web site hit counter The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2019 (F&SF, #741) - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2019 (F&SF, #741)

Availability: Ready to download

THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION January/February • 70th Year of Publication NOVELLAS THE CITY OF LOST DESIRE - Phyllis Eisenstein NOVELETS JOE DIABO’S FAREWELL - Andy Duncan BLUE AS BLOOD - Leah Cypess SHORT STORIES TO THE BEAUTIFUL SHINING TWILIGHT - Carrie Vaughn THE PROVINCE OF SAINTS - Robert Reed THE RIGHT NUMBER OF CATS - Jenn Reese SURVEY - Adam-Troy Castro THE WASHER THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION January/February • 70th Year of Publication NOVELLAS THE CITY OF LOST DESIRE - Phyllis Eisenstein NOVELETS JOE DIABO’S FAREWELL - Andy Duncan BLUE AS BLOOD - Leah Cypess SHORT STORIES TO THE BEAUTIFUL SHINING TWILIGHT - Carrie Vaughn THE PROVINCE OF SAINTS - Robert Reed THE RIGHT NUMBER OF CATS - Jenn Reese SURVEY - Adam-Troy Castro THE WASHER FROM THE FORD - Sean McMullen TACTICAL INFANTRY BOT 37 DREAMS OF TROCHEES - Marie Vibbert FIFTEEN MINUTES FROM NOW - Erin Cashier THE FALL FROM GRIFFIN’S PEAK - Pip Coen DEPARTMENTS BOOKS TO LOOK FOR - Charles de Lint MUSING ON BOOKS - Michelle West SCIENCE: WHEN BETELGEUSE BLOWS - Jerry Oltion FILMS: VENOM, US - E. G. Neill PLUMAGE FROM PEGASUS: A WALK ON THE MILD SIDE - Paul Di Filippo COMING ATTRACTIONS CURIOSITIES - Paul Di Filippo CARTOONS: Arthur Masear (140) COVER BY JILL BAUMAN FOR “THE CITY OF LOST DESIRE”


Compare

THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION January/February • 70th Year of Publication NOVELLAS THE CITY OF LOST DESIRE - Phyllis Eisenstein NOVELETS JOE DIABO’S FAREWELL - Andy Duncan BLUE AS BLOOD - Leah Cypess SHORT STORIES TO THE BEAUTIFUL SHINING TWILIGHT - Carrie Vaughn THE PROVINCE OF SAINTS - Robert Reed THE RIGHT NUMBER OF CATS - Jenn Reese SURVEY - Adam-Troy Castro THE WASHER THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION January/February • 70th Year of Publication NOVELLAS THE CITY OF LOST DESIRE - Phyllis Eisenstein NOVELETS JOE DIABO’S FAREWELL - Andy Duncan BLUE AS BLOOD - Leah Cypess SHORT STORIES TO THE BEAUTIFUL SHINING TWILIGHT - Carrie Vaughn THE PROVINCE OF SAINTS - Robert Reed THE RIGHT NUMBER OF CATS - Jenn Reese SURVEY - Adam-Troy Castro THE WASHER FROM THE FORD - Sean McMullen TACTICAL INFANTRY BOT 37 DREAMS OF TROCHEES - Marie Vibbert FIFTEEN MINUTES FROM NOW - Erin Cashier THE FALL FROM GRIFFIN’S PEAK - Pip Coen DEPARTMENTS BOOKS TO LOOK FOR - Charles de Lint MUSING ON BOOKS - Michelle West SCIENCE: WHEN BETELGEUSE BLOWS - Jerry Oltion FILMS: VENOM, US - E. G. Neill PLUMAGE FROM PEGASUS: A WALK ON THE MILD SIDE - Paul Di Filippo COMING ATTRACTIONS CURIOSITIES - Paul Di Filippo CARTOONS: Arthur Masear (140) COVER BY JILL BAUMAN FOR “THE CITY OF LOST DESIRE”

