Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Lightspeed, Tor.com, and Giganotosaurus

Lightspeed 5/18 Tor.com 4/11/18 Giganotosaurus 2/18, 3/18, 4/18

The SF in the May Lightspeed interested me most. Carolyn Ives Gilman’s “We Will Be All Right” is a very short, dark reflection on a future in which a gender-based pathogen kills men when their lovers conceive. The narrator is ready to meet her son’s girlfriend… as I said, it’s a short piece, and mostly a meditation, and quite ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Tor.com, and Bourbon Penn

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/15/18 Lightspeed 4/18 Clarkesworld 3/18 Tor.com 2/18, 3/18 Bourbon Penn 3/18

In the May 15 issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Siobhan Carroll offers a powerful if slanted look at the course of a war in “The War of Light and Shadow, in Five Dishes”. A chef is captured by soldiers of the Iron Crusade, in the act of collecting an egg for his lord. The ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: F&SF, Analog, and Asimov’s

F&SF 3-4/18 Analog 3-4/18 Asimov’s 3-4/18

Let’s begin with the March-April issues of the three leading digests. F&SF continues its strong recent run, with a March-April issue full of enjoyable work. Susan Palwick’s “Hideous Flowerpots” is a heart-warming story about a woman running a successful art gallery who isn’t happy, as evidenced by, among other things, her harsh reaction to people bringing her substandard art, and how ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: BCS, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Galaxy’s Edge, Kaleidotrope, and Apex

Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 2/1/18, 2/15/18, 3/1/18 Lightspeed 2/18, 3/18 Clarkesworld 1/18, 2/18 Galaxy’s Edge 1/18 Kaleidotrope Winter ’18 Apex 2/18

February is Science-Fantasy Month at Be­neath Ceaseless Skies, one of my favorite times! And as a bonus, this year it extends to the first day in March, so there are three is­sues of stories that mix SF and fantasy (often by describing SFnal situations in the language of fantasy.) My ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Tender, Analog, Asimov’s, BCS, Uncanny, Slate, and New Haven Noir

Tender, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer) April 2017. Analog 1/18 Asimov’s 1-2/18 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 1/4/18 Uncanny 1-2/18 Slate 1/17/18 New Haven Noir, Amy Bloom, ed. (Akashic) June 2017.

I am continuing to catch up on some 2017 stuff I missed. For example, Sofia Samatar‘s col­lection Tender is one of the best collections I’ve seen in some time. This exceptional debut collection includes two new stories, “An Account ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Uncanny, Lackington’s, Rivet, All Systems Red, and The Martian Job

Uncanny 11-12/17 Lackington’s Fall ’17 Rivet Journal Fall ’17 All Systems Red, Martha Wells (Tor.com) Sep­tember 2017. The Martian Job, Jaine Fenn (NewCon) De­cember 2017.

 

Uncanny in November-December features a very effective story by Tina Connolly, “Pipecleaner Sculptures and Other Necessary Work“, about an android on a generation starship who faces a transition as they reach their destination – from a preschool teacher to ...Read More

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SF Short Fiction, 2017 by Rich Horton

How to view the state of the field now? SF (and fantasy) are in some sort of pop culture ascendance – the rapturous reception of The Last Jedi on the one hand, and Wonder Woman on another hand, and even The Shape of Water (a more ambitious film than the more popular pair I mentioned, and yet also an hommage of sorts to 1950s monster movies) is surely evidence of ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: F&SF, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies

F&SF 1-2/18 Lightspeed 1/18 Clarkesworld 12/17 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 12/7/17, 12/21/17

The highlight of F&SF‘s first 2018 issue is Dale Bailey‘s gleefully horrifying story “The Donner Party“. It opens with young Mrs. Breen delighted to be tasting human flesh for the first time – at a party given by the influential Lady Donner. Mrs. Breen is of an insignificant family (her grandfather made his money in trade!) ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction

F&SF 11-12/17 Asimov’s 11-12/17 Analog 11-12/17 Lightspeed 12/17 Clarkesworld 11/17 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 11/21/17 Uncanny 9-10/17 Not One of Us 10/17 Omni Winter ’17

Global Dystopias, Junot Díaz, ed. (Boston Re­view) November 2017. Infinity Wars, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris) October 2017. Acadie, Dave Hutchinson (Tor.com Publishing) September 2017.

F&SF’s November/December issue features “Stillborne“, a significant and, as always, enjoyable entry in Marc Laidlaw‘s Spar/Gorlen ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, BCS, and Tor.com

Asimov’s 9-10/17 Clarkesworld 10/17 Lightspeed 11/17 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 9/28/17 Tor.com 10/17 Prime Meridian, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Indiegogo/Innsmouth Free Press) December 2017. Singing My Sister Down, Margo Lanagan (Al­len and Unwin) May 2017.

Is the novelette the ideal form for SF? I sup­pose not necessarily, but it does work pretty well, as evidenced by the September-Octo­ber Asimov’s. R. Garcia y Robertson‘s “Grand Theft Spacecraft” is the ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction

F&SF 9-10/17 Analog 9-10/17 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 8/17/17 Lightspeed 10/17 Tor.com 9/6/17

The most exciting short fiction news this month is surely the appearance in the September/October F&SF of a new story by Samuel R. Delany. Even better, “The Hermit of Houston” is exceptional work! It’s set some time in a strange future and is hard to get a grip on (the best kind). From one angle ...Read More

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Rich Horton reviews Infinite Stars by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, ed.

Infinite Stars, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, ed. (Titan 9781785655937, $24.95, 688pp, hc) Oc­tober 2017.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s new anthol­ogy Infinite Stars is a big collection of space opera stories, split roughly evenly between reprints and originals. The reprints serve to some extent as an introduction to the subgenre, with examples from such classic series as Cordwainer Smith’s Instrumentality of Man­kind, Anne McCaffrey’s Ship Who Sang books, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan ...Read More

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Rich Horton reviews Short Fiction

Lightspeed 8/17, 9/17 Tor.com 8/17 Apex 7/17 Interzone 7-8/17 McSweeney’s #49

There’s a good set of stories in the August Lightspeed. Ashok Banker‘s “Tongue” is an uncomfortable and rather over-the-top satire on the horrors of a traditional Indian mar­riage, set on an asteroid. The over-the-top elements are part and parcel of satire, though I also thought the portrayal of Indian culture seemed a wincing cliché, as did ...Read More

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Rich Horton reviews Short Fiction

Asimov’s 7-8/17 F&SF 7-8/17 Uncanny 7-8/17 Clarkesworld 7/17 Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, People of Color Take Over Special Issue Tor.com 7/17

There are two very entertaining novellas in the July-August Asimov’s, both by writers who have long been favorites of mine, and both of whom had long career hiatuses. Alexander Jablokov published nothing between 1998 and 2006; while R. Garcia y Robertson‘s story this month is the first ...Read More

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Rich Horton reviews Short Fiction: August 2017

Strange Horizons 6/5/17 Analog 7-8/17 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 5/25/17, 6/22/17 Clarkesworld 6/17 Lightspeed 7/17 Tobias Buckell’s Patreon 4/17 Tor.com 6/17 Tin House Summer ’17

Utopia, LOL?” is a very nice far-future story from a fairly new voice, Jamie Wahls, in Strange Horizons. It’s told by Kit, one of trillions of humans living in what appear to be Matrioshka brains in the extreme far future. Her job (one ...Read More

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Rich Horton reviews Short Fiction, January 2017

F&SF 11-12/16 Interzone 11-12/16 Analog 12/16 Tor.com 11/02/16, 11/16/16 The Starlit Wood, Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe, eds. (Saga Press) October 2016

F&SF for November/December features a rare and welcome appearance from Gardner Dozois, whose fame as an editor should not cause us to forget how good his fiction is. ‘‘The Place of Bones’’ is a short, stylish dark fantasy told by the tutor of a

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Rich Horton reviews Short Fiction, September 2016

F&SF 7-8/16 Asimov’s 9/16 Clarkesworld 6/16, 7/16 Lightspeed 8/16 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 7/21/16 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 7/16 Swords v. Cthulhu, Jesse Bullington & Molly Tanzer, eds. (Stone Skin Press) August 2016.

Lavie Tidhar offers perhaps the best novella of the year in the July/August F&SF. ‘‘The Vanishing Kind’’ is set in London in the 1950s, but in an alternate London where the Nazis won WWII, and

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Rich Horton reviews Short Fiction, May 2016

Analog 4/16 Asimov’s 3/16 F&SF 3-4/16 Lightspeed 4/16 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/3/16, 3/17/16 Galaxy’s Edge 3/16

Analog leads off April with a fine story by Maggie Clark, ‘‘Seven Ways of Looking at the Sun-Worshippers of Yul-Katan’’. It’s told by a woman native to the planet Yul-Katan, where the people worship the sun. Having lost her faith following her father’s ‘‘ascension’’ to the station orbiting their sun, she

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RICH HORTON

RICH HORTON, Contributing Editor, is a software engineer living in Webster Groves, Missouri. He was born in Naperville, Illinois, and received a B.S. in Physics from the University of Illinois in 1981. He has been working for the same large aerospace concern in St. Louis for over 20 years. He has been reading science fiction since the Golden Age (i.e since he was 12). His reviews and essays have ...Read More

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Rich Horton reviews Sandra McDonald

Sandra McDonald is best known for novels which, on the face of them, are fairly conventional military SF with a romantic slant, yet those who have followed her short fiction know she’s a quirkier writer than her novels display. Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories features 14 tales, many originals, set in a sort of alternate history that for the most part is a transparent version of our world, at

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New Books, 7 June 2016

* Afsharirad, David, ed. : The Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF 2015 (Baen 978-1-4767-8177-8, $16, 288pp, trade paperback, June 2016) • Nominal Publication Date: Tue 7 Jun 2016 • Ebook ISBN [link to Amazon Kindle edition]: 978-1-62579-503-8

Anthology of 12 stories first published in 2015, second volume of a series following last year’s The Year’s Best Military SF & Space Opera. • Authors include David Brin, Seth Dickinson,

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New and Notable Books, September 2015

Wesley Chu, Time Salvager (Tor Jul 2015)

The author of the popular Tao trilogy launches a new time-travel series with this intense tale of ‘‘chronmen,’’ operatives sent back to the moments before historical disasters to steal valuable resources without altering the timeline. When chronman James Griffin-Mars breaks the rules by rescuing a scientist from the prior century, they go on the run to escape justice.

 

Max Gladstone, Last First

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New Books, 9 June 2015

* Blaylock, James P. : Beneath London (Titan 978-1783292608, $14.95, 432pp, trade paperback, June 2015) • Nominal Publication Date: Tue 9 Jun 2015 • Langdon St. Ives #4

Steampunk fantasy novel, fourth in a series about Langdon St. Ives following Homunculus (1986) Lord Kelvin’s Machine (1992), and The Aylesford Skull (2013). • The publisher’s site has this description. • Site Dread Central has an exclusive PDF excerpt linked from this

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New Books, 10 June

* Card, Orson Scott, & Aaron Johnston : Earth Awakens (Tor 978-0-7653-2906-6, $25.99, 400pp, hardcover, June 2014) • Nominal Publication Date: Tue 10 Jun 2014 • Ebook ISBN [link to Amazon Kindle edition]: 9781429948814 • Audiobook ISBN [link to Amazon]: 978-1-4272-4101-6 • UK edition: Little, Brown UK/Orbit 978-0356502762 (Tue 10 Jun 2014) • The First Formic War #3

SF novel, third in a prequel trilogy to Card’s Ender’s Game

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New Books: 2 July

* Allen, Mike, ed. : Clockwork Phoenix 4 (Mythic Delirium 978-0-9889124-0-3, $15.95, 275pp, trade paperback, July 2013) • Nominal Publication Date: Mon 1 Jul 2013 • Ebook ISBN [link to Amazon Kindle edition]: B00DGQPX4S

Anthology of 18 original stories. • Authors include Yves Meynard, Ian McHugh, Gemma Files, Tanith Lee, Cat Rambo, and Richard Parks. • Series site www.clockworkphoenix.com has the full table of contents. • Amazon’s “Look Inside” function

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New Books, 7 August

* Berman, Steve : Wilde Stories 2012 (Lethe Press 978-1590213988, $15, 236pp, trade paperback, August 2012) • Nominal Publication Date: Wed 11 Jul 2012

Anthology of 12 stories first published in 2011, subtitled “The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction”. • Authors include Alex Jeffers, Richard Bowes, Tom Cardamone, Lee Thomas, Christopher Barzak, and Ellen Kushner • The publisher’s site has a brief description. • Amazon’s “Look Inside” function provides the

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Issue 705 Table of Contents, October 2019

The October 2019 issue of Locus magazine has interviews with Sarah Pinsker and Phenderson Djèlí Clark. Worldcon 77 in Dublin is covered with an extensive report and photos, the complete Hugo and Retro-Hugo voting breakdowns, and a WSFS business meeting report. Stories include the renaming of the Campbell Conference and the Tiptree Award, the Dragon Awards and James White Award winners, Haikasoru on hiatus, and more. Kameron ...Read More

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New Books : 10 September 2019

New titles this week are by Dahlia Adler, David Afsharirad, Nina Allan, Margaret Atwood, Desirina Boskovich, Orson Scott Card, Ellen Datlow, Alix E. Harrow, Tyler Hayes, Tom Holt, Rich Horton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Stephen King, Rachel Eve Moulton, Tamsyn Muir, Sarah Pinsker, Alexandra Rowland, Kim Scott, Wendy Trimboli & Alicia Zaloga, and Edward Willett.
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Issue 704 Table of Contents, September 2019

The September 2019 issue of Locus magazine has interviews with Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Cadwell Turnbull. The issue lists US and UK forthcoming books titles through June 2020. Awards news includes the Hugo Awards winners, the 1944 Retro-Hugo Awards, World Fantasy Awards ballot, Dragon Awards nominees, Seiun Awards winners, and a name change for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Additional news covers Worldcon site selection, Audible’s ...Read More

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Issue 703 Table of Contents, August 2019

The August 2019 issue of Locus magazine has interviews with William Gibson and Lesley Nneka Arimah. Awards news includes the Campbell, Sturgeon, Clarke, Shirley Jackson, Chesley, and Prometheus awards winners. Other news includes an update on the Beagle legal battle, the retirement of DC’s Vertigo imprint, Amazon legal developments, the results of this year’s Locus Survey, and more. Kameron Hurley‘s column ...Read More

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Issue 702 Table of Contents, July 2019

The July 2019 issue of Locus has interviews with Ben H. Winters and R.F. Kuang. Awards news covers the 2019 Locus, Ditmar, and Lambda Literary winners, and finalists, longlists, and/or ballots from the Campbell Memorial, Chesley, Mythopoeic, Sunburst, Aurora, and Eugie awards. There are photos and reports covering the 2019 SFWA Nebula Conference, WisCon 43, and The Outer Dark Symposium ...Read More

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