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Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2012 (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, #704)

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Novella - Katabasis by Robert Reed Novelets - High Stakes by Naomi Kritzer The Problem of the Elusive Cracksman by Ron Goulart Heaventide by KJ Kabza Short Stories - Claim Blame by Alan Dean Foster Application by Lewis Shiner Breathe by Steven Popkes The Ladies in Waiting by Albert E Crowdrey If the Stars Reverse Their Courses, If the Rivers Run Back From the Sea by Alter Novella - Katabasis by Robert Reed Novelets - High Stakes by Naomi Kritzer The Problem of the Elusive Cracksman by Ron Goulart Heaventide by KJ Kabza Short Stories - Claim Blame by Alan Dean Foster Application by Lewis Shiner Breathe by Steven Popkes The Ladies in Waiting by Albert E Crowdrey If the Stars Reverse Their Courses, If the Rivers Run Back From the Sea by Alter S Reiss Waiting for a Me Like You by Chris Willrich Departments - Editorial by Gordon Van Gelder Books to Look For by Charles de Lint Books by Elizabeth Hand Films by Kathi Maio Coming Attractions Competition #84 Index to Volumes 122 & 123 Curiosities by David Langford


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Novella - Katabasis by Robert Reed Novelets - High Stakes by Naomi Kritzer The Problem of the Elusive Cracksman by Ron Goulart Heaventide by KJ Kabza Short Stories - Claim Blame by Alan Dean Foster Application by Lewis Shiner Breathe by Steven Popkes The Ladies in Waiting by Albert E Crowdrey If the Stars Reverse Their Courses, If the Rivers Run Back From the Sea by Alter Novella - Katabasis by Robert Reed Novelets - High Stakes by Naomi Kritzer The Problem of the Elusive Cracksman by Ron Goulart Heaventide by KJ Kabza Short Stories - Claim Blame by Alan Dean Foster Application by Lewis Shiner Breathe by Steven Popkes The Ladies in Waiting by Albert E Crowdrey If the Stars Reverse Their Courses, If the Rivers Run Back From the Sea by Alter S Reiss Waiting for a Me Like You by Chris Willrich Departments - Editorial by Gordon Van Gelder Books to Look For by Charles de Lint Books by Elizabeth Hand Films by Kathi Maio Coming Attractions Competition #84 Index to Volumes 122 & 123 Curiosities by David Langford

48 review for Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2012 (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, #704)

  1. 5 out of 5

    John Loyd

    10 • High Stakes • 42 pages by Naomi Kritzer Very Good+/Excellent. A reality TV show comes to Seastead. The producer hires teenager Beck Garrison as a liaison. It's going to feature bonded workers competing to win have their bond paid off and enough money to buy a stake in Seastead for the grand prize winner. What we find out is that bonded workers are in economic slavery with no chance to buy their freedom. 68 • Claim Blame • 19 pages by Alan Dean Foster OK+. A pair of miners has been kicked of 10 • High Stakes • 42 pages by Naomi Kritzer Very Good+/Excellent. A reality TV show comes to Seastead. The producer hires teenager Beck Garrison as a liaison. It's going to feature bonded workers competing to win have their bond paid off and enough money to buy a stake in Seastead for the grand prize winner. What we find out is that bonded workers are in economic slavery with no chance to buy their freedom. 68 • Claim Blame • 19 pages by Alan Dean Foster OK+. A pair of miners has been kicked off their claim by a bunch of gnomes. They seek help from Amos Malone. The gnomes show Malone they, too, have a claim to the mountain. Equal claims, Malone walks away saying settle it between yourselves, but the miners implore him to try again. 87 • Katabasis • 55 pages by Robert Reed Fair/OK. Immortal humans challenge themselves with an arduous trek through a high gravity terrain. Varid, Perri and Quee Lee are three of these humans. Each hires a porter to assist them in the months long journey. Katabasis is one of the porters. It's grueling the people break bones, but they immediately start to heal. The limiting factor is the rations they have brought with them. There are flashbacks to the childhood of Katabasis when she was just a girl. Her people were stagnating, even going extinct, when they heard of humans on one of their moons. They took upon themselves a similar journey in hopes of getting a ride on the great ship and a chance to colonize on a new planet. To me it was tedious and rather pointless. 142 • Application • 3 pages by Lewis Shiner Good/OK. Sam is online applying for a job when his old computer talks to him. Kind of funny. 145 • Breathe • 14 pages by Steven Popkes Good+. Will has the ability to take a bit of breath or any trait really from ordinary people. So do his brother and father. He hates it. Feels that it makes him a vampire. His father doesn't have those qualms. 159 • The Ladies in Waiting • 19 pages by Albert E. Cowdrey Good. Jimmy and Morrie investigate a haunted room in a Louisiana mansion. It's now a bed and breakfast so the owner wants that room available. First step is to figure who is the ghost. Then they can try to find a way to get her to leave. 178 • If the Stars Reverse Their Courses, If the Rivers Run Back from the Sea • 12 pages by Alter S. Reiss Good/VG. Andier possesses his earlier self to do battle with Cainder who has lived countless lives over and over. A different type of time travel. 190 • Waiting for a Me Like You • 9 pages by Chris Willrich OK+. The multiverse is infinite. Bob is being recruited to work for a trans-universe company. The interviewer has spoken with other versions of Bob many times. 206 • The Problem of the Elusive Cracksman • 22 pages by Ron Goulart Very Good. Harry Challenge is hired to find the gorilla that robbed Killigan. Straightforward detection leads Harry to a man who claims to have invented Killigan's elixir and a Jeckyl & Hyde twist. Goulart doesn't sacrifice the plot to throw in his witticisms. It was a good mystery and would have been fine, but as a bonus there was a great zinger to end the story. 228 • Heaventide • 24 pages by K. J. Kabza Very Good/Good. Daybreak wants to be a traveler, but now that it's determined that she is a woman that option is not available. Her lover, a traveler named Boneoak, is very supportive. He helps her build a boat. He lets Daybreak learn a few things for herself. After an adventure in the boat the village demands the it be burned. Will Daybreak get to be a traveler or will she be forever stuck in the village?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Lubell

