Featuring the first regular issue of F&SF under the new editorial hand of C C Finlay. I use the issue as a springboard to discuss the state of science fiction and look at the science-fictional state of some smaller zines as well, which leads me to the following conclusion: science fiction is the literature of the new, the different, the not previously conceived. But too much published under the label ...Read MoreRead more
While my previous column looked at some new and changing publications, here I find things rather much the same. A number of smaller and less frequent publications reviewed this time, of which I’m most pleased with Unlikely Story.
Publications Reviewed Beneath Ceaseless Skies #164-165, January 2015 Strange Horizons, January 2015 Tor.com, January 2015 Unlikely Story, November 2014 Kaleidotrope, Winter 2015 Shimmer, January 2015 Farrago’s Wainscot, January 2015
Beneath ...Read More Read more
In this column, I’m looking at new and changed publications, befitting the new year. Notably, we have Clarkesworld in its January issue beginning a program of publishing Chinese authors in translation. Indeed, this seems to be a growing trend, as the second issue of Uncanny is anchored by a fine piece by Hao Jingfang, to which I present this year’s first Good Story Award. I also have the debut issue ...Read MoreRead more
Looking mostly at the print publications this time, not seeing much difference from the previous year.
Publications Reviewed Asimov’s, February 2015 Analog, March 2015 Interzone, January/February 2015 Lightspeed, January 2015
Asimov’s, February 2015
The issue is anchored by an entertaining novella by Nick Wolven. There’s also an Elizabeth Bear reprint among the novelettes.“On the Night of the Robo-Bulls and Zombie Dancers” by Nick Wolven
A near-future after ...Read MoreRead more
Looking back over 2014 to pick my favorite stories, I don’t see it as a really good year for short SF. From many directions come charges that the field has fallen into a rut, and the evidence doesn’t strongly dispute it. Subterranean Press discontinued its high-quality magazine and no new periodicals have yet risen to replace it, although Uncanny shows promise. Overall, my assessment of this year’s stories would have ...Read MoreRead more
And that’s it for the year.
My year-end summary of 2014’s best fiction will be posted soon.
Publications Reviewed Lackington’s, Fall 2014 Strange Horizons, December 2014 Beneath Ceaseless Skies #162-163, December 2014 Tor.com, December 2014 Nobody’s Home, by Tim Powers
Lackington’s, Fall 2014
Subtitled: Institutions. The editor describes the collective tone of these four stories as morose and melancholic, fitting the oppressive nature of the institutions in which ...Read MoreRead more
Good issues from Clarkesworld and F&SF this time.
Publications Reviewed Clarkesworld, December 2014 F&SF, January/February 2015 Lightspeed, December 2014 Apex Magazine, December 2014
Clarkesworld, December 2014
CW goes out for the year on a pretty strong note. Four stories here, three quite short and one long, that I like best.“Now Dress Me in My Finest Suit and Lay Me in My Casket” by M Bennardo
Patty, ...Read MoreRead more
With one foot in the old year and another in the new, I redeem the Good Story award from the pawnshop to bestow on “Where the Trains Turn” from Tor.com.
Publications Reviewed Beneath Ceaseless Skies #160-161, November 2014 Tor.com, November 2014 Analog, January/February 2015 Asimov’s, January 2015
Beneath Ceaseless Skies #160-161, November 2014
There are no obvious thematic links between the stories in either of these issues. The ...Read MoreRead more
A miscellaneous column this time, with a number of smaller and less-regular publications, one being the debut issue of a new e-magazine, Uncanny.
Publications Reviewed Uncanny #1, November/December 2014 Interzone, November/December 2014 Shimmer, November 2014 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, December 2014 Lightspeed, November 2014 Strange Horizons, November 2014
Uncanny Magazine #1, November/December 2014
Lynne M Thomas was previously editor of Apex Magazine. Now she and Michael Damian Thomas ...Read MoreRead more
Regular readers of these columns will be aware that I keep looking for high quality Hard SF, a quest not often fulfilled. Lately, it seems that the ground may be more fertile for this subgenre in anthologies than periodicals. Here’s another, with an intriguing hint of hardness in the title, as well as some of the usual periodical short fiction.
Publications Reviewed Carbide Tipped Pens, edited by Ben Bova ...Read More Read more
This time, the bonus fiction comes from Beneath Ceaseless Skies, with a sixth anniversary double issue added onto a three-issue month. We also have more of the regular and less regular ezines. I give the high scores for October to BCS and Tor.com.
Publications Reviewed Beneath Ceaseless Skies #157-159, October 2014 The Dark, November 2014 Strange Horizons, October 2014 Tor.com, October 2014 Kaleidotrope, Autumn 2014 Bastion, October 2014 Read more
The genre’s editors seem to be adding a lot of bonus short fiction for October. More to read, beginning with the year-end issues of Asimov’s and Analog, both among the better of the year.
Publications Reviewed Asimov’s, December 2014 Analog, December 2014 Lightspeed, October 2014 Fantasy Magazine, October 2014 On Spec, Summer 2014
Asimov’s, December 2014
This zine is wrapping up the publishing year on a strong note. ...Read MoreRead more
The crushing noise you don’t hear is the sound of the fiction avalanche that’s come down on my head over the last month. I’m trying to read myself out from under, but it looks like I just may not get to everything in a timely manner.
This column features the anthology Hieroglyph, from which I give the Good Story award to the Doctorow. Also several regular periodicals.
Publications ...Read More Read more
And this time the stories are fantasy, with an anthology edited by Jonathan Strahan, whose collections are better known for hard science fiction. Also the September offerings from Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Tor.com. Finally, for a change of pace, a science fiction novella by Genevieve Valentine.
Publications Reviewed Fearsome Magics, edited by Jonathan Strahan Beneath Ceaseless Skies #155-156, September 2014 Tor.com, September 2014 Dream Houses, by Genevieve Valentine Read more
A whole lot of material showing up this time, and most of it science fiction, with both Dell digests appearing, one a double, and both with sequel novellas, which I generally consider a bad idea. Also the September stories from Strange Horizons and a long independent fantasy novella.
Publications Reviewed Asimov’s, October/November 2014 Analog, November 2014 Strange Horizons, September 2014 The Don’t Girls, Octavia Cade
Asimov’s, October/November 2014 ...Read More Read more
I’m finding the best fiction in Interzone this time.
Publications Reviewed Interzone #254, September/October 2014 Coming Soon Enough, edited by Stephen Cass Clarkesworld, September 2014 Apex Magazine, September 2014 Lightspeed, September 2014
Interzone #254, September/October 2014
A Nina Allan special issue, introducing her new nonfiction column.“Mirielena” by Nina Allan
Noah is a refugee, a poet from somewhere in the Mideast, now applying for asylum in Britain. Despair ...Read MoreRead more
A lot of fantasy here, little actual science fiction.
Publications Reviewed Lightspeed, 51 August 2014 Strange Horizons, August 2014 Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 153-154 August 2014 Tor.com, August 2014 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, 30 September 2014
Lightspeed, August 2014
Only the Owomoyela piece is really science fiction.“Undermarket Data” by An Owomoyela
A dystopia future in which wealth inequality has led to division between Upcity and the districts, where ...Read MoreRead more
Just two works here this time: the September issue of F&SF and a cyborg anthology from the publishers of the ezine Clarkesworld, which adds up to just about as many stories as usual, or maybe more.
Publications Reviewed F&SF, September/October 2014 Upgraded, edited by Neil Clarke
F&SF, September/October 2014
Back to the regular lineup of suspects here, after the last, guest-edited issue that offered some rare fresh author ...Read MoreRead more
Featuring the final issue of Subterranean Online magazine, a great loss to readers looking for good fiction, particularly at the novella length. Subterranean Press will undoubtedly continue to publish single-volume novellas, which alas I see all too infrequently for review. I also read the regular first-of-the-month zines.
Publications Reviewed Subterranean, Summer 2014 Clarkesworld, 95 August 2014 The Dark, August 2014 Apex Magazine, August 2014
Subterranean, Summer 2014
It ...Read MoreRead more
This time, scheduling issues led to a shorter column than usual. I guess it averages out.
Publications Reviewed Beneath Ceaseless Skies #151-152, July 2014 Tor.com, July 2014 Scale-Bright by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
Beneath Ceaseless Skies #151-152, July 2014
The first issue has people afflicted by their pasts, the second by hostile forces. The one I like is the Marshall.
#151“Rappaccini’s Crow” by Cat Rambo
Referencing the Hawthorne classic, ...Read MoreRead more
Scheduling changes make this column an especially long one. It would have been considerably longer if I’d reviewed the all-too-numerous serializations, which is not my practice here. At least I managed to get caught up.
For the good stories, look at Interzone and the little zine Shimmer.
Publications Reviewed Asimov’s, September 2014 Analog, October 2014 Interzone, July/August 2014 Strange Horizons, July 2014 Lightspeed, July 2014 Shimmer, May 2014 Heroic ...Read More Read more
This wasn’t the column I’d intended to write, but material for review doesn’t always come in according to my plans. So here are a couple of the regular periodical, a less-regular one, and a couple of new [at least to me] publications. My favorite is Unlikely Story.
Here is also a theme, inspired or perhaps incited by the recent issues of Clarkesworld analyzing in great detail the publication statistics of ...Read MoreRead more
Trying to catch up here after losing some time to an emergency. This column features a Hard SF anthology.
Publications Reviewed Reach for Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 149,150 June 2014 Strange Horizons, June 2014 Tor.com, June 2014
Reach for Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan
Another in the editor’s fine “Infinity” series of Hard SF anthologies on the subject of human expansion into space. This ...Read MoreRead more
Here are a bunch of the usual monthly zines.
Publications Reviewed Asimov’s, August 2014