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Editor’s Note for March-April 2019

It’s time for the changing of the seasons and the new issue of F&SF is full of transformations. The March/April issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction delivers 12 stories, 2 poems, and all our regular columns and features.

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, March/April, cover by Kent BashKent Bash‘s cover illustrates “Contagion’s Eve at the House Noctambulous” by Rich Larson.

GET RICH

Over the past six years, Rich Larson has been one of the most prolific and consistently excellent writers in the genre. 2018 saw the publication of his collection Tomorrow Factory as well as his first novel Annex. A sequel, Cypher, will be coming out later this year. We’re happy to welcome him back into the pages of F&SF with this month’s cover story, which paints a picture of the future that has some uncomfortable roots in the present.

ALL OF YOU

R. S. Benedict is another new star of the genre. Her stories for F&SF over the past two years have included “My English Name,” her fiction debut, a story identity and otherness which was picked up for three Year’s Best collections and included in Gardner Dozois’s The Very Best of the Best: 30 Years of the Year’s Best Science Fiction, which was recently published. Her Summerian fantasy “Water God’s Dog” and her Philip K. Dickian time travel story “Morbier” have also been just as impressive to us.

She informs us that her new hard-to-classify novella “All of Me,” the longest story she’s written for us yet, was inspired by true events, ranging from the life of Rita Hayworth, born Margarita Cansino, an actress who underwent a grueling makeover to hide her ethnicity before she became a famous Hollywood sex symbol, to the history of Puerto Rico, where a U.S.-led eugenics campaign sterilized a third of the island’s women over the course of the 20th century without informing them that =la operación= could not be undone. (We’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether Matt Damon operates a clone farm.)

MORE GREAT FICTION

This issue’s fantasy includes “The Plot Against Fantucco’s Armor” by F&SF regular Matthew Hughes, another fun and fast-paced adventure featuring Baldemar, the unusually lucky wizard’s henchman. “The Mark of Cain” by John Kessel, another regular, is based on a fragment of writing he found in his files from the 1980s, so it’s a collaboration between his younger and older selves: he also admits that it contains the most offensive opening line and likely the most problematic character he has ever written. And newcomer Jerome Stueart makes his F&SF debut with “Postlude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” a story about music and love, history and healing. And Nick DiChario, who appeared just two issues ago with one of his Italian fairy tales, is back, this time with “Bella and the Blessed Stone,” which is a decidedly modern and very American fairy tale.

There’s also a generous serving of science fiction in this issue to go along with Rich Larson’s cover story. “The Unbearable Lightness of Bullets” by Gregor Hartmann returns to his loosely connected milieu of stories about humanity’s future in space spread across a thousand worlds divided along the Mainline and the Spur: here he returns to the remote Spur world of Zephyr and introduces us to Inspector Philippa Song who has to solve a murder before she ends up getting shot herself. S. Qiouyi Lu is a writer, editor, and translator making their first appearance in F&SF with “At Your Dream’s Edge,” a personal story about family and identity and the kind of desperate technological lengths one will go to when the two are in conflict. Tina Connolly returns to the magazine with “miscellaneous notes from the time an alien came to band camp disguised as my alto sax,” a piece of flash that isn’t much longer than the title and is as funny as you might expect if you’re familiar with Connolly’s work. Despite what you might think from the title, “The Free Orcs of Cascadia” by Margaret Killjoy is near future science fiction about heavy metal bands in the Pacific Northwest. And Paul Park has a story addressed to “Dear Sir or Madam,” written by a videographer who is approached by a client with a project that will utterly transform him.

We have poems by two of our regular poets, both with a science fiction turn: “In the Caverns of the Moon” by Mary Soon Lee will unfold a discovery that changes everything we think we know, and “Away” by Sophie M. White will introduce you to the crew of a starship that once blazed trails between the stars.

Finally, you’ll also find “Playscape,” a chilling story of quiet domestic horror, written by Diana Peterfreund, another author making her F&SF debut, one of four in this issue.

