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F&SF Forum » The Process of Writing

July-Aug 2016 issue

(37 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by Gordon Van Gelder
  • Latest reply from Gordon Van Gelder

  1. Gordon Van Gelder

    Sam Tomaino reviews the issue for SFREVU:

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. rowsdower

    I just want to say that F&SF satisfies me 99% of the time, my dislike of Cowdrey notwithstanding. Make no mistake, I think Mr. Finlay and Mr. van Gelder have done a great job over the years. Even if there is an issue where I don't much like the stories, there are the review columns which are worth the price of admission alone. So don't mistake for a trolling hater. I'll try to post more positive comments.

    But I still don't like Cowdrey. ;-)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. at78rpm

    I just got around to reading this issue, and I have to's probably my favorite issue since the last one. 2016 is a strong year for my favorite magazine.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. Mark Pontin

    [1] Re. "Jesus Has Forgiven Me. Why Can't You?" by Betsy Phillips.

    More by this woman. I never knew what was coming in the next paragraph. I like that.

    [2] Conversely, I knew _exactly_ what was coming next in "The Vanishing Kind" by Lavie Tidhar. And that's because Tidhar's story is a direct rewrite of Graham Greene and Carol Reed's classic movie, THE THIRD MAN, with a post-WWII alternate London where the Nazis won swapped in for THE THIRD MAN's post-WWII Vienna and a female character swapped in for Harry Lime, Orson Welle's character.

    That gender-swap w. the Lime character should maybe make Tidhar's story work better, since producer David Selznick commented to Greene and Reed during THE THIRD MAN's filming that the relationship between Harry Lime and Holly Martin (Joseph Cotten's character) on which the film hinged was really, in Selznick's view, "all about buggery" and covert British public school homosexuality, and thus was inappropriate for the two American lead characters.

    Nevertheless, as Tidhar's story recapitulates plot-point by plot-point from THE THIRD MAN, the comparison with the original Greene and Reed material is very much not in Tidhar's favor.

    Yes, Tidhar's ending is different. But the reveal that Everly of the London Gestapo is jewish effectively comes out of the blue, isn't set up or earned in the rest of the story, and has no real payoff other than being a way for Tidhar to end. Yes, taking plots from earlier works by other authors is a literary tradition that goes back further than Shakespeare. And yes, too, competing with artists like Greene, Reed and Orson Welles (who wrote the Swiss cuckoo clock speech in the film) isn't a competition that most writers are likely to win.

    That said, if the writer can't do something better or at least interestingly different from the original they're using as a model, then there's presumably a point where hommage just becomes plagiarism, isn't there?

    And if anybody thinks I'm being unfair, take a look --

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. digdug

    My favorite story from the issue was Lavie Tidhar's "The Vanishing Kind". I liked the ending where we found out that all was not as it seems.

    There were a few other good stories but none that really jumped out and grabbed me. David Prill's "Vishnu Summer" was good most of the way through but the ending didn't work for me.

    Always great to see another Alaric story.

    All in all a solid issue.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. Gordon Van Gelder

    Issue reviewed by Steve Fahnestalk at AMAZING STORIES:

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. Gordon Van Gelder

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