30 review for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2019 (F&SF, #741)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Beth Cato

    I think this is one of the strongest issues of F&SF that I've ever read. It was packed with goodness from front to back. As much as I enjoyed them all, there were a few stand-outs: TO THE BEAUTIFUL SHINING TWILIGHT - Carrie Vaughn: a fantastic contemporary take on how humans mature and grow after their time questing in lands of fairies and lore. I appreciated the deep sense of realism to this story. THE RIGHT NUMBER OF CATS - Jenn Reese: the title alone hooked me. What IS the right number of cats? I think this is one of the strongest issues of F&SF that I've ever read. It was packed with goodness from front to back. As much as I enjoyed them all, there were a few stand-outs: TO THE BEAUTIFUL SHINING TWILIGHT - Carrie Vaughn: a fantastic contemporary take on how humans mature and grow after their time questing in lands of fairies and lore. I appreciated the deep sense of realism to this story. THE RIGHT NUMBER OF CATS - Jenn Reese: the title alone hooked me. What IS the right number of cats? As a cat person, this is a vital question. This story went in pleasantly unexpected directions as it explored the evolution of grief over time. SURVEY - Adam-Troy Castro: THIS STORY. It's my favorite of the bunch because it's so horrific. I mean, I don't usually go for horror at all, and this delves into the deep psychological side of the genre and does it entirely through dialogue. On a technical level, that makes this masterful, but on a story level it works and is hella disturbing. THE WASHER FROM THE FORD - Sean McMullen: I do love fresh takes on the fae and how they work, and this one was especially delightful as it utilized an oft-forgotten being, the washer from the ford, along with a realistic and smart human protagonist.

  2. 5 out of 5

    G33z3r

    I enjoyed a lot of the stories in this issue... "The Washer From The Ford" by Sean McMullen Very likable urban fantasy story about a sharp guy who witnesses a murder and soon meets an unusual woman who shows him something new & supernatural. I really enjoyed how the narrative unfolded the mysteries. **** "The Province of Saints" by Robert Reed Small town sheriff called to neighboring town's mass murder scene. There's a new drug in town, and its effects are interestingly motivational. **** "The Fall F I enjoyed a lot of the stories in this issue... "The Washer From The Ford" by Sean McMullen Very likable urban fantasy story about a sharp guy who witnesses a murder and soon meets an unusual woman who shows him something new & supernatural. I really enjoyed how the narrative unfolded the mysteries. **** "The Province of Saints" by Robert Reed Small town sheriff called to neighboring town's mass murder scene. There's a new drug in town, and its effects are interestingly motivational. **** "The Fall From Griffin’s Peak" by Pip Coen Coen has demonstrated an ability to make me like stories staring unlikable people. In this one, the protagonist is a thief who doesn't think of herself as a bad person, just not a good person." **** "To the Beautify Shining Twilight" by Carrie Vaughn Modern fantasy of faeries. Does Abby want to return to faerieland again? Captures the indifference of faeries to mortals & their time scales nicely. ***1/2* "Tactical Infantry Bot 37 Dreams Of Trochees" by Marie Vibbert Robots / make war / no more. (OK, more iams than trouchees. I do not claim to be a poet.) ***1/2* "Blue As Blood" by Leah Cypess Kid raised on alien planet where the color blue is taboo returns to Earth and can't stand the new color. When others learn she's uncomfortable with blue, they tease her, so she tries to hide it. Ah, another metaphor. *** "Fifteen Minutes From Now" by Erin Cashier An unusual use for time travel. ***1/2* "Joe Diabo’s Farewell" by Andy Duncan Historical drama of native Americans working skyscraper construction. Very limited fantasy element, but readable story. *** "Survey " by Adam-Troy Castro Mundane psychological horror, neither scifi nor fantasy, involving a student signing up for one of those psychology research studies. The pay should have suggested it was going to be... disturbing. Kind of similar to many others in the genre, e.g. Button Button and The Box. **1/2*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Standback

