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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

Editor’s Note for July/August 2017

New stories, new writers, new worlds… and one old house.

The July/August 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.

This month’s cover is by Nicholas Grunas, illustrating “There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House” by David Erik Nelson. To see more work by this Detroit artist, visit his FineArtAmerica page at https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/djjustnick08.html.

HE FLIPPED A CROOKED HOUSE

Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2017, cover by Nicholas GrunasThe story’s not over when someone builds a crooked house… eventually, the neighborhood declines, the house gets neglected and repurposed for other uses, and then someone comes along with a plan to buy it cheap and flip it for profit.

Take, for example, the David Whitney House, a monumental Romanesque mansion made of pink jasper and Tiffany windows built in Detroit during the city’s early heyday in the 1890s. Less than a hundred years later, by the early 1980s, it had been divided into a labyrinth of low-rent offices. One of those offices was occupied by young David Erik Nelson’s father…

Those are some of the raw materials for this month’s novella as Nelson gives us a modern variation on a classic premise with “There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House.”

MORE GREAT FICTION

In May, William Ledbetter won the Nebula Award for his hard science fiction novelette “The Long Fall Up,” published in the May/June 2016 issue of F&SF. He leads off this month’s issue with a brand new space adventure, “In a Wide Sky, Hidden.” We also bring you the F&SF debut of G. V. Anderson. Her story “I Am Not I” may at some turns remind you of Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith and at others of China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station; either way, we think it will impress you.

We have a wide variety of great fantasy in this issue. Auston Habershaw introduces us to some delightful characters in his adventure of murder and manners, “The Masochist’s Assistant.” Robin Furth, who some of you may previously know as the author of The Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance or The Dark Tower graphic novels, makes her F&SF debut with a very unsettling story, “The Bride in Sea-Green Velvet.” Gardner Dozois offers us a short tale closer to home with “A Dog’s Story.” And Marissa Lingen returns to our pages with another thoughtful fantasy as she explores “An Unearned Death.”

Two other authors make their F&SF debuts (and first pro sales) in this issue. Justin Key — or rather Dr. Justin Key (he wrote this story while he was finishing med school) — brings us an alternate history of the American South with “Afiya’s Song.” And Sean Adams offers up “An Obstruction to Delivery,” a story that’s difficult to classify but not to enjoy.

OUR REGULAR COLUMNS AND FEATURES

Charles de Lint recommends some Books to Look For by P. L. Winn, Nathan Van Coops, Patricia Briggs, and James E. Coplin, along with a new illustrated edition of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti and Omar Rayyan and Gods & Goddesses: The Fantasy Illustration Library Volume Two edited by Malcolm R. Phifer and Michael C. Phifer. In Musing on Books, Michelle West reviews new books by Megan Whelan Turner, Peter S. Beagle, and Frances Hardinge. In our film column, David J. Skal considers “Ghouls, Ghosties, Beasties” — a review of Disney’s new version and “Beauty and the Beast.” The Science Column by Pat Murphy and Paul Doherty has “The Best of Intentions” as it describes the perilous fate of bees. And for our Curiosities column, Paul Di Filippo returns to A Report from Group 17 by Robert C. O’Brien (1972).

The issue also offers up a new poem by Sophie M. White and a cartoon by Nick Downes.

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 on your way to the beach, and enjoy some great summer reading.

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

Editor’s Note for May/June 2017

New stories by Richard Bowes, Leah Cypess, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Matthew Hughes and more!

The May/June 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, May/June 2017, cover by Maurizio ManzieriThis month’s cover is by Maurizio Manzieri, illustrating “The Prognosticant” by Matthew Hughes. To see more of his work, visit his website at http://www.manzieri.com/.

BALDEMAR LEVELS UP

In the March/April issue we published “Ten Half-Pennies,” in which Matthew Hughes introduced us to a new character in his Archonate universe — Baldemar, a young wizard’s henchman. Baldemar’s adventures continue in this issue with “The Prognosticant.” As you can probably tell by the cover image, his problems get much larger.

MORE GREAT FICTION

Along with the new Hughes story, we have a wide variety of great fantasy in this issue. Elgin Award winning poet Shannon Connor Winward makes her F&SF debut in this issue with a traditional fantasy, “Witch’s Hour.” Richard Bowes marks his twenty-fifth anniversary of F&SF stories with “Dirty Old Town,” a contemporary fantasy about growing up in Boston. And Leah Cypess offers us “Neko Brushes,” a story inspired by the Japanese folktale “The Boy Who Drew Cats.” And Zach Shephard, another writer making his first appearance in the magazine, brings us dense world-building and a complex character in his flash story, “The Woman With the Long, Black Hair.”

You’ll also find a wide variety of science fiction in this issue. Brian Trent, who first appeared in F&SF a year ago with “The Last of the Sharkspeakers,” returns to the magazine with “A Thousand Deaths Through Flesh and Stone,” a story about human identity in a post-human world. Kelly Jennings returns us to a more familiar — and more threatened — Earth with her F&SF debut, “A History of the Invasion Told in Five Dogs.” Gregor Hartmann returns to the planet Zephyr and his outer space adventure series with “What the Hands Know.” John Schoffstall makes his first appearance in the magazine with another fast-paced story that explores identity, “The First Day of Someone Else’s Life.” And Nina Kiriki Hoffman, who last appeared in our January/February issue with the charming fantasy story “Cinnamon and Vinegar,” returns to our pages with “Rings,” a darker space adventure that shows off her versatility and range.

