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F&SF Forum » The Process of Writing

Nov.-Dec. 2015 issue

(50 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by Gordon Van Gelder
  • Latest reply from C.C. Finlay

  1. Dr. Caligari
    Member

    "Friday morning 12/4 in Suffolk, UK."

    If it's the UK, wouldn't it be 4/12? :-)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    Ha!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Lisa Mason's novelet reminds me of the short-shorts about time by Richard Lupoff that have been published in F&SF from long time to long time. This story seems to cap them all. It also got me wanting to have a look at EM Forster's "The Machine Stops" which I have never read. This story had exactly that in it, a machine stopping. Somewhat happy ending, too--odd considering the theme. (I note an ad for one of Lupoff's anthologies in the Market Place.)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Science fiction magazines are getting real homey these days, with authors dedicating stories to each other and stories about their dogs and cats in the intros. Though I thought it was an oddity in the intro to see the author quoted as telling a lady author that the winter sucked. Anyway, the story was a pretty homey one to me, too, because it has the heating system giving out, and as I read it, I'm into the second day of my heating system being out of commission. I read of the character's wrapping blankets around himself and it was just what I did last night. That's not the only similarity in the story to my home life. It's about poltergeists, and my house is the clankiest, thumpingest there's ever been. Now the thumps and other noises can be accounted for, because my brother's daughter and her two children have moved into the house, and the daughters' boyfriends have been staying with them overnight, but there was the same kind of noise when I was the only one in the house. Ford certainly writes an ominous, subtly-told tale. My heating system being off, I got three heaters and plugged them in, in various parts of the house, and they caused a fuse to blow. It got repaired but then later on there was another blowout of the fuses. So, although I don't have poltergeists bothering me, I feel remarkably like the man in the story. Very well written, though, but just somewhat depressing.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. RSparkuhl
    Member

    Nov.-Dec. issue arrived Dec.8th in London, Ontario.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. Rebecca French
    Member

    @RSparkuhl Thanks so much for letting us know when you received your issue, we appreciate it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. Dr. Caligari
    Member

    John:
    You should definitely read "The Machine Stops." Decades before there were any computers, Forster depicts a world run by a single giant machine-- and what happens when that machine breaks down. Way, way ahead of its time, and still a good read.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. alnico357
    Member

    Good to see Bhen back.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. Rebecca French
    Member

    A subscriber in Malaysia reported receiving their Nov/Dec 15 issue around December 12th.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. JohnWThiel
    Member

    I didn't care for "Gypsy" myself. I read Edgar Pangborn's story about this form of travel, and didn't think I wanted to read any more like it. I'd rather man discovered and developed spirit powers than to travel like this. It'd be just as easy as developing the technology.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Two more stories, "DreamPet" and "Cleanout", both stories of disenchantment. Maybe I'm finding out where Naomi Kritzer is at, the characters simply have nowhere to go and can't find out who they are, which seems to underlie the Seastead stories. Earth is made out as just plain nowhere to be, and this hints that maybe they aren't even ON Earth. I suggest that McAllister thinks of genetics as an illusion--his characters are all disappearing into a soulless illusion and are suicidal or near to it. So, disillusionment in two short stories.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. JohnWThiel
    Member

    As I read "The Thirteen Mercies" I noticed a tremor in the air, the inner rooms of the house turned a strange color, and faraway ululations were audible. Maria Headley is to be commended on her evocative writing, it's almost as if one could feel the presence of the Elder Beings. She should add a little black magic to the doings, but I suppose it would conflict with the magics already present in it. Only one complaint with the story, the narrator doesn't seem to be talking to anyone conceivable, and is dead at the end of the story, presumably with no legacy of lore to pass on. Though the last line suggests there will be something left of them, but if there was, they'd have shucked all this, wouldn't they?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. Dr. Caligari
    Member

    A very fine issue overall. I already commented above on "Gypsy." Other standouts for me were "Tomorrow Is a Lovely Day," a nice twist on the usual time-loop story; "Cleanout," an emotionally-richer side of Naomi Kritzer than we've seen before; and "The Thirteen Mercies," a harrowing piece of slipstream/ magical realism/ whatever you want to call it.

    On the negative side, I found "The Fabulous Follicle" to be just silly, and "It's All Relative..." to be even sillier, just one long collection of bad puns. But all in all, an excellent issue. Kudos to C.C., Gordon and Company.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    My deep and sincere appreciation to all of you who share your reactions to the stories here and elsewhere (Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads). It's extremely helpful to know what does and doesn't work for you. Thank you.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Just finished the follicle story myself, and it certainly was a silly one. The author sounded like a reveler in the corn crib from time to time in terms of its humor. A broad blowout without careful workmanship.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    F&SF COMPETITION #91, from the Nov/Dec issue, is open until this Friday, January 15. First prize will receive a signed, limited edition copy of Reality by Other Means: The Best Short Fiction of James Morrow (compliments of Wesleyan University Press). Second prize will receive advance reading copies of three forthcoming novels. Any Honorable Mentions will receive one-year subscriptions to F&SF. Results of Competition 91 will appear in the July/August 2016 issue.

    IT'S ALL RELATIVE

    Even though geek culture has spread far and wide, we still encounter people who don't know what an FTL drive is. Or think a "muggle" is something that happens down a dark alley. And I don't know about you, but these people are members of my own family. So for Competition #91, we want you to describe the plot of a famous science fiction/fantasy story—as retold by a clueless but well-meaning relative.

    EXAMPLE
    Dune by Frank Herbert
    It's about a guy who is destined to sell cardamom and ginger to the Bedouins.

    In fifty words or less, give us up to six entries (either in one email/letter or six separate ones, it makes no difference). The funnier and more off-the-wall, the better. Bonus: If you ask an actual relative, your entry may write itself.

    Send entries to Competition Editor, F&SF, 240 West 73rd St. #1201, New York, NY 10023-2794, or email entries to carol [a-t] cybrid [d-o-t] net. Be sure to include your contact information. Entries must be received by January 15, 2016. Judges are the editors of F&SF, and their decision is final. All entries become the property of F&SF.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    Over on twitter (@fandsf) a subscriber in Cambridge UK reports finally receiving his Nov/Dec issue.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. dolphintornsea
    Member

    My Nov/Dec issue finally arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, on 1/9.

    The effects of a devastating S. A. post office strike in 2014 are clearly still with us.

    No matter. I'm prepared to wait for treats such as Carter Scholz's "Gypsy", which I settled down to read almost immediately.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. Rebecca French
    Member

    @dolphintornsea Thanks very much for taking the time to let us know you received your Nov/Dec 15 issue, glad to hear it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. C.C. Finlay
    Charles Coleman Finlay

    Patrick Mahon reviews the Nov/Dec issue for SFcrowsnest: http://sfcrowsnest.org.uk/the-magazine-of-fantasy-science-fiction-novdec-2015-volume-128-722-magazine-review/

    He writes: "The closing issue of ‘MoF&SF’ in 2015 provides a strong, confident end to the magazine’s year. The standout story is undoubtedly the lead novella, Carter Scholz’s ‘Gypsy’, but it’s complemented by several highly enjoyable shorter stories."

    Posted 2 years ago #

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