OUR OTHER COLUMNS AND FEATURES

As always, Charles de Lint recommends some Books to Look For, this time by Stephen King, Andrew Katz, Richard Kadrey, and Jimmy Cajoleas, plus The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition by Ursula K. Le Guin and Charles Vess and The Writer’s Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands by Huw Lewis-Jones. Michelle West is Musing on Books by Derek Künsken, Ben H. Winters, Elizabeth Bear, and Dale Bailey. And for our monthly Curiosities column, rediscovering lost writers and books, Graham Andrews reviews The Brontës Went to Woolworths by Rachel Ferguson (1931), about a peculiar haunting that happens to three sisters.

In our latest film column, David J. Skal stands on the edge of the latest Halloween reboot and stares into “The Yawning Abyss.” Jerry Oltion’s science column considers the possibility of alien contact and says “E.T. Shmee-T.” The print version of the magazine also offers up new cartoons by Nick Downes, Bill Long, Arthur Masear, and Danny Shanahan.

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 January-February 2019

A new issue for a new year. The January/February volume of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction begins 2019 with 11 new stories, plus all our regular columns and features.

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, January/February, cover by Jill BaumanThis month’s cover illustrates “The City of Lost Desire” by Phyllis Eisenstein. The artwork is by the award-nominated artist Jill Bauman.

FULL CIRCLE

Alaric had been found on a hillside, a helpless newborn babe clothed only in blood. He was obviously a witch child, for a gory hand, raggedly severed just above the wrist, clutched his ankles in a deathlike grasp.

That’s a passage from “Born to Exile,” the story that introduced Alaric to F&SF readers back in August 1971.

Young Alaric, with his talent for teleportation, eventually became a reluctant thief and willing troubadour, who fell in love with a princess entangled in court intrigues that only his wit and supernatural abilities could help him survive. His original adventures in F&SF, published back in the 1970s, were those of a young man, with a young man’s passions and impulses. Much has happened to him over the years, and across many hundreds of pages since. Now he returns, much older and wiser, only to find himself caught up with another princess and a peril he cannot easily escape.

MORE GREAT FICTION

Once you leave “The City of Lost Desire,” you’ll find plenty of additional adventure. Carrie Vaugh takes us to “The Beautiful Shining Twilight,” a story about what happens after you return through the portal to another world. Andy Duncan regales us with “Joe Diabo’s Farewell,” a story about the Native Americans who built skyscrapers in New York in the early twentieth century, and the Native Americans who worked in the early film industry at the same time, and one moment when the two overlapped. Sean McMullen introduces us to “The Washer from the Ford,” about a man who can see what happens after an unexpected death. And Pip Coen shows us “The Fall from Griffin’s Peak,” a story about a hard life and aspirations for something better.

We also have a variety of science fiction stories to balance out the issue. Robert Reed will take us on a trip to “The Province of Saints,” where empathy has the power to connect people and also destroy them. Adam-Troy Castro remembers a “Survey” he took once in college, and looks for the sinister purpose it was hiding and that it may still hide. Leah Cypess’s new story is “Blue as Blood” and shows how we see the world affects how we fit into it. Marie Vibbert’s “Tactical Infantry Bot 37 Dreams of Trochees” in a story about the future of robots and war, survival and poetry. And Erin Cashier takes to a place “Fifteen Minutes from Now,” where doing wrong to serve right raises ethical questions that it leaves the reader to answer.

Tucked somewhere inside the issue, you’ll also find a wonderful piece of flash from Jenn Reese about “The Right Number of Cats,” a story of grief and healing. And in another installment of his Plumage from Pegasus column, Paul Di Filippo takes us for “A Walk on the Mild Side.”