    There were a lot of stories in here that were part of series, a few are okay but this was too many. I liked "High Stakes", about a reality show set on a series of manmade islands run by limited government advocates (so bondage slavery is okay). But this read like the middle of a novel and the first story in the series was much better. "Claim Blame" in the Mad Amos Malone series tried too hard to be funny and Amos could have been replaced by any old wizard as all he really did was summon leprecha There were a lot of stories in here that were part of series, a few are okay but this was too many. I liked "High Stakes", about a reality show set on a series of manmade islands run by limited government advocates (so bondage slavery is okay). But this read like the middle of a novel and the first story in the series was much better. "Claim Blame" in the Mad Amos Malone series tried too hard to be funny and Amos could have been replaced by any old wizard as all he really did was summon leprechauns to fight gnomes. There was none of the usual "mountain man" magic. "Katabasis" by Reed was my favorite in the issue. It had alien aliens, namely the title character, interesting ideas on what immortals would do for fun, and an annoying character redeems himself and becomes a hero. "Application" was a short joke story. "Breathe" was an interesting story about morality among vampires who could take bits of others' characteristics - such as breath, health, strength, speed etc. "Ladies in Waiting" felt like an episode in a TV series about a gay couple who are ghost hunters. I couldn't figure out "If the Stars Reverse their Courses." "Waiting for a Me Like You" was a fun story about corporate recruiting in a multiverse where corporations can judge a new hire based on how their parallel universe counterparts perform. "The Problem of the Elusive Crackman" is a spoof of noir mysteries. This story is a shadow of earlier stories in the series and is too easy to figure out. "Heaventide" was an interesting story on gender roles and a woman who wants to travel as men do.

  3. 5 out of 5

    G33z3r

    I thought Naomi Kritzer's novella "High Stakes" was the highlight of this issue. It's a straightforward but engaging adventure story featuring a 16-year-old Rebecca, a Nancy Drew-like protagonist, on the rough and tumble artificial floating island seastead of Minerva. (Unfortunately, it picks up immediately after and draws very heavily on a previous Rebecca story, "Liberty's Daughter", which appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction a few months earlier; I re-read that before getti I thought Naomi Kritzer's novella "High Stakes" was the highlight of this issue. It's a straightforward but engaging adventure story featuring a 16-year-old Rebecca, a Nancy Drew-like protagonist, on the rough and tumble artificial floating island seastead of Minerva. (Unfortunately, it picks up immediately after and draws very heavily on a previous Rebecca story, "Liberty's Daughter", which appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction a few months earlier; I re-read that before getting into "High Stakes".) I'm looking forward to the next installment already! Also notable was Robert Reed's "Katabasis", parallel tales of long, grueling, emotional journeys through hell in an alien, sci-fi setting, and K.J. Kabza's "Heaventide" was an engaging story of an alternate fantasy culture (with a slightly confusing twist.) Both are nicely thoughtful and emotional. "Application" and "Waiting for a Me Like You" are both short and sweet, humorous little stories.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Meran