    I had a funny experience with this issue. While ordering stories in an issue or magazine is often something of a dark art, this issue split almost perfectly in the middle. The first half just didn't grab me; the second half was one hit after another. ---- "To The Beautiful Shining Twilight," by Carrie Vaughn. Kids who once journeyed to fairyland are summoned once more -- but they're all grown up now. A solid story, but I don't feel it really offers much beside that basic premise -- and it's a premi I had a funny experience with this issue. While ordering stories in an issue or magazine is often something of a dark art, this issue split almost perfectly in the middle. The first half just didn't grab me; the second half was one hit after another. ---- "To The Beautiful Shining Twilight," by Carrie Vaughn. Kids who once journeyed to fairyland are summoned once more -- but they're all grown up now. A solid story, but I don't feel it really offers much beside that basic premise -- and it's a premise I've seen often. "The Province of Saints," Robert Reed. The story starts out intriguingly, promising murder by empathy. The set-up includes Mary Sue, who used to be the one good kid in a family of rich bastards, and the implication that she's the one who's just killed them all off -- that's some great tension, right off the bat. The conclusion didn't work for me, though. I thought I was looking for a story about a kind person who reaches the point of murder. Or maybe about a kind person who isn't kind at all. Instead, the story wound up being all about the means of murder, and there, it kind of squares the circle by (view spoiler)[creating an empathy-drug, whose effects are indistinguishable from melodramatic insanity (hide spoiler)] . I don't feel that lives up to the story's initial promise; it really takes the sting out. "Joe Diabo's Farewell," Andy Duncan. Beautifully written, strong characters. The story itself, of indigenous Americans portraying racist stereotypes of themselves, is powerful. For me personally, though, this story felt overly familiar -- it reads very, very similarly to previous stories I've read, particularly "Nanabojou at the World's Fair," and "Welcome To Your Authentic Indian Experience(tm)." I'm assuming this synchronicity has some very real and painful roots, and I've found at least one pointer to learn more about this. I think it's a really excellent story -- but having read the other two definitely made it feel repetitive to me, which was a shame. "The City of Lost Desire," Phyllis Eisenstein. Pulpy bard adventure, about a city addled by bliss-granting drugs. Sadly, I found this one very poorly structured -- I could never tell what the focus was meant to be; what was important. The story jumped from a weird tower in the desert, to drug-laced city politics, to a late-showing romance-ish thread, without ever feeling that one is building into the next. I didn't get any sense of stakes, nor of resolution. This was particularly a shame because I felt the previous story in the series was excellent, and particularly built up great adventures without being dull for an instant. This one wound up as a weird letdown. "The Right Number of Cats," Jenn Reese. A great, extremely vivid short piece about grief and, well, cats. "Survey," by Adam-Troy Castro. A psychological study turns very, very dark. Unsubtle, unsettling, and extremely effective. (view spoiler)[Most of the story describes the horror of suddenly being tasked with impossible, horrible responsibilities that you never asked for. Responsibility for harm about to be done -- with nothing you can do to mitigate the harm; only direct it. Part of the horror is the dangling promise that maybe you're capable of, at least, minimizing the suffering within constraints -- but it's not clear if opting out would stop the harm, or just leave it to somebody with far fewer compunctions. The final twist of the knife is how easy it is to disassociate from the responsibility entirely; to accept "well, awful stuff happens" as simply the inevitable way of the world. (hide spoiler)] "Blue as Blood," by Leah Cypess. At first the story seems like a fairly simple creation of an imaginary cultural difference for bigotry and microaggressions to play out upon. This expectation is not disappointed, but the world and characters the story builds stand solid and much wider than trivial allegory. The vivid characters and captivating situations stand fully in their own right. "The Washer At The Ford," by Sean McMullen. I loved this one; an urban fantasy piece whose protagonist meets the fairy who washes the clothes of the dead. It strikes the perfect tone, the otherworldly sense of both power and peril, that I really love in fairy stories. "Tactical Infantry Bot 37 Dreams of Trochees," by Marie Vibbert. A decrepit military robot begins, at long last to question its mission. A story like this is all about voice, about letting us recognize a critical moment that's relatable and unusual, both at once; Vibbert succeeds beautifully and with great charm. "The Fall From Griffin's Peak," by Pip Coen. A caper story that goes in a different direction -- while it's full of twists and turns by scoundrels trying to one-up each other, its tone is mournful, tragic. "Did they tell you what happened, or were you watching?" the story opens. "Perhaps you don't have all the facts. Perhaps you'll be more ashamed when you do." Excellent; memorable and affecting. ---- All in all: Lot of great stories in this one, but just bouncing off about half the magazine was a real disappointment. I suppose that's a lot of the risk with novellas -- they take up so much of the magazine, that one novella you don't connect with colors the entire issue. I love novellas in general, and I love F&SF for publishing them. But I do think maybe I'd rather the novella choices steer away from sword-and-sorcery; I feel like good stories from this genre work just as well at shorter length, while the poor ones just feel formless and sprawling until the heroes have had enough adventures to say "OK, this one's done now."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kam Yung Soh

