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Editor’s Note for May/June 2016

The May/June issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is now on sale! 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!

This is the 725th issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2016, cover by Max BertoliniMax Bertolini’s cover illustrates “The Stone War” by Ted Kosmatka. Bertolini is a multi-talented artist who did the chocolate bunny cover for our September 2005 issue that featured Kelly Link’s “Magic For Beginners.” His first cover for us illustrated our June 2004 issue, twelve years ago, and this issue marks his 12th cover for the magazine. Bertolini lives in Italy, but his work has appeared in comics and on covers of books and magazines around the world. You can find out more and see examples of his work at maxbertolini.com.

“THE STONE WAR” BY TED KOSMATKA

For the past few years, Ted Kosmatka has been busy writing video games and working on novels. His quantum physics driven thriller, The Flicker Men, was published last year to wide acclaim. With this new novelet for F&SF, Kosmatka shows his versatility, using the fantasy setting to explore some big thematic issues. It’s unlike anything we’ve read in quite some time.

MORE GREAT FICTION

This issue contains several other fantasy stories. Canadian author Charlotte Ashley debuted in F&SF last year with “La Héron,” a Dumas-inspired tale about dueling and broken vows that is currently a finalist for the Prix Aurora award. Ashley returns this month with “More Heat Than Light,” a new adventure set in a parallel world where the French Revolution comes to Quebec and revolutionaries take up arms against the English in the monster-ridden wilderness. In “Steamboat Gothic,” Albert E. Cowdrey returns to the fictional suburbs of St. Genevieve Parish, Louisana, previously visited with “The Private Eye” in our August 2009 issue. And “Ash” by Susan Palwick is a look at tiny houses, and the things we make room for in our lives and why.

Our science fiction this month includes “Last of the Sharkspeakers,” a novelet by Brian Trent that we can’t say too much about without spoiling some of the surprises. “The Nostalgia Calculator” by Rich Larson is wry science fiction satire by one of the field’s most energetic new young talents. “The Great Silence” was written by Ted Chiang for a video installation by artists Allora & Calzadilla at Philadelphia’s Fabric Workshop and Museum. We’re reprinting the text here for our readers who haven’t had the chance to read it. “Caribou: Documentary Fragments” by Joseph Tomaras is a look at biological behavioral controls – how they might work and how they might go wrong.

On the horror side, we offer “The Secret Mirror of Moriyama House” by Yukimi Ogawa, a multi-lingual writer living in Toyko who has published a small handful of outstanding stories over the past few years. This is her first appearance in F&SF.

This month’s novella, “Coyote Song” by Pat MacEwen, brings you a story at the intersection of horror, fantasy, science, and police procedurals. Regular readers of the magazine know Pat MacEwen for her fiction, most recently “The Lightness of the Movement” (March/April, 2014), which was a Tiptree Award finalist, but her work outside these pages is just as interesting. It includes a decade as a Crime Scene Investigator, war crimes investigations for the International Criminal Tribunal, and her current position as a consultant on archaeological matters involving human remains. Her new novella combines forensics with three traditions of magic – Cambodian, Native American, and Voudoun. We think it will surprise you.

READ “THE LONG FALL UP” FOR FREE

Every issue features one story that we also offer for download online, via our free electronic digest for Kindle. (The UK version is available here.) This month’s free story — which you can also find in the print edition — is “The Long Fall Up” by William Ledbetter.

“The Long Fall Up” is a classic science fiction story that explores how humanity will bring forth new generations in microgravity? And what happens when the people who control access to gravity control reproductive rights? William Ledbetter has worked for almost thirty years in the aerospace industry, where he has designed aircraft components, and helped design rockets and parts of the International Space Station. Now he turns that expertise to fiction, and brings us a story about the ways people adapt technology to choose their own destinies.

Even if you don’t subscribe to the magazine – and why don’t you? – you can click on this link and read Ledbetter’s story and all the columns in the issue for free.