    I have always enjoyed the editorial picks for this magazine and this month was no exception. High Stakes by Naomi Kritzer - 5 stars Claim Blame by Alan Dean Foster - 3 stars Katabasis by Robert Reed - 5 stars. Exceptional! Makes you think, not just observe. Application by Lewis Shiner - 3 stars. A bit cutesy. Breathe by Steven Popkes - 4 stars. A good, moral story. The Ladies in Waiting by Albert E Crowdrey - 4 stars If the Stars Reverse their Courses, If the Rivers Run Back from the Sea by Alter S Rei I have always enjoyed the editorial picks for this magazine and this month was no exception. High Stakes by Naomi Kritzer - 5 stars Claim Blame by Alan Dean Foster - 3 stars Katabasis by Robert Reed - 5 stars. Exceptional! Makes you think, not just observe. Application by Lewis Shiner - 3 stars. A bit cutesy. Breathe by Steven Popkes - 4 stars. A good, moral story. The Ladies in Waiting by Albert E Crowdrey - 4 stars If the Stars Reverse their Courses, If the Rivers Run Back from the Sea by Alter S Reiss - 4 stars Waiting for a Me Like You by Chris Willrich - 3 stars Thr Problem of the Elusive Cracksman by Ron Goulart - 3 stars Heaventide by KJ Kabza - 4.5 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Max

    Generally speaking, a much better collection of stories than the previous issue. I wasn't really a fan of the lone novella in this issue, though that may be at least in part because I'm not familiar with any of the other stories set in the same world. High Stakes and The Problem of the Elusive Cracksman were quite good. The former is the second installment in a series about libertarian seasteads that I hope to see eventually collected so as to more easily recommend it to people, and if the latte Generally speaking, a much better collection of stories than the previous issue. I wasn't really a fan of the lone novella in this issue, though that may be at least in part because I'm not familiar with any of the other stories set in the same world. High Stakes and The Problem of the Elusive Cracksman were quite good. The former is the second installment in a series about libertarian seasteads that I hope to see eventually collected so as to more easily recommend it to people, and if the latter is not already part of a series it certainly should be. Heaventide was interesting but I didn't really get enough of a sense of the world it was set in. Claim Blame was fun but not great. Application was clever. Breathe had a neat form of vampirism that I'd like to see more of (plus, it's nice to read a story set locally). The Ladies in Waiting is good. If the Stars... took some time to get into due to being set in what seemed to be an alternate Europe or some such. However, in the end, it was pretty interesting and had a clever version of parallel worlds and the implications of traveling them. Similarly, Waiting for a Me Like You was a good parallel worlds story with a twist I haven't seen before. All in all, a very good issue.

  6. 4 out of 5

    George Heintzelman

    An excellent issue with several memorable stories. The ones I particularly liked: "High Stakes," by Naomi Kritzer, is an excellent sequel to "Liberty's Daughter" from the May/June 2012 issue. This time our young protagonist deals with a reality TV show coming to the Seahold... "If the Stars Reverse Their Courses, If Rivers Run Back From the Sea" by Alter S. Reiss, is a time travel story with a unique time machine. "Application", a short short by Lewis Shiner, is (like most short shorts) a bit of a An excellent issue with several memorable stories. The ones I particularly liked: "High Stakes," by Naomi Kritzer, is an excellent sequel to "Liberty's Daughter" from the May/June 2012 issue. This time our young protagonist deals with a reality TV show coming to the Seahold... "If the Stars Reverse Their Courses, If Rivers Run Back From the Sea" by Alter S. Reiss, is a time travel story with a unique time machine. "Application", a short short by Lewis Shiner, is (like most short shorts) a bit of a gimmick, but with the length, is just the right bite-sized morsel for its gimmick. And "Heaventide" by KJ Kabza is a poignant tale about a young person finding a path out from the expectations of a society that seems post-apocalyptic, from the clues, and is both like and unlike ours in important ways... Like ours, it has young people chafing when the shoes don't fit.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Katabasis by Robert Reed is one of the best short stories I've read in a while. It is set in a future borne out of society where genetic manipulation has progressed to the point where one must examine what being a human means and think a bit more about the soul and our spiritual existence. The cool thing about this story is that it is told from Katabasis' perspective, she being nominally a non-human (or is she?). This 'post-human' setting and the human-driven need to explore and reach beyond our Katabasis by Robert Reed is one of the best short stories I've read in a while. It is set in a future borne out of society where genetic manipulation has progressed to the point where one must examine what being a human means and think a bit more about the soul and our spiritual existence. The cool thing about this story is that it is told from Katabasis' perspective, she being nominally a non-human (or is she?). This 'post-human' setting and the human-driven need to explore and reach beyond our existing limits is tightly and neatly pulled together in this thought-provoking, yet very entertaining, story...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emily Craven

