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The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October/November 1991

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Volume 81, Number 4&5, Whole Number 485&486 Contents: Carolyn Ives Gilman - The Honeycrafters Sheri S. Tepper - The Gourmet Algis Budrys - Books Orson Scott Card - Books to Look For Bradley Denton - Rerun Roy, Donna, and the Freak Jane Yolen - Dear Ms. Lonelylegs Geoffrey A. Landis - Laboratory Procedure Frank Hauser - Cartoon Harlan Ellison - Harlan Ellison's Watching Kathi Maio - F Volume 81, Number 4&5, Whole Number 485&486 Contents: Carolyn Ives Gilman - The Honeycrafters Sheri S. Tepper - The Gourmet Algis Budrys - Books Orson Scott Card - Books to Look For Bradley Denton - Rerun Roy, Donna, and the Freak Jane Yolen - Dear Ms. Lonelylegs Geoffrey A. Landis - Laboratory Procedure Frank Hauser - Cartoon Harlan Ellison - Harlan Ellison's Watching Kathi Maio - Films: Love After Death Mike Resnick - Winter Solstice Lois Tilton - A Just and Lasting Peace H. Martin - Cartoon Gary Wright - Something On the Stairs There Be John Jonik - Cartoon Paul Di Filippo - The Grange Isaac Asimov - Science: The Unchanging Amount H. Martin - Cartoon Marc Laidlaw - Gasoline Lake S. Harris - Cartoon Cover by Bryn Barnard for "The Honeycrafters"


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Volume 81, Number 4&5, Whole Number 485&486 Contents: Carolyn Ives Gilman - The Honeycrafters Sheri S. Tepper - The Gourmet Algis Budrys - Books Orson Scott Card - Books to Look For Bradley Denton - Rerun Roy, Donna, and the Freak Jane Yolen - Dear Ms. Lonelylegs Geoffrey A. Landis - Laboratory Procedure Frank Hauser - Cartoon Harlan Ellison - Harlan Ellison's Watching Kathi Maio - F Volume 81, Number 4&5, Whole Number 485&486 Contents: Carolyn Ives Gilman - The Honeycrafters Sheri S. Tepper - The Gourmet Algis Budrys - Books Orson Scott Card - Books to Look For Bradley Denton - Rerun Roy, Donna, and the Freak Jane Yolen - Dear Ms. Lonelylegs Geoffrey A. Landis - Laboratory Procedure Frank Hauser - Cartoon Harlan Ellison - Harlan Ellison's Watching Kathi Maio - Films: Love After Death Mike Resnick - Winter Solstice Lois Tilton - A Just and Lasting Peace H. Martin - Cartoon Gary Wright - Something On the Stairs There Be John Jonik - Cartoon Paul Di Filippo - The Grange Isaac Asimov - Science: The Unchanging Amount H. Martin - Cartoon Marc Laidlaw - Gasoline Lake S. Harris - Cartoon Cover by Bryn Barnard for "The Honeycrafters"

21 review for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October/November 1991