OH YES, THE COLUMNS

Charles de Lint reviews the Bookburners serials by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, Nebula Awards Showcase 2015, edited by Greg Bear, the Never Never trilogy by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher, a pair of genre-themed art books by Design Studio Press, and Here’s To My Sweet Satan by George Case. Elizabeth Hand reviews Interior Darkness: Selected Stories by Peter Straub, Good Girls by Glen Hirshberg, and The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle. David J. Skal reviews the first season of Amazon’s television series “The Man In The High Castle” based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. We share the winners from our F&SF Competition #91. And for our Curiosities column, Paul Di Filippo reads Twilight Stories by Rhonda Broughton, an 1872 collection of fantastic stories by one of the forgotten early masters of the genre.

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

Editor’s Note for Mar/Apr 2016

The March/April issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is now on sale! You can order a single copy of the issue from our website or buy an electronic edition from Amazon or AmazonUK.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2016, cover by Jason Van HollanderThis month’s cover art is by Jason Van Hollander, winner of the International Horror Guild Award for Art and two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award for best artist. In 2004, he contributed a Curiosities column about Josephine Pinckney to our pages, but this is his first cover for us. You can see more examples of his work at his website, jasonvanhollander.com, where we encourage you in particular to check out his Hell Stamps collection. That’s because this month’s cover illustrates Marc Laidlaw’s story “The Ghost Penny Post.”

THE GHOST PENNY POST

Marc Laidlaw is probably best known to readers of Fantasy & Science Fiction for his fantasy adventure tales of Gorlen Vizenfirth the bard and Spar the gargoyle, and the peculiar curse that binds them. The Gorlen and Spar stories have been appearing intermittently in our pages for twenty years, most recently with “Rooksnight,” our cover story for May/June 2014.

But few people know that Marc Laidlaw’s first appearance in F&SF came in the form of a Letter to the Editor back in our January 1977 issue, published when he was just 16 years old and neither email nor internet forums had yet displaced the time-tested system of setting one’s thoughts down on paper and transferring them across vast distances by the simple act of affixing a stamp and entrusting them to the care of the local postal service. That seems especially appropriate for this month’s cover story, a different kind of fantasy adventure that harkens back to those earlier, but most certainly not simpler, days.

MORE GREAT FICTION

We have other fantasy and horror-tinged stories in this issue. This month’s novella is “The Liar” by John Murphy, his first appearance in F&SF. If you’ve ever wondered what the result would be like if Garrison Keillor wrote a Stephen King story then look no further. Justin Barbeau introduced us to Nanabojou, the old trickster, in our November/December 2014 issue with “Nanabojou at the World’s Fair.” He returns this month to tackle “Nanabojou and the Race Question.” It’s been a few years since James Cambias last appeared in the magazine, but he comes back in monster-sized fashion with a monster movie inspired story, “Golden Gate Blues.”

But our magazine also promises science fiction, and we deliver that as well. Cat Rambo’s “Red in Tooth and Cog” is a story about a different kind of urban wildlife. Back in 1986, Nancy Kress won the Nebula Award for “Out of All Them Bright Stars,” which appeared in our pages. We’re glad to have her back with “Belief,” a thoughtful and thought-provoking story about science and faith. Sheila Finch’s Guild of Xenolinguist stories have been appearing in F&SF for more than twenty-five years. Juliette Wade has been exploring similar issues with stories set in her Allied Systems universe. This month the two of them collaborate to bring us a new Lingster story, “The Language of the Silent.” Chris DeVito brings a short piece of speculative baseball fiction with “Diamond.” And N.J. Schrock is a Ph.D. chemist who makes her fiction debut with “The Silver Strands of Alpha Crucis-d.”

READ “A MOTHER’S ARMS” FOR FREE

Every issue features one story that we also offer for free download online, via our free electronic digest for Kindle. (The UK version is available here.) This month’s free story — which you can also find in the print edition — is “A Mother’s Arms” by Sarina Dorie. Science fiction has a rich tradition of stories told from alien points-of-view. One of the most delightful and unexpected adventures we’ve read recently in this vein was Sarina Dorie’s “The Day of the Nuptial Flight” in our July/August 2014 issue. With this new story, Dorie returns to that unnamed planet and offers us another perspective on the recent human arrivals.