    An about average issue, with mostly 'mild' fantasy stories (mild in the sense that there is minimal magic involved). Among those that stood out for me are the ones by Carrie Vaughn, Sean McMullen and Pip Coen. - "To the Beautiful Shining Twilight" by Carrie Vaughn: the fairy king revisits the home of a member of a group of human musicians who once saved his kingdom after many years. Time has move on for her and she is reluctant to get involved with him again. But he pleads with her to do one more An about average issue, with mostly 'mild' fantasy stories (mild in the sense that there is minimal magic involved). Among those that stood out for me are the ones by Carrie Vaughn, Sean McMullen and Pip Coen. - "To the Beautiful Shining Twilight" by Carrie Vaughn: the fairy king revisits the home of a member of a group of human musicians who once saved his kingdom after many years. Time has move on for her and she is reluctant to get involved with him again. But he pleads with her to do one more small task, at the end of which he offers her a choice. Will she choose to be involved in his fairy kingdom again? - "The Province of Saints" by Robert Reed: a thoughtful story about a police office called in to help on a case where an entire family has been killed except for one member, the daughter. As the office interrogates the daughter, whom he has known since childhood, details of their relationship and the family's terrible stranglehold over the local county is revealed. But the ultimate revelation would be about a substance that would be the ultimate cause the deaths and, predicts the office, possibly the end of civilisation. Suffice to say the substance enhances a particular emotion and causes internal agony when too much is used. - "Joe Diabo's Farewell" by Andy Duncan: a story about a Native American Indian who witnesses the death of a fellow construction worker in the city in the early 20th century. With work stopped for the day, he takes the chance to dress up as an Indian as part of a display before a movie about General Custer. His actions on that day, and after the movie would make him rethink his relationship with the dead worker. A story with a small touch of fantasy elements. - "The City of Lost Desire" by Phyllis Eisenstein: a story of a musician with some magical powers of movement that has joined a desert caravan on its way to an old city. The caravan carries a powder that is a powerful mind changing drug and much desired by the king of the city. But things take an interesting turn when the musician is apparently the only one able to open the entrance to an old tower near the city, which makes him a noble person in the eyes of the king; perhaps noble enough to marry his daughter. Political and business intrigue gathers pace in this mildly magical and fantasy story. - "The Right Number of Cats" by Jenn Reese: a short short about a person who fights off the addition of another cat to her household. The cat must work hard to convince her otherwise. - "Survey" by Adam-Troy Castro: a disturbing story set in dialogue-form between two people involving a survey whose continuing answers to questions would have a horrifying effect on both the person surveyed and the people whose lives would be affected by the choices during the survey. - "Blue as Blood" by Leah Cypess: a girl grows up on an alien world where the colour blue is culturally treated with disgust. Then she returns to Earth and continues to have violent emotional reactions to seeing anything blue. Even when the reactions gradually die down, she discovers her relationship with her parents and peers and constantly coloured by her reaction to blue and to grumblings about the way the aliens treat humanity. - "The Washer from the Ford" by Sean McMullen: a fascinating story involving a man who, after witnessing a stabbing, stumbles into the fairy world that exists among us and discovers not only a gift for seeing other people's emotional states but also a curse that afflicts him. As the story progresses, he learns not only of his capabilities but also the various links between the human and fairy world that turn this story into an interesting fairy detective story to be solved. - "Tactical Infantry Bot 37 Dreams of Trochees" by Marie Vibbert: after being involved in endless battles and seeing soldiers die, the remaining battle bots, who have started to distract themselves from the battles by developing 'hobbies', also start having 'electric dreams' and assert their independence. - "Fifteen Minutes from Now" by Erin Cashier: a rambling, one sided conversation by a person who claims to be a time traveller sent (multiple times) to torture information out of a potential terrorist who is about to detonate a bomb. Time travel paradoxes mixed with threats are, sadly, not my kind of story to like. - "The Fall from Griffin's Peak" by Pip Coen: a mild fantasy story about a thief hired to steal a special item from a store with magical protection. Told in a way that makes you sympathetic towards the thief (from the treatment she gets from the people who hire her), but it's given a rather surprising and emotional twist at the end that makes you re-evaluate your conclusions about the behaviour of the thief and the people who hired her.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leroy Erickson

