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May-June 2016 issue

(32 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by Gordon Van Gelder
  • Latest reply from digdug

  1. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    THE MAGAZINE OF
    FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
    May/June • 67th Year of Publication

    NOVELLAS

    COYOTE SONG -88- Pat MacEwen

    NOVELETS

    MORE HEAT THAN LIGHT -7- Charlotte Ashley
    LAST OF THE SHARKSPEAKERS -28- Brian Trent
    STEAMBOAT GOTHIC -152- Albert E. Cowdrey
    THE LONG FALL UP -208- William Ledbetter
    THE STONE WAR -231- Ted Kosmatka

    SHORT STORIES

    THE NOSTALGIA CALCULATOR -63- Rich Larson
    THE GREAT SILENCE –134- Allora & Calzadilla and Ted Chiang
    CARIBOU: DOCUMENTARY FRAGMENTS -139- Joseph Tomaras
    ASH -173- Susan Palwick
    THE SECRET MIRROR OF MORIYAMA HOUSE -190- Yukimi Ogawa

    DEPARTMENTS

    BOOKS TO LOOK FOR -78- Charles de Lint
    BOOKS -82- Elizabeth Hand
    FILMS: ALTERNATING CURRENTS -183- David J. Skal
    COMPETITION 91 -188-
    COMING ATTRACTIONS -256-
    CURIOSITIES -258- Paul Di Filippo

    Cartoons: Bill Long (138), Arthur Masear (172), Nick Downes (207).

    COVER BY MAX BERTOLINI FOR “THE STONE WAR”

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. Ron
    Member

    I'm looking forward to this issue.

    I conjecture that THE GREAT SILENCE by Allora & Calzadilla and Ted Chiang will be about the Fermi Paradox, and their solution to the problem.

    I know that some folks are no fans of Albert Cowdrey, but the title of his latest story, "Steamboat Gothic" sounds like it might hit my reading interests.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. Chris DeVito
    Member

    The Chiang(+) story has been available online for almost a year.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. Greg
    Member

    A short August 2015 interview with Yukimi Ogawa. (Author of THE SECRET MIRROR OF MORIYAMA HOUSE.) It's the second down from the top.

    Looking forward to the issue. Any friend of the yōkai is a friend of mine, although I have no clue what the story will be about.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

  6. rowsdower
    Member

    Wow, I got my issue already. I guess I must have been busy lately. It's nice to get a surprise like that.
    What's not a good surprise? You guessed it. Cowdrey. Boo.

    For the record, I am 8 issues behind the current magazine. I've been reading so many back issues lately (I'm currently working on the 30th anniversary issue from 1979) that I've slipped badly in keeping current. I'll have to rectify that.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. eduskunta
    Member

    Something is working great for you. I got my May/June issue today April 22. Thank you. I am also a bit behind, but only three issues. I have no objection to Cowdrey. In fact I like his stories. Thanks for getting the issue early.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. eduskunta
    Member

    I forgot to say that my copy arrived in Oklahoma City Oklahoma. And it looks to be in good condition. Looking forward to reading it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. Dr. Caligari
    Member

    New issue arrived on my Kindle during the night. Thanks, Gordon & C.C.!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Got my issue today, only five days after the first posted receiver. Lafayette, Indiana is back on the postal map for F&SF.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. ThatJoshJerez
    Member

    I received my issue earlier this week! Fantastic cover! Goshen, Indiana!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. JohnWThiel
    Member

    As it is more blessed to give than to receive, I won't content myself with just receiving the copy, but will comment on it.

    I don't much care for the man on the cover, but I'll get around to reading "The Stone War" and perhaps that will take care of it.

    I read "The Great Silence" and did not mutter any of it aloud, so the title is left respected. The Fermi Paradox is best answered by saying that man once considered the sun to travel around the Earth, and the same sort of reasoning is involved in considering everything else void of life. The reasoning involves man on Earth being the center of all things. It is appropriate to be baffled when we find no life elsewhere, not verified. The best hypothesis in support of there being no life anywhere else was offered in a recent story--perhaps we are at the end of creation, not the beginning, and the end has not as yet reached man. With that in mind, we can still consider ourselves special.

    "Caribou: Documentary Fragments" is so classified that I'm hesitant to violate its secrecy. Also I think it should be prefaced with the warning sometimes used, that the contents are not for younger readers. With my life experience, I've heard most of the things that were in it, but still, I don't like hearing that kind of thing, and the author suggests it is a good description of human activity.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. JohnWThiel
    Member

    BTW, it reminded me of G.C. Edmondson's story in the November 1959 F&SF, "From Caribou to Carry Nation". Way back, shows how the memory works when you don't have an issue any more, I've been remembering the title as being longer, but now it seems that the longer sentence with the title in it was babbled by one of the characters and contained a rhyme no more forgettable than Duffy Wyg&'s song "Tensor Said the Tensor" in Bester's DEMOLISHED MAN, which is why I keep remembering the title but remember the rime in it along with the title. Edmondson was thought by some to be a pen name for Edmond Hamilton, but someone wrote to the editor and was told that it was not and the reply was printed, I believe in Cry of the Nameless, the Seattle fanzine from the Nameless Ones of Seattle. I can almost remember the intro to the story, but the memory is in the form of an impression, but it sounded like it tended to be bothered by the title too.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Sam Tomaino reviews the issue for SFREVU:

    http://www.sfrevu.com/php/Review-id.php?id=16821

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Added "The Nostalgia Collector" to my reading. In my opinion, that office should have as its motto, "If you can't think of something to say, don't say anything at all." The characters are the ultimate in computer dubes. I think the story describes itself more than anything else. I think the author is complaining about communications failure. Nostalgia, btw, is yearning for the past, not for material acquisitions of past times.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. JohnWThiel
    Member