Even if you don’t subscribe to the magazine, you can click on this link and read Dorie’s story and all the columns in the issue for free.

OH YES, THE COLUMNS

In Books to Look For, Charles de Lint reviews Carry On and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Malediction and Boundary Lines by Melissa F. Olsen, Dead Heat and Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois. For Musing On Books, Michelle West reviews An Ancient Peace by Tanya Huff, An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet, Slade House by David Mitchell, The Vagrant by Peter Newman, and Arkwright by Allen Steele. Kathi Maio takes a close look at movies about Mars and reviews The Martian, Paul Di Filippo brings us “The Prince and the Pulpster” in his latest Plumage from Pegasus, and Douglas Anderson’s Curiosities column considers Monk’s Magic, the 1931 novel by Alexander de Comeau.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

After you read the issue, we hope you’ll share your thoughts on one of these sites:

In the meantime… enjoy!

C.C. Finlay
Editor
Fantasy & Science Fiction

Editor’s Note for Jan/Feb 2016

The January/February issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is now on sale! You can order a single copy of the issue from our website or buy an electronic edition from Amazon or AmazonUK.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, Jan/Feb 2016, cover by Bob Eggleton
Usually we start with a story we love and commission a cover for it, but when Bob Eggleton sent us the Martian landscape that adorns this issue, we snatched up the illustration and went looking for stories to match. Eggleton did his first cover for F&SF in 1991 and won four Chesley Awards for his F&SF covers (May 1996, May 1998, August 1999, July 2003). It’s been a few years since we featured his work on the magazine and we’re glad to have him back.

THREE TALES OF MARS

We’re also excited to share the three stories that we’ve lined up for this issue to go with the cover. We start with discoveries: in addition to his many literary achievements, Gregory Benford is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of California, Irvine, has been an advisor to NASA, and has served on the board of the Mars Society, so he’s uniquely suited to write about Martian exploration. His novel The Martian Race (1999) and its sequel The Sunborn (2005), were about the first team of scientists-explorers to visit the fourth planet. With “Vortex” in this issue, Benford continues those Martian explorations. From beginning to ends: in our second Martian tale, “Number Nine Moon” by Alex Irvine, we have an adventure story about mankind’s final day on Mars. And how things might have been: most stories set on our neighboring planet take place in the future, but Mary Robinette Kowal won the 2014 Hugo Award for “The Lady Astronaut of Mars,” which is set in an alternate history where a Martian base was established in the 1950s using the technology available in that era. “Rockets Red” by Kowal is set in that same Bradburyian universe.

MORE GREAT FICTION

But the issue isn’t all about outer space and other planets. “Smooth Stones and Empty Bones” in the debut story by Bennett North, a tale that skirts the borders of fantasy and horror to explore love and loss. That’s followed by “The White Piano” a ghost story by David Gerrold, who last appeared in our September/October issue with his vampire story, “Monsieur.”

We follow that with a group of science fiction stories that take place here on Earth, starting with “Caspar D. Luckinbill, What Are You Going to Do?” by Nick Wolven. Wolven’s previous story for F&SFF&SF. “Robot From The Future,” this issue’s contribution, offers exactly what the title promises… and more. Leo Vladimirksy debuted in F&SF with the grim near future story “Collar” (March/April, 2014). He returns to that same desperate possible future in this issue with “Squidtown.”

The issue also includes a generous helping of fantasy, set on other worlds and our own. “Touch Me All Over” by Betsy James is her second story for F&SF, following “Paradise and Trout” (July/August, 2015). She tells us that it began when she imagined a knife so sharp it would cut through anything humans could create. In recent years, one of the most popular series with our readers has been Matthew Hughes’s tales from the Archonate universe. Of all the colorful Archonate personalities to traverse these pages – Guth Bandar, aspiring academic; Henghis Hapthorn, freelance discriminator; Luff Imbry, master criminal – perhaps none have been as welcome as Raffalon the Thief, who returns in this issue with “Telltale.” Albert E. Cowdrey’s stories can often be difficult to classify, which is just one of the reasons we love them. “The Visionaries” in this issue is one of those stories which straddles genre boundaries, but is very specific in its final effect.