    This is the first time I've read this magazine, but it's not the last, it was brilliant. One of the best collections of spec fic I've come across. I love the range of story genres and lengths. High Stakes was above and beyond my favourite. Such a brilliant intro into a very well made world and the characters are really unique and plucky. I was also a fan of the flash fiction, Application (I like the creepy short ones) and there were a couple if really fun paranormal detective stories in there. R This is the first time I've read this magazine, but it's not the last, it was brilliant. One of the best collections of spec fic I've come across. I love the range of story genres and lengths. High Stakes was above and beyond my favourite. Such a brilliant intro into a very well made world and the characters are really unique and plucky. I was also a fan of the flash fiction, Application (I like the creepy short ones) and there were a couple if really fun paranormal detective stories in there. Recommend as a delightful read. I'm hoping other issues are this engaging.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sorin Craciun

    This issue stories: Novella: Katabasis by Robert Reed **** 1/2 Noveletes: High Stakes by Naomi Kritzer *** 1/2 The Problem of Elusive Cracksman *** 1/2 Heaventide by KJ Kabza **** Short Stories: Claim Blame by Alan Dean Foster *** 1/2 Application by Lewis Shiner **** Breathe by Steven Popkes **** The Ladies in Wating by Albert E. Cowdrey *** 1/2 If the Stars Reverse Their Courses, If the Rivers Run Back from the Sea by Alter S. Reiss **** Waiting for a Me Like You by Chriss Willrich *** 1/2

  10. 4 out of 5

    E.A.

    Fell in love with Naomi Kritzer's Seastead stories after reading "High Stakes" in this issue, and I have my fingers crossed that someone will publish a collection eventually so I can read them all together. Also enjoyed "Breathe" by Steven Popkes, "If the Stars Reverse Their Courses, If the Rivers Run Back from the Seas," by Alter S. Reiss, and "Heaventide" by KJ Kabza. Fell in love with Naomi Kritzer's Seastead stories after reading "High Stakes" in this issue, and I have my fingers crossed that someone will publish a collection eventually so I can read them all together. Also enjoyed "Breathe" by Steven Popkes, "If the Stars Reverse Their Courses, If the Rivers Run Back from the Seas," by Alter S. Reiss, and "Heaventide" by KJ Kabza.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    My favorite story in this issue is the last one, Heaventide.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tarmo

    Kehv number.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mais

  14. 4 out of 5

    Frankie

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mahmud Abdul wahhab

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Lancaster

  17. 5 out of 5

    Derrick

  18. 4 out of 5

    Arlian

  19. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Hurley

  20. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kenny V

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Hawkins

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mord

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wsantosf Santos

  25. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

  27. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  28. 4 out of 5

    J Bissell

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Riana Elizabeth

  31. 4 out of 5

    Elihu

  32. 5 out of 5

    Cosborn

  33. 5 out of 5

    Robert Arl

  34. 4 out of 5

    Zak

  35. 5 out of 5

    Renee

  36. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

  37. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

  38. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  39. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  40. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  41. 4 out of 5

    David

  42. 5 out of 5

    Brick Marlin

  43. 5 out of 5

    Beezelbarb

  44. 4 out of 5

    AJ

  45. 4 out of 5

    Tanjential

  46. 4 out of 5

    Standback

  47. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

  48. 4 out of 5

    Emily

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