    A couple of very good stories and several good ones. Carrie Vaughn - To The Beautiful Shining Twilight - 5 stars - There are many stories about young people having an adventure in some magical fairy land, but then they grow up and the magic goes away. What would they do if, many years later, they were given the chance to go there again? A very thoughtful story. Robert Reed - The Province Of Saints - 4 stars - A mass shooting and subsequent fire leaves many people dead. The people who died weren't A couple of very good stories and several good ones. Carrie Vaughn - To The Beautiful Shining Twilight - 5 stars - There are many stories about young people having an adventure in some magical fairy land, but then they grow up and the magic goes away. What would they do if, many years later, they were given the chance to go there again? A very thoughtful story. Robert Reed - The Province Of Saints - 4 stars - A mass shooting and subsequent fire leaves many people dead. The people who died weren't very popular, but who killed them? A story about power, drugs and ... empathy? Andy Duncan - Joe Diabo’s Farewell - 4 stars - Native Americans have a history of being very good steel workers during the construction of skyscrapers. This is the story of the death of one of them and what subsequently happens. Phyllis Eisenstein - The City Of Lost Desire - 4 stars - A caravan moves across a desert carrying products from one side to the other. One of the people in the caravan is a wandering troubador with a touch of magic. A nice story. Jenn Reese - The Right Number Of Cats - 3 stars - A woman has three cats, but a fourth shows up one day and forces its way into the family. This story is just missing something. Adam-Troy Castro - Survey - 4 stars - A quiet horror story. What would you do if you were given the power of deciding who should die and you could not give it up or avoid it? Leah Cypess - Blue As Blood - 4 stars - A child spends her first ten years on an alien world with a couple of major physical and social differences from Earth, and then moves back to Earth. How does she cope? How do kids her age cope with her? An interesting story. Sean McMullen - The Washer From The Ford - 5 stars - A man meets a faery woman and finds out some real truths about what faeries do and why they exist. A good story. Jerry Oltion - Science: When Betelgeuse Blows - 4 stars - A discussion of novas and supernovas and Betelgeuse may go supernova in the relatively near future. Marie Vibbert - Tactical Infantry Bot 37 Dreams Of Trochees - 3 stars - If robot fighters are added to armies, what will they do? How will they be accepted? An OK story with a couple of nice ideas. Erin Cashier - Fifteen Minutes From Now - 3 stars - Using time travel to try to prevent terrorist actions. An odd story. Pip Coen - The Fall From Griffin’s Peak - 3 stars - A thief is hired to help steal a special item. There is double crossing and deception on the parts of the hirer and the thief being hired with the result that nobody gets what they want or need. Some parts of the story are just a little bit too nebulous.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John Loyd