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    CONTENTS ⏹️Fiction: ▪️"The Honeycrafters" - Charlotte Ives Gilman ▪️"The Gourmet" - Sheri S. Tepper ▪️"Rerun Roy, Donna, and the Freak" - Bradley Denton ▪️"Dear Ms. Lonelylegs" - Jane Yolen ▪️"Laboratory Procedure" - Geoffrey A. Landis ▪️"Winter Solstice" - Mike Resnick ▪️"A Just and Lasting Peace" - Lois Tilton ▪️"Something on the Stairs There Be" - Gary Wright ▪️"The Grange" - Paul Di Filippo ▪️"Gasoline Lake" - Marc Laidlaw ⏹️Departments ▪️"Editorial" - Kristine Kathryn Rusch ▪️"Books" - Algis Budr CONTENTS ⏹️Fiction: ▪️"The Honeycrafters" - Charlotte Ives Gilman ▪️"The Gourmet" - Sheri S. Tepper ▪️"Rerun Roy, Donna, and the Freak" - Bradley Denton ▪️"Dear Ms. Lonelylegs" - Jane Yolen ▪️"Laboratory Procedure" - Geoffrey A. Landis ▪️"Winter Solstice" - Mike Resnick ▪️"A Just and Lasting Peace" - Lois Tilton ▪️"Something on the Stairs There Be" - Gary Wright ▪️"The Grange" - Paul Di Filippo ▪️"Gasoline Lake" - Marc Laidlaw ⏹️Departments ▪️"Editorial" - Kristine Kathryn Rusch ▪️"Books" - Algis Budrys ▪️"Books to Look For" - Orson Scott Card ▪️"Harlan Ellison's Watching: 'Installment 46: In Which We Bend So Far Over Backwards To Be Unbiased That You Can See The Nose Hairs Quiver With Righteousness'" - Harlan Ellison ▪️"Films: 'Love After Death'" - Kathi Maio ▪️"Science: 'The Unchanging Amount'" - Isaac Asimov The October issues of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction have long been considered their "anniversary" issues. This issue celebrated the forty-second anniversary of the magazine. It is a double issue of 242 pages, considered both the October and November issue of 1991. In her introductory editorial, Kristine Kathryn Rusch refers to this double issue as "trying an experiment." The experiment - and the cost savings associated with it - was so successful that, as I write this in 2019, F&SF is now published bimonthly throughout the year. Ms. Rusch also states, "The fiction in here is good." Some is, some is not. The celebrated author of fantasies, Jane Yolen, has a quite poor science fiction item, "Dear Ms. Lonelylegs." This is an advice column in which the columnist answers queries from all over the universe. This is intended to be comic. It is not. Galaxy Science Fiction ran similar (but better) items back in the 1950s. Mike Resnick has a story that uses what I have referred to in earlier reviews as my least favorite science fiction trope, "living backwards." In "Winter Solstice," Merlin is confused because he remembers the future but not the past and is unable to perform magic or even to give good advice. I think this is a poor story; it was, however, nominated for a Hugo Award, so clearly many readers would disagree with me. I tried looking this up to see if this trope has a real name. I found it listed, most appropriately, as "Merlin Sickness." The following connects with a discussion of this phenomenon: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph... Marc Laidlaw's "Gasoline Lake" is a rather silly tale of a future time in which moisture is a rare commodity. Bodily fluids are routinely reprocessed. A stranger comes to the town of Gasoline Lake, claiming to be a "Rehydrator," able to take beings that have been dried out but not killed and revivify them. The story gets progressively more far-fetched. It is mildly entertaining, in a strains-credulity-beyond-reasonable-limits sort of way. (And did I miss it or do we just never find out who Walter actually is, even though the man he came to town to help has to know?) "Laboratory Procedure" by Geoffrey A. Landis tells of a small group of scientists who use their knowledge of ways to tinker with DNA to restrict the evil activities of a serial rapist. I simply don't believe that this could work the way it is presented, nor do I believe that the result would be the one given. And most of all, I don't believe that the scientists would believe that a mere two weeks without a violent rape reported would prove that their method had worked. "Something on the Stairs There Be" by Gary Wright is a short, traditional, and somewhat effective horror story. What is making those stairs creak? I like the rest of the stories more. Bradley Denton's tale "Rerun Roy, Donna, and the Freak" tells of a new drug, under the influence of which folks can "rerun" any previous experience in their minds, not as a memory or even as a purely visual experience like a film, but as a repeat of everything about the earlier experience, every scent, every taste, every touch. I'm not sure why this would be illegal, except that authorities always want to control sources of possible pleasure. But the man known as "the Freak" has found a terrifying use of the drug. The science fiction and fantasy website ISFDb tells that Sheri S. Tepper's story "The Gourmet" is the last of three stories in what they refer to as the "Crazy Carol Magusen" series. Ms. Magusen encounters a ghoul in the southwestern part of the country. He used to be - and still thinks of himself as - a priest. But she is much more bothered by others she encounters, folks who are loud, rude, and destructive. Perhaps one encounter might balance out the other... The introduction to "A Just and Lasting Peace" by Lois Tilton says that they weren't sure whether this is science fiction or fantasy, or "perhaps it defies labels altogether." This is