    I thank the author of "Ash" for reintroducing me to the concept of the uncanny in a tale that is the same; there's been a lot of uncanny things around here, which I've mentioned in the "Odd Items" topic, and I might do better having a word for them. Recalling editorial matter in "Tales of the Uncanny", the word refers to a lack of canniness, to things with no rational explanation and even no other explanation. A good reference story, actually, if one is talking to someone about it and that person will listen to any mention of that.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. Greg
    Member

    "Ah, yes," he says. "The cover. I fear more has gone artistically wrong here than right." Ever the diplomat, he peers at the magazine over the top of his bifocals for a moment, trying to find something positive to say. "Perhaps the strength of the work lies in the fact that it has gone wrong in so dramatic a fashion."

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. Greg
    Member

    Sorry. That was a past major in Fine Arts coming out. It's generally dormant, but it will awaken and surface if sufficiently provoked.

    Anyway, Yukimi Ogawa's THE SECRET MIRROR OF MORIYAMA HOUSE more than made up for any minor annoyance I felt over the issue's cover art. A Japanese perspective stirs through this nicely-written little ghost story like a gentle summer breeze. The supernatural, I think, is traditionally closer to the everyday world in Japanese culture than it is in the West. In Japan, a bit of overlap is entirely acceptable. It's entirely normal. Here the cultural norm is to compartmentalize, if not to deny outright. This can make for a different sort of telling, when it comes to fantasy stories. I very much like that difference.

    I'll be on the lookout for more stories by this writer.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. Dr. Caligari
    Member

    More than halfway through the issue, and it's a very fine one so far. "Coyote Song" (police procedural meets traditional magic[s]), "The Long Fall Up" and "The Stone War" are all excellent stories.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. JohnWThiel
    Member

    "The Secret Mirror..." left me without anything much to say; that sounds like a not very lucrative enterprise and seems like not a very effectual dealing with death. I was not able to follow the logic of the narrative very well and suppose it was some Chinese form of logic or a thing equivalent to logic.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. Dr. Caligari
    Member

    "Ash" is another fine story-- it appears to be a gentle piece of fantasy until it suddenly takes a sharp, unexpected turn into horror territory.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. JohnWThiel
    Member

    I've read "The Stone War". a puzzler. It might relate to Easter Island's heads or the Sphinx of Egypt, but I can think of little else like it, and it might do just as well to call the story unique. Having started my reading of Kosmatka's work with "Blood Dauber" some years back in Asimov's, I'd say the same talent and perspective is evident in both stories.I didn't learn anything about the cover by reading it, as I'm hard put to find anything like the cover in the story, though the cover does convey the mood of the work; perhaps it's an expressionistic piece of art. Anyway, the story got down to things pretty well.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. JohnWThiel
    Member

    I liked Coyote Song as well as I'd like hearing it.

    "The Long Fall Up" was showing how down it gets. A careful description of a suicide mission without redeeming qualities, until it gets to the end. And I think the character is doing a mite better than the author. Well written, though, in the old Space Patrol tradition.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. JohnWThiel
    Member

    These alternate timeline stories are too often saying nothing but that it's an alternate timeline. The author's purpose is thus being able to do one. But having done that, their stories really say nothing. It's because what happens in an alternate timeline wouldn't matter at all to us. So each such story is a tour de force stressing the authors' abilities. As for the sociological speculation, it's moot and not applicable to anything. This complaint does not quite apply to Charlotte Ashley's work, though, since her point seems to be how washed-out everything would be if regular details of a progressive history were changed. Her characters seem scarcely human and the motivations for the actions of all the people seem obscure and unfounded. The title, "More Heat Than Light", is never explained, and what everybody considers to be wrong with the narrator is never made clear. I thought I should also mention that "Calloo" is a reference to Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky": "Oh frabjous day, calloo, callay, he chortled in his joy."

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. RSparkuhl
    Member

    The May/June issue arrived yesterday in London Ontario.
    I rather liked the cover. It has the charm of a 1940's issue of Amazing Stories.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Ron was right, "The Great Silence" referenced the Fermi Paradox. How did the man manage it? But as for the solution for it, if that's a solution, I don't see it as being a practical one.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Greg admits to being clueless, confronted with the Secret Mirror. But I think he's acquired a lot of friends.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Cowdry has nothing to declare but his prolificness, and frequency of publication. Quite readable oftentimes, but he doesn't seem to develop in terms of his basic outlook, it seems to me is a possible criticism of him.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Land O' Goshen, ThatJosh.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. JohnWThiel
    Member

    And now I comes to the end of the issue, my read of it being completed, with the ubiquitous "Last of the Sharkspearers" (whatwhat? Spellcheck doesn't recognize the title?) by Brian Trent. His name might signify "trenchant" or "intrepid"--the story has both qualities. I have an argument with it I've had with many stories, though--who is the first person narrator writing for, what writing materials is he using, and why does he speak in classical twentieth century diction? (When he does, that is.)This consideration interfered with my maintenance of credulity while reading the story. It seemed first in rank in the matter of the characters not being likely to accomplish anything that would have existential meaningfulness to the readers. As a note, if I'd read the issue in sequence, I think "The Nostalgia Calculator" would have read differently to me. My cogitation on this is, there seems to be this style of approach...perhaps there should be more thought about each story.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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