    7 • To the Beautiful Shining Twilight • 12 pages by Carrie Vaughn Very Good. After thirty years Arien has returned from his Fae land to ask a favor of Abby. She wants to shoo him away after being abandoned all those years ago. 19 • The Province of Saints • 17 pages by Robert Reed Good/VG. Mitch is brought in to talk with Mary Sue Billings. He's now a cop from a couple towns over, but he went to school with the Billings. A couple years behind Mary Sue, but in the same grade with Gordon. There was 7 • To the Beautiful Shining Twilight • 12 pages by Carrie Vaughn Very Good. After thirty years Arien has returned from his Fae land to ask a favor of Abby. She wants to shoo him away after being abandoned all those years ago. 19 • The Province of Saints • 17 pages by Robert Reed Good/VG. Mitch is brought in to talk with Mary Sue Billings. He's now a cop from a couple towns over, but he went to school with the Billings. A couple years behind Mary Sue, but in the same grade with Gordon. There was a birthday party for the elder Billings, with close to forty relatives there. Twenty-nine of them are dead. 36 • Joe Diabo's Farewell • 25 pages by Andy Duncan Good/OK. Eddie works in the construction of skyscrapers. The sense of looming danger, working so high up is well communicated. That night Al is going to a western, the flyer says they have some work for real Indians. Eddie calls and gets in on the gig. He gets to help Al who was so excited about going to see the movie but his dad didn't get the tickets. When his work is over there is a moment when several of the bit players from diverse backgrounds enjoy talking for a few minutes about things like how each culture uses chickpeas. 76 • The City of Lost Desire • 62 pages by Phyllis Eisenstein Excellent. Alaric has been traveling with Piros in a caravan across the desert. They have reached their destination in the west and are ready to meet with the King and sell their goods. A major part of the goods is the Powder they acquired in the desert. The King is addicted to this Powder that gives powerful dreams. He rules but doesn't govern. In the end Alaric solves a mystery that I didn't recognize was there to be solved. 138 • The Right Number of Cats • 3 pages by Jenn Reese OK. Grace has just lost Alma. She is comforted by her three cats, but now there is a fourth cat. If there is some metaphor, or maybe Alma's spirit inhabiting the new cat, it is too subtle to get through to me. 141 • Survey • 17 pages by Adam-Troy Castro Good+. Steph takes a survey where they show her a picture with the outline of what might be people and ask her to put an X over one. They then tell her that person was just killed, and that if she walks out, they'll kill the other two as well. 158 • Blue as Blood • 28 pages by Leah Cypess Good+. The Pinj hate the color blue, it hurts them and they have outlawed it on their station, the station where Nina was born. She would have died shortly after birth but the Pinj were able to cure her. The maximum stay is ten years and they are going home. Nina has picked up the Pinj hatred for the color blue and has a physical reaction to it. She slowly acclimates to a point where she can tolerate blue, but feels alone because there is an overriding distrust of the Pinj. She can't defend them or she'll be lumped in with them and be a direct recipient of her friend's animosity and lose most of them. Her refuge is to stay quiet when she so much wants a confidant. 186 • The Washer from the Ford • 21 pages by Sean McMullen Excellent. Peter witnesses a stabbing, calls 911 and goes to help. Too late the woman dies. He goes to the laundromat to wash the bloody clothes in the last open washer. A woman comes in and he offers to share. Then notices that the clothes she is washing are those of the victim. The victim who has to be lying in the morgue. The Washer is fey and grants Peter second sight, he can read the thoughts of people in their faces. Clever! 222 • Tactical Infantry Bot 37 Dreams of Trochees • 10 pages by Marie Vibbert OK. Bot 37 goes from battle to battle, planet to planet, outlasting the humans that are fighting along side her. Even though she does her best to draw fire. The war never seems to end. Why are they fighting? 232 • Fiteen Minutes from Now • 8 pages by Erin Cashier OK+. Time travel has been discovered, but it's expensive and the traveler is limited to fifteen minutes. Our protagonist is interrogating a terrorist to find information to avert a disaster. 240 • The Fall from Griffin's Peak • 16 pages by Pip Coen Very Good+. Rose is a petty thief, but she is dragged into a grand larceny plot. Punchy and Peacock want to rob an incredibly well guarded jewelry store. There is more to this job than Rose realizes.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jordi