The issue ends with “Braid of Days and Wake of Nights” by E. Lily Yu, who dedicates it in part to Jay Lake. Lake was one of the most prolific and promising young writers of the decade that stretched from 2004, when he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction, to 2014, when cancer cut his life prematurely short. Like Lake, Yu is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award, taking home the trophy in 2012. This is her first story for F&SF.

That’s 12 stories and over 80,000 words of fiction!

READ “VORTEX” FOR FREE

Every issue features one story that we also offer for free download online, via our free electronic digest for Kindle. (The UK version is available here.) This month’s free story — which you can also find in the print edition — is “Vortex” by Gregory Benford. Even if you don’t subscribe to the magazine, you can click on this link and read Benford’s story and all the columns in the issue for free.

OH YES, THE COLUMNS

Charles de Lint reviews Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers by Stephen King, The Land Beyond All Dreams and Dragon’s Luck by Bryan Fields, the Spirit Caller series by Krista D. Ball, and Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winnick. James Sallis reviews two new story collections, The End of the End of Everything by Dale Bailey and Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due. David J. Skal reviews the films “Air” and “Z for Zachariah.” In our science column, Pat Murphy and Paul Doherty discuss terraforming Earth to address the effects of runaway carbon and global climate change. And in our Curiosities column, Graham Andrews takes a look at The Truth About Wilson, a 1962 novel about sports, war, and the fantastic by W. S. K. Webb.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

After you read the issue, or even part of it, we hope you’ll share your thoughts on one of these sites:

In the meantime… enjoy!

C.C. Finlay
Editor
Fantasy & Science Fiction

News: F&SF to accept electronic submissions

Hey, writers…

The July/August issue of F&SF turned out well enough that publisher Gordon Van Gelder has asked me to guest edit the fiction again.

     Next guest issue: March/April 2015

     Reading period: August 1-15, 2014

     Online submissions form: http://submissions.ccfinlay.com/fsf/

That’s the nitty-gritty. Here are the details…

All stories for this issue must be submitted through the Moksha online submission system, located at http://submissions.ccfinlay.com/fsf/. Please do not email your submissions. If you want to submit hard copies of your submission, please follow the regular submission guidelines and they’ll be considered for other issues.

The submissions form will ask for your name, email address, cover letter, story title, and story. Cover letters aren’t required, and I usually don’t read them until after I read the story. But I like them! So if you do include one, mention your publishing history (if any) and any other relevant information like related expertise. For example, if you write a hard science fiction story about space travel, and you’re an scientist/astronaut who has actually been on the International Space Station, that would be good to know.

After you submit your story, you’ll get a tracking number and an automated email confirmation. The tracking number will allow you to check on the status of your submission through the website.

F&SF has no formula for fiction and there is no special theme for this issue. I am looking for stories that will appeal to science fiction and fantasy readers. You know what kind I’m talking about. The SF element may be slight, but it should be present. I prefer character-oriented stories. F&SF receives a lot of fantasy fiction, but never enough science fiction or humor.

For this submissions period, I will consider fiction up to 10,000 words in length. Stories should be attached as .doc or .rtf file. For a good article on standard manuscript preparation, see: www.sfwa.org/2008/11/manuscript-preparation/.

Payment is 7-12 cents per word on acceptance. F&SF buys first North American and foreign serial rights and an option on anthology rights. All other rights are retained by the author.

Although Gordon and I are different editors, F&SF is still the same magazine. So if either Gordon or I previously rejected a story, try sending me something new this time.

Let me know if you have any questions.

I’m looking forward to reading your stories!

Fantasy art sale

The Duirwaigh Gallery is moving, so they’re auctioning off fantasy art by the likes of Amy Brown, the Frouds, and Kinuko Craft at good prices. It looks like a good opportunity to pick up some art. Take a look at www.messagefromthemuse.com/duirwaigh.

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