an alternative history story, set in the American South following the Civil War. In this story, the North won the war, but has continued to punish the South harshly. Most of the story is narrated by Jamie, a white male Southerner, deciding he must fight for the Southern cause, although he is only eleven. (He claims that he had "been named for the James brothers, the ones who shot Old Abe.") The end of the story takes place many years later, when Southerners continue the fight, but under very different circumstances. This story was chosen for the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: Ninth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois. I was sure that I could anticipate the ending of "The Grange" by Paul Di Filippo, but I was mistaken. A young couple move to the country. The wife joins the local Grange, a rural organization concerned with farming - among other things. My favorite item in this issue is the cover story, "The Honeycrafters" by Carolyn Ives Gilman. This was nominated for a Nebula Award. It is set on a planet other than Earth. Civilization is divided into motherholds. The people in this story are wanderers, beeherders on a quest for the best nectars. The leader of the motherhold in this tale is challenged by a woman from a different motherhold. It is decided that the leader shall be the "winner of a test of leadership." Each of the two women "will take a swarm and the people to tend it. [They] will compete for one journey. At the end, whoever produces the best honey wins." The other will be put to death. The details of finding and mixing the perfect nectars and making honeys that are truly splendid make up most of the story. Much is also concerned with relationships within the motherhold. This is a very fine story. Isaac Asimov's science article is titled "The Unchanging Amount." It is principally about the first and second laws of thermodynamics, which Asimov gives as "energy can be changed from one form to another, but it can neither be created nor destroyed" and "though the total energy of the Universe is constant, the amount of free energy decreases steadily." The article begins with Asimovian self-praise even more fulsome than usual. Harlan Ellison titles his film column in this issue "Harlan Ellison's Watching: 'Installment 46: In Which We Bend So Far Over Backwards To Be Unbiased That You Can See The Nose Hairs Quiver With Righteousness.'" That title is as vainglorious as much of his column. This is principally a review of the film The Rocketeer. As soon as Ellison echoes the sentiment that a female performer "looks like a plucked chicken" and describes another woman as having "the hugest teeth in the civilized world, a set of choppers Bucky Beaver would envy," I find that I have no interest in his opinions. Another film reviewer, Kathi Maio, has her first F&SF column in this issue. The title of the column in this issue is "Love After Death." Ms. Maio discusses films that deal with a love that continues after the death of one of the lovers, mentioning the "schmaltzy and silly 1990 mega-hit Ghost." She states that,"We want to believe that love survives death, and that a good man will receive his just reward in the hereafter - even if heaven is only a crowded land of glowing soap bubbles." The films on this theme that Ms. Maio reviews are Defending Your Life, Switch, and Truly, Madly, Deeply. The only one of these that she likes is Truly, Madly, Deeply, which, she states,"is enough to renew the faith of even the most jaundiced reviewer." There are two book review columns as well. Orson Scott Card praises A Bridge of Years by Robert Charles Wilson, Sorcerer's Son by Phyllis Eisenstein, and Brainstorm by Steven M. Krauzer. Algis Budrys likes F. M. Busby's Slow Freight and, for a variety of well-expressed reasons, does not like (or manage to finish reading) The Fire Within by Graham Watkins. There are cartoons by Frank Hauser, Henry Martin, John Jonik, and S. Harris. I like all of these except the second Martin entry on page 198. Harris's is one of his full-page comics about "Dr. Quark (Low-Tech Physicist)." I think Bryn Barnard's cover illustrating "The Honeycrafters" is wonderful. I especially enjoyed the stories "The Gourmet," "A Just and Lasting Peace," and "The Honeycrafters," the book review columns, and the cover.

  2. 5 out of 5

    OTIS

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ubikuberalles

  4. 4 out of 5

    James

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ashby Albright

  6. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dax

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ashby Albright

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tina

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ylilith

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leroy Erickson

  12. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  13. 5 out of 5

    Donna Lombardo

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  15. 4 out of 5

    MLJolly

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tawnya Fugate

  17. 4 out of 5

    Edwardky

  18. 5 out of 5

    Angel

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nick Gibney

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dante

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Crowl

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