    There goes my first issue of this classic magazine! It’s never too late, I guess. My favorite story without a doubt was “Joe Diabo’s Farewell”, by Andy Duncan. Even if the fantastic elements are quite thin, it’s an impressive exhibition of character building and storytelling set in the growing New York of the 20s, centered around the lives of a group of Native Americans working in Manhattan skyscraper construction. One of the best stories I read lately. Other highlights were the fresh take on th There goes my first issue of this classic magazine! It’s never too late, I guess. My favorite story without a doubt was “Joe Diabo’s Farewell”, by Andy Duncan. Even if the fantastic elements are quite thin, it’s an impressive exhibition of character building and storytelling set in the growing New York of the 20s, centered around the lives of a group of Native Americans working in Manhattan skyscraper construction. One of the best stories I read lately. Other highlights were the fresh take on the classical thief’s fantasy tale in “The Fall from Griffin’s Peak”, by Pip Coen, the enjoyable urban Faery fantasy in “The Washer from the Ford”, by Sean McMullen, and the ultra-short, unclassifiable piece on personal loss “The Right Number of Cats”, by Jenn Reese. The featured novella “The City of Lost Desire” was a bit dull on the other hand - a classic sword and sorcery narrative that felt flat to me. The rest of stories seemed pretty average as well - entertaining, but nothing special.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Renee Babcock

    Another very solid edition with Blue as Blood and Washer from the Ford being my favorite stories. I also don't always connect with the science column but this one on Novas and Supernovas was really interesting reading. Another very solid edition with Blue as Blood and Washer from the Ford being my favorite stories. I also don't always connect with the science column but this one on Novas and Supernovas was really interesting reading.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary Soon Lee

    This is my favorite issue of F&SF in quite a while. I appreciate the variety of stories that F&SF encompasses, but that does mean that usually there are one or two pieces that don't appeal to me. This time I liked all eleven stories, which ranged from high fantasy to military science fiction. In addition, I liked Jerry Oltion's science article on Betelgeuse (perhaps partly because I've been writing astronomy poetry of late, including a poem about Betelgeuse). Of the eleven fine stories, the follo This is my favorite issue of F&SF in quite a while. I appreciate the variety of stories that F&SF encompasses, but that does mean that usually there are one or two pieces that don't appeal to me. This time I liked all eleven stories, which ranged from high fantasy to military science fiction. In addition, I liked Jerry Oltion's science article on Betelgeuse (perhaps partly because I've been writing astronomy poetry of late, including a poem about Betelgeuse). Of the eleven fine stories, the following were my three favorites. Firstly, Carrie Vaughn's "To the Beautiful Shining Twilight," which overcame my prejudices against tales featuring fairies on the strength of its protagonist and its beautifully voiced prose. Secondly, Andy Duncan's novelette "Joe Diablo's Farewell," which, again, is beautifully told; the fantasy content is relatively slight, but the character and setting (1920s New York: high steel and movies) are very strong. Thirdly, Adam-Troy Castro's chilling science fiction story "Survey," whose urgency and horror overcome a somewhat implausible premise. (Or is it? How implausible the premise is depends on how honest the questioner is.) In a normal issue, any of the remaining stories might have numbered among my favorites, but I'd like to note that I greatly enjoyed both Phyllis Eisenstein's "The City of Lost Desire," a novella in the main tradition of fantasy, yet not imitative and (again!) very nicely told, and Marie Vibbert's "Tactical Infantry Bot 37 Dreams of Trochees," which reminded me--in a good way--of Martha Wells's wonderful Murderbot novellas, yet has its own powerful take on sentient robots under orders. Overall: an excellent issue. Highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Damm

    A fairly decent issue. My favorites were "Blue as Blood" (the editor's intro says it's about perception and intolerance. As good a description as any, especially for two words. But I couldn't help but feel like there is more going on here. One of the top two for the issue), and "The Fall from Griffin's Peak" which, despite a fairly mundane fantasy setting distinguishes itself with some good framing devices, clever turns, and emotional payoff (that last, in particular, is something the stories of A fairly decent issue. My favorites were "Blue as Blood" (the editor's intro says it's about perception and intolerance. As good a description as any, especially for two words. But I couldn't help but feel like there is more going on here. One of the top two for the issue), and "The Fall from Griffin's Peak" which, despite a fairly mundane fantasy setting distinguishes itself with some good framing devices, clever turns, and emotional payoff (that last, in particular, is something the stories often miss the mark on. And if the story were presented without its framing device, this one would have. But it all works). "Tactical Infantry Bot 37" is fun. Although the ending left me a bit confused. "A Province of Saints" (a neat enough core concept unfurled in a fun way. Short enough that it didn't get bogged down in itself). I enjoyed "The Washer and the Ford" more than expected-I don't normally care too much for urban fae fantasy stories. That fact, of course, means I didn't much care for the opening story (Beautiful Shining Twilight), but it's fine. "Joe Diabo's Farewell" felt like it was in the wrong publication, honestly. "The City of Lost Desire" is okay. But it does get bogged down in itself, and is presented straight (unlike "Griffin's Peak"), and it all just didn't work for me. Plus, I found I could skip entire sections without missing anything worth reading-so much of the story is filler. It could have been edited to a shorter version, where a tight focus may have helped the narrative pacing, and large ideas were introduced that didn't really seem important in the end. "Cats" and "Fifteen Minutes" were also there. The former I really have nothing to say about; the latter is a neat idea that is executed well enough, and short enough, to hold together.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin DeHaan

    Favorites were “Survey” and “The Washer from the Ford”

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    As I mentioned earlier on in the magazine, I was a bit surprised that the first few stories had little SF or fantasy in them, but then things kicked into gear with a great Phyllis Eisenstein novella, followed by several good stories. My favorite was The Fall From Griffin’s Peak by Pip Coen, a humorous (at least it starts out that way) fantasy story that left me wanting more. Overall, a good issue.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael Frasca

    My favorite stories: THE CITY OF LOST DESIRE - Phyllis Eisenstein. JOE DIABO’S FAREWELL - Andy Duncan. A most excellent American tale. THE PROVINCE OF SAINTS - Robert Reed. Punishing sociopaths in the future. SURVEY - Adam-Troy Castro. Recruiting sociopaths for the future.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tad Kilgore

    excellent and balanced issue. Survey by Adam Troy Catro was a standout.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Hurley

    One of my new favorite issues. Some really great stories in here. A few infuriated me (in an absolute good way) and there was some lovely epic fantasy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shona Kinsella

    Another great issue with a lot of enjoyable stories. I particularly liked The Washer from the Ford

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  18. 4 out of 5

    Garrett

  19. 5 out of 5

    Greg

  20. 4 out of 5

    MRN

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wsantosf Santos

  22. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul Tunis

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dani

  25. 4 out of 5

    Landon

  26. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sjoerd

  28. 5 out of 5

    Caty

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melisa Carter

  30. 5 out of 5

    Frankie

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.