OUR OTHER COLUMNS AND FEATURES

As always, Charles de Lint recommends some Books to Look For, this time by A. Lee Martinez, Seanan McGuire, and Lark Benobi, plus the graphic novel Calexit Vol. 1 by Matteo Pizzolo and Amancay Nahuelpan, and the new history of Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee. Michelle West is Musing on Books by Stuart Turton, Rena Rossner, Andrew Katz, and Sherry Thomas. And for our monthly Curiosities column, rediscovering lost writers and books, Paul Di Filippo reviews Pink Furniture by A. E. Coppard(1930), a fantasy romp by an author who used to be a household name.

In our latest film column, E. G. Neil looks at superhero movies and how one in particular is “Venom, Us,” while Jerry Oltion’s science column explores what will happen “When Betelgeuse Blows.” The print version of the magazine also offers up a new cartoon by 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:

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 March/April 2017

New stories by Eleanor Arnason, Richard Chwedyk, Matthew Hughes and more!

The March/April issue of the magazine 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, Mar/Apr 2017, cover by Bryn BarnardThis month’s cover is by Bryn Barnard, illustrating “The Man Who Put the Bomp” by Richard Chwedyk. To see more of his work, visit his website at https://www.brynbarnard.com/.

THE RETURN OF THE SAURS

In “The Measure of All Things,” published in the January 2001 issue of F&SF, Richard Chwedyk introduced us to the “saurs,” genetically engineered intelligent toy companions who looked like tiny versions of dinosaurs. Like many other pets, the saurs sometimes ended up neglected and abandoned, but there was a house where rescued saurs could be safe . . . and get into new kinds of trouble. The saurs have appeared three more times, in “Bronte’s Egg” (August 2002), “In Tibor’s Cardboard Castle” (Oct/Nov 2004), and “Orfy” (Sept/Oct 2010). The series has been incredibly popular, garnering numerous award nominations and winning a Nebula Award for “Bronte’s Egg.”

Now, at long last, the saurs return in an all-new novella, “The Man Who Put the Bomp” — brace yourself for VOOM!

MORE GREAT FICTION

We have other great science fiction in this issue. Robert Grossbach considers a possible future for self-driving cars in “Driverless.” Eleanor Arnason solves a mystery that involves our interaction with other intelligent species in “Daisy.” And poet Ruth Berman takes us across vast distances of space and time with her poem “Spacemail Only.”

There are also several varieties of fantasy to enjoy. Matthew Hughes introduces us to a new character in his Archonate universe — Baldemar, a would-be wizard’s henchman, makes his debut in “Ten Half-Pennies.” Albert E. Cowdrey takes us to New Orleans and acquaints us with William Warlock, a professional problem solver with supernatural assistance, in “The Avenger.” And James Sallis brings us a story music and a different kind of magic in “Miss Cruz.”

Cat Hellisen (“The Girls Who Go Below,” F&SF Jul/Aug 2014) returns to the magazine with another dark, horror-tinged fantasy, giving us “A Green Silk Dress and a Wedding Death.”

And we’re also pleased to introduce you to the work of Arundhati Hazra, an Indian writer who makes her genre fiction debut in this issue with the delightful story, “The Toymaker’s Daughter.”

OUR REGULAR COLUMNS AND FEATURES

Charles de Lint suggests Books to Look For by Amber Lynn Natusch, Jasmine Walt and Rebecca Hamilton, Andrew Vachss, Jen Blood, Rodney Jones, Kevin Hearne, and he takes a look at Spectrum 23: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. In Musing on Books, Michelle West considers new books by Cixin Liu, Aliette de Bodard, and Peter S. Beagle, along with the anthology The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe. In our film column, Kathi Maio reviews Arrival, the movie based on Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life.” And for our Curiosities column, David Langford takes us to A Beleaguered City, an 1879 story of the supernatural by Mrs. Oliphant, the name under which Margaret Oliphant published her many popular works.

As we announced in January, the Science Column by Pat Murphy and Paul Doherty has returned to every issue. This month continues their exploration of robotics with wearable technology and “Robots In Your Pants”.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

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

In the meantime… enjoy!

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

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