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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

Editor’s Note for Sept/Oct 2016

The September/October 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. Or just subscribe now and never miss another issue.

Not sure if you want to subscribe? For a very limited time, Amazon is offering a $5/£5 annual Kindle subscription to residents of the US and UK. That’s just $5/£5 for six issues, more than 450,000 words of fiction, plus columns, cartoons, and more. Check it out: Amazon US | AmazonUK.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, Sept/Oct 2016, cover by David A. HardyThis is the 727th issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction and the 67th anniversary issue of the magazine, which debuted in October 1949. And we think it’s special. David A. Hardy created this cover for the David Gerrold Special Issue. To see more of his work, visit his website at http://www.astroart.org/.

YES, THAT’S RIGHT,
A DAVID GERROLD SPECIAL ISSUE

David Gerrold hasn’t just had one remarkable career in science fiction, he’s had four or five. His first professional sale was “The Trouble with Tribbles” to Star Trek: The Original Series, which also won him his very first Hugo nomination. He went on to write other episodes for that series, plus the Animated Series, as well as novel tie-ins (including Encounter at Farpoint) and three non-fiction books about the show. His other television work included writing for Tales from the Darkside, The Twilight Zone, Babylon 5, Sliders, and Land of the Lost, where he created the Sleestaks.

At the same time, he was building a career as a classic science fiction writer of ideas, whose early novels included The Man Who Folded Himself and When HARLIE Was One (1972), another Hugo and Nebula finalist, and one of the first works anywhere to describe the idea of a computer virus.

He followed that up with a career writing science fiction adventure series, including both The War Against The Chtorr and Star Wolf books among others.

And throughout the decades, Gerrold was writing short fiction, which, in the early 1990s, took a personal turn that elevated his work to a whole new level. When “The Martian Child,” a story about a single gay father raising a young boy who believes he’s an alien, was published in F&SF in 1994, it won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and HOMer Awards, and later was made into a feature motion picture. It was the first of many much more personal stories that have redefined his career again over the past twenty years.

Gerrold has also long been both a behind-the-scenes and vocal advocate for more LGBTQ representation in science fiction, particularly in the Star Trek universe, a goal that was finally realized this summer with the release of Star Trek Beyond.

Few writers with this kind of range are this prolific. Few writers as prolific as David Gerrold have his kind of range. That’s why we are proud to present this David Gerrold Special Issue, our first special author issue in almost a decade. It includes two very different new novellas — “The Further Adventures of Mr. Costello” and “The Dunsmuir Horror” — plus an appreciation essay by former F&SF editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch and a brief autobiography by Gerrold titled “My Life in Science Fiction.”

MORE GREAT FICTION

But this is a double-sized issue so it includes a double-sized amount of great stories, starting with “Talking to Dead People,” a moving new story about murder, loss, and artificial intelligence by Nebula and Sturgeon award-winning author Sarah Pinsker. Lisa Mason explores the future of interactive television in “Anything for You.” And we bring you an alternate history novelet by Geoff Ryman; “Those Shadows Laugh” revisits the premise of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s novel Herland, and considers how it might look in the modern world.

On the fantasy side, we offer “The Green-Eyed Boy” by Peter S. Beagle, a new tale about a very familiar wizard set in the world of The Last Unicorn. We also offer “The Sweet Warm Earth” by Steven Popkes, a more contemporary fantasy set in the world of horse racing and gangsters.

Three other writers make their F&SF debut in this issue. Desirina Boskovich gives us a horror-tinged science fiction story, “The Voice in the Cornfield, the Word Made Flesh.” Ian Creasey invokes the spirits of Boswell and Johnson in a historical ghost story, “A Melancholy Apparition.” And Leah Cypess takes a hard look at how science might help solve — or not — the problems of marriage in “Cupid’s Compass.”

We also have a new poem, “The Dragon” by Aimee Ogden, who is making her first appearance in F&SF, plus all the regular columns and features.

OH YES, THE COLUMNS AND FEATURES

Charles de Lint reviews new books by Seanan McGuire, Michael L. Peters, and others. Michelle West reviews books by Lawrence M. Schoen, Patricia A. Mckillop, and Joe Hill. In the film column, Kathi Maio highly recommends the new science fiction film “The Lobster.” And for our Curiosities column, Robert Eldridge considers The Adventures of Hatim Tai a Persian novel first translated into English in 1830. Plus cartoons by Arthur Masear, Danny Shanahan, 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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