And we’re also pleased to introduce you to the work of R. S. Benedict, a writer who makes her fiction debut in this issue with a compelling and hard-to-categorize story, “My English Name.”

OUR REGULAR COLUMNS AND FEATURES

Charles de Lint suggests Books to Look For by Justine Larbalestier (“Wow!”), Elizabeth Hand, and Joe R. Lansdale, as well as a graphic novel by Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, and Lee Sullivan, a new anthology edited by Jaym Gates and Monica L. Valentinelli, and the Bookburners series by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Frances Slattery. Elizabeth Hand recommends new books by Peter S. Beagle and Graeme Macrae Burnet, along with Literary Wonderlands, edited by Laura Miller. In our television column, David J. Skal considers “Western Histories” as interpreted by HBO’s “Westworld” series and season 2 of Amazon Prime’s “The Man in the High Castle.” And for our Curiosities column, Mark Esping explores the work of obscure writer/artist Annabell Krebs Culverwell, who published much of her work under the name of “Columba,” including her first novel The Moon is Inhabited (1961).

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 driverless cars and other “Robots On The Road”.

Paul Di Filippo contributes a new Plumage from Pegasus column, “Happiness is a Worn Gunn.” (Yes, it is. Yes, it is.)

And we also publish the results of F&SF Competition #93, “True Names,” and announce a new competition with a chance to win some fabulous prizes, including subscriptions to F&SF.

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

Editor’s Note for Nov/Dec 2016

The November/December issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is now on sale. 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 or AmazonUK.

For the first time, F&SF is now also available electronically in DRM-free format worldwide through Weightless Books!

Subscribe now to either our print or electronic editions, and you’ll never miss another issue. And if you subscribe or renew your print subscription right now, you can give one or more gift subscriptions as a discounted rate. It’s the perfect holiday gift for another reader in your life.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2016, cover by Kristin KestThis month’s cover is by Kristin Kest, illustrating “The Cat Bell” by Esther Friesner. To see more of her work, visit her website at http://www.kestillustration.com/.

ESTHER FRIESNER RETURNS WITH “THE CAT BELL”

Esther Friesner has published a couple dozen stories in F&SF over the years, but nothing since “Rutger and Baby Do Jotenheim” appeared in our Sept/Oct 2011 issue. She informs us that her new story was inspired by a visit to Gillette Castle in Connecticut, former home of William Gillette, an actor, playwright, and inventor, whose career spanned late nineteenth-century theater through the era of radio. He is most famous for bringing Sherlock Holmes to stage, and created the phrase, “Elementary, my dear fellow.” He was also an avid cat-lover. Gillette Castle still displays the bell he used to summon his cats. Our author used it to summon this delightful story for you.

MORE GREAT FICTION

Other fantasy in this issue includes “The Vindicator,” the final novelet in the Raffalon series by Matthew Hughes — but don’t worry, we’ll be starting a new series in the Archonate universe sometime early next year. And famed writer and editor Gardner Dozois returns to these pages to take us on a trip to “A Place of Bones.” Charlotte Ashley, who debuted in F&SF with her faerie duelists story “La Héron” (March/April 2015), returns with “A Fine Balance,” another story about dueling and politics.

For science fiction, we bring you “The Farmboy,” by Albert E. Cowdrey — even in outer space, survival can depend on some very practical and down-to-earth skills. Robert Reed gives us “Passelande,” a standalone sequel to his critically acclaimed novella “Dead Man’s Run” (Nov/Dec 2010).

And, because F&SF includes more than just fantasy and science fiction, Kurt Fawver offers us a library-themed horror story in “Special Collections.”

Three more writers make their F&SF debut in this issue. Lilliam Rivera appears with a story about a character caught between worlds in “Between Going and Staying.” Minsoo Kang brings us a philosophical science fiction mystery with “Lord Elgin at the Acropolis.” And James Beamon takes us to the crossroads to meet “The Rhythm Man.”

As a special treat for the holidays, Sandra McDonald has written a story that wishes “Merry Christmas From All of Us to All of You.” Plus we have our regular columns and features.

OH YES, THE COLUMNS AND FEATURES

Charles de Lint reviews new books by Stephen King, A. Lee Martinez, and others, including a new compilation of Gahan Wilson’s work from F&SF. Chris Moriarty takes a deep dive into books by Kim Stanley Robinson, Neil Stephenson, and Andy Weir. In our film column David J. Skal looks at “High-Rise,” based on the J. G. Ballard novel. We announce the winners in F&SF Competition #92. And for our Curiosities column, in this election season, Graham Andrews considers a political novel, The Morlocks (1924), by James C. Welsh, M.P. Plus we’re giving you a holiday’s stocking worth of cartoons by Arthur Masear, Bill Long, Nick Downes, and S. Harris.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

After you read the issue, or even part of it, we hope you’ll share your thoughts 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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