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F&SF Forum » The Process of Writing

Jan.-Feb. 2016 issue

(47 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by Gordon Van Gelder
  • Latest reply from JohnWThiel

  1. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    THE MAGAZINE OF
    FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
    January/February • 67th Year of Publication

    NOVELETS

    NUMBER NINE MOON -26- Alex Irvine
    THE WHITE PIANO -82- David Gerrold
    TELLTALE -190 Matthew Hughes

    SHORT STORIES

    VORTEX -7- Gregory Benford
    ROCKETS RED -47- Mary Robinette Kowal
    SMOOTH STONES AND EMPTY BONES -68- Bennett North
    CASPAR D. LUCKINBILL, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? -113- Nick Wolven
    ROBOT FROM THE FUTURE -133- Terry Bisson
    SQUIDTOWN -147- Leo Vladimirsky
    TOUCH ME ALL OVER -161- Betsy James
    THE VISIONARIES -216- Albert E. Cowdrey
    BRAID OF DAYS AND WAKE OF NIGHTS -236- E. Lily Yu

    DEPARTMENTS

    BOOKS TO LOOK FOR -54- Charles de Lint
    BOOKS -63- James Sallis
    FILMS: THE WORLD, THE FLESH, AND THE APOCALYPSE -176- David J. Skal
    SCIENCE: WELCOME TO PLEISTOCENE PARK -181- Pat Murphy and Paul Doherty
    COMING ATTRACTIONS -256-
    CURIOSITIES -258- Graham Andrews

    Cartoons: Mark Heath (112), J.P. Rini (180), Arthur Masear (235).

    COVER: “MARTIAN VORTEX” BY BOB EGGLETON

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Looks like an imaginative and visionary issue.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. Dr. Caligari
    Member

    Matt Hughes? Gregory Benford?

    Looks promising.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. rowsdower
    Member

    Cowdrey.

    Boo.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. MattHughes
    Member

  6. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

  7. Chris DeVito
    Member

    Nice cover. Who's the artist?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. Chris DeVito
    Member

    Oops, nevermind! I see. Bob Eggleton.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. GusG
    Member

    Arrived Monday 12.14 in Oregon. Ready to dive in.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. Dr. Caligari
    Member

    Arrived on my Kindle for Christmas.

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

    Subscriber copy received today, Monday Dec. 28, in central AZ.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. Rebecca French
    Member

    We received one of our checking copies of the Jan/Feb 16 issue this Thursday, Dec. 31st in central New Jersey. Happy New Year all!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. MattHughes
    Member

    Here's Sam Tomaino's review at SF Revu: http://www.sfrevu.com/php/Review-id.php?id=16612

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. Dr. Caligari
    Member

    I just finished "Smooth Stones and Empty Bones," and all I can say is WOW! And this is her first published story? Amazing.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. Enjoyed the holy heck out of David Gerrold's emotional novelette "The White Piano." It hit on all cylinders for me.

    "Smooth Stones and Empty Bones" was a nifty little F/H story too. Kickass ending. :-)

    Only 1/2-way through the issue, so these are the two impressing me the most so far (especially the Gerrold).

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. ThatJoshJerez
    Member

    I am always excited when Terry Bisson is featured! I love his stories, they are always good fun!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Just got mine--you'll pardon me if I allow a lapse before commenting on the stories. I don't like reading things just out of the mailman's hand. But that's a topnotch cover.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. Dr. Caligari
    Member

    A very good, solid issue, with a nice blend of hard SF, fantasy and horror, and stories both light and dark. The standouts for me were "Smooth Stones...", "Telltale" (Raffalon stories are always welcome, and this was one of the better ones), "Vortex" and "Braid of Days..." (very painful to read at first-- I've lost too many relatives to cancer-- but ultimately touching).

    I groaned when I saw that "The Visionaries" was a Morrie and Jimmy story. I liked Cowdrey's last few stories in F&SF, despite not having been a fan in the past, but I always found his Jimmy and Morrie stories painfully unfunny. But this time he eschewed the bad ethnic dialects of prior J&M tales, and the story was actually readable.

    "Caspar D. Luckinbill..." was a not-bad story in its own right, but was spoiled for me by being so similar to September's "We're So Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss." But, as I said above, a very good issue overall.

    Kudos once again to C.C., Gordon & co.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. MattHughes
    Member

    Thank you, Dr. C. I appreciate the encouragement. I'd always wanted to write a straight-out fairy tale.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. "Telltale" was a good one, Matt. Good fun and a few minutes reading it well spent.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. JohnWThiel
    Member

    The Heisenberg quote at the opening of "Vortex" is what's sometimes called the Observer Effect. I notice it's involved in his Uncertainty Principle.

    Methane certainly is a popular gas on other planets.

    A really down-to-earth science in "Vortex"--and an ironic wit.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Wolven's got a series going, as the editor notes, so the story is apt to be similar to the earlier one. I suppose he's developing his theme.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. MattHughes
    Member

    Thanks, Dave.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. eduskunta
    Member

    Received my copy in Oklahoma City, OK, yesterday, Jan 14, 2016.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. JohnWThiel
    Member

    "Number Nine Moon", second of the Mars stories. Seeing it calls the characters "pragmatic" in the introduction, the first time I heard this word was in college times when some people took me with them to see a student whose chief interest in things was the military, and they were asking him what he thought of the Rotational Officers' Training Course which was part of the curriculum. One fellow said after we left that he was a pragmatic reasoner, and defined it as meaning not attending to ideas unless they seemed to lead to the proper conclusions. He was supposed to become one of our informal acquaintances and they were not sure they were buying it but decided he'd probably be around a lot anyway. One fellow said he thought the term was originally a Russian word and that it was a doctrinal form of thought going well with a regimen. I've heard the word a lot lately among people at the forums, but not much elsewhere because the guy forbade its usage. "He probably wants it to be top secret," said one fellow.

    But that's not about the story much. I think he killed the one pragmatist of the trio at the beginning of the story as a libation so that the other two could survive. There was some question about how dead he was, along with questioning about what death was. He writes in the Dwight V. Swain tradition.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. Marian
    Member

    Actually pragmatic simply means being practical and down to earth instead of idealistic. It certainly is not Russian. It's Latin and originally from Greek http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pragmatic

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. JohnWThiel
    Member

    That may be its connotative or usage meaning, but according to the Encyclopedia Britannica's accompanying Funk & Wagnall's dictionary I have it right--I was quoting its definition. I'll check your Mirriam Webster's to see if the two dictionaries differ. I don't know if the fellow that told me he thought the word was Russian was gassing everybody with his thoughts, but I certainly didn't see anything authoritative about his comments.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. JohnWThiel
    Member

    I see from your link that the term is highly arguable in the course of defining it or using it. That's what it sounded like to me.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Third story of the three Martian stories, ROCKETS RED, was a bit cryptic. The title leaves a word out, GLARE, suggesting a deteriorating of the original sentiment. The fellow has gone all the way to Mars and runs a fireworks corporation (can't help thinking of Ten Thousand Dollars a Plate in Galaxy)(or the Bradbury fellow with the hot dog stand). Brings it close to home, makes it intimate and tender that the author's mother had the same disease as the mother in the story. (I see from a comment above that there's another story where a character has cancer.) All in all the story shows a fading life in an untranscended mortality looking out upon the infinite cosmos and trying to duplicate its wonder with fireworks, getting such happiness as can be had from its successes. Bradbury (mentioned in the story) seemed preoccupied with mortality too.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Steve Fahnestalk at AMAZING STORIES reviews the Jan./Feb. issue: http://amazingstoriesmag.com/2016/01/magazine-review-fsf-for-janfeb-2016/

    Posted 2 years ago #

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