books.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, Sept/Oct 2017, cover by Maurizio ManzieriThis month’s stunning cover is by Italian artist Maurizio Manzieri, illustrating “Starlight Express” by Michael Swanwick. Manzieri also illustrated our May/June issue. To see more of his work, visit his website at http://www.manzieri.com/.

F&SF‘S 68TH ANNIVERSARY
and STARLIGHT EXPRESS

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction — titled simply The Magazine of Fantasy for that first issue although it contained a couple science fiction stories by Theodore Sturgeon and others — debuted in October 1949. Sixty-eight years and 733 issues later, here we are!

Our cover story for this issue, “Starlight Express” by Michael Swanwick, is, in some ways, a good example of how much the industry has changed over the past sixty-eight years. Swanwick is a winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards — none of which existed when the magazine was founded.

But, more importantly, this story shows how interconnected and international the world has become in the intervening decades. (Something you’ll see reflected elsewhere in this issue too.) Swanwick originally wrote this story to be translated for the most recent reboot of Esli magazine in Russia (Если, which is Russian for “If”). Then he sold it to Science Fiction World — which has the largest circulation of any science fiction magazine in the world — in China, where a translation appeared earlier this year.

But this is the story’s first publication in English, and we’re very happy to share it with you.

“THE HERMIT OF HOUSTON” BY SAMUEL R. DELANY

Our genre’s most prestigious award is the Grand Master, given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. It’s been ten years since SFWA Grand Master Samuel R. Delany published a new science fiction story, and his last appearance in these pages was exactly forty years ago, for our 28th anniversary issue in 1977.

Throughout his career, Delany’s work has pushed the boundaries of sf to make it address more adult situations and issues, particularly at the intersections of language and memory, sexuality and society. He returns to these themes in this new story, which takes place in a near future where the current Mexican-American border no longer exists.

We think fans of the genre are going to enjoy it.

MORE GREAT FICTION

Because this is an anniversary issue, we’ve packed it full of great fiction for you, including a lot of names that will be recognized by our regular readers.

Our lead story for this issue is “Evil Opposite,” a parallel worlds story by Naomi Kritzer, who won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 2016. Robert Reed offers us another view of our future with “Leash on a Man” — we happen to think this is one of the best and most memorable stories he’s written in a long time. Lisa Mason returns to our pages with “Riddle,” a tale of the supernatural set in North Beach, her old stomping ground in San Francisco. British writer Jeremy Minton makes a reappearance with “The Care of House Plants,” a story with some dark and unexpected twists. And humorist Oliver Buckram introduces us to “Hollywood Squid,” taking us to an Oscar ceremony we’re not likely to soon forget.

NEW VOICES

In his column for the very first issue of this magazine, back in 1949, publisher Lawrence E. Spivak praised editors Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas for seeking out fresh voices and including “…the first published story by a distinctive new fantasy writer.” (He was referring to “In the Days of Our Fathers” by Winona McClintic, who went on to become a frequent contributor to the magazine.) Right from the very beginning, finding and developing new writers has been part of the Fantasy & Science Fiction tradition.

In this anniversary issue, we’re proud to introduce the world to the work of two such new voices. Dare Segun Falowo, a young writer from Lagos, Nigeria, brings us “We Are Born,” a fantasy set in the village of Ala and inspired by Yoruba traditions. We also present you with “Children of Xanadu” by Juan Paulo Rafols, a promising new writer from the Philippines, who was inspired to write this near future science fiction story by news articles about the harsh treatment experienced by children sent to internet addiction boot camps.

In addition, we bring you stories by several writers who may already be familiar to you, but who are new to the magazine.

Gwendolyn Clare delivers “Tasting Notes on the Varietals of the Southern Coast,” a brief fantasy with great intensity and depth of flavor, marked by hints of irony. Canadian writer Rebecca Campbell takes us for a ride “On Highway 18” in a ghost story about small towns and teenagers, independence and vulnerability. Amy Griswold gives us a glimpse at the future and provides some pointed social commentary with “Still Tomorrow’s Going to Be Another Working Day.” Rahul Kanakia uses an alien perspective to hold up a mirror to our own culture with “Bodythoughts.” And Tina Connolly invites us to dance “The Two-Choice Foxtrot of Chapham County” — a delightful fantasy about ordinary people choosing to change.

OUR REGULAR COLUMNS AND FEATURES

From very early on, Fantasy & Science Fiction has been distinguished by its columns and columnists. This issue is no different.

Charles de Lint recommends some Books to Look For by Seanan McGuire, A. G. Carpenter, John Crowley, Christopher Eliopoulos, R. J. Blain, and Melissa F. Olson. James Sallis reviews new Books by Paul La Farge and Deepak Unnikrishnan. In her film column, Kathi Maio meditates “On Finding Her Inner Kaiju” — a review of Anne Hathaway’s “delightfully offbeat” film “Colossal.” The Science Column by Pat Murphy and Paul Doherty pulls a “Vanishing Act” as it considers the technology for invisibility cloaks. And for our Curiosities column, Robert Eldridge reconsiders The Great Demonstration, originally published in 1920, and written by the talented and unjustly forgotten writer, Katharine Metcalf Roof.

The print version of this issue also offers up fresh cartoons by Danny Shanahan, Nick Downes, 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

F&SF, July 1991

Over the past couple years, we’ve been doing an irregular series of #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) features here on the F&SF blog, where they can easily be found under the “F&SF History” tag. We also share them on the F&SF Twitter account and Facebook page.

* * *

Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1991 art by Malgorzata Rapnicka#TBT to the July 1991 issue of F&SF. Malgorzata Rapnicka’s cover illustrates “Autumn Mist” by Nancy Springer.

This was Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s first issue as editor. Rusch begins the issue with an editorial, which would become a hallmark of her term as editor — she wrote more of them than anyone else, before or since. “I feel the weight of history tonight,” she writes near the beginning, and describes that history in both general and personal terms. She ends by calling F&SF “a magazine that has always shown us the future while letting us keep everything that is precious about our past.”

The intro for Springer’s cover story picks up the same theme and discusses how it “ties together the motifs of the issue: the need for change, for preserving the past, and the effect we have on our environment.”

The issue also includes stories by Michael Cassutt, Larry Tritten, Tony Daniel, Elizabeth Engstrom, Esther M. Friesner, and Kathe Koja. Rusch would become known for introducing many new writers to readers of F&SF: here, it’s with “Fetch Felix,” the first published story by Sally Caves, who also wrote a couple episodes for Star Trek — “Hollow Pursuits” on The Next Generation and “Babel” for Deep Space Nine.

The issue is rounded out with book reviews by Budrys and Card, a science column by Asimov, an F&SF competition, and several cartoons. The perfect mix of old and new, beginning a new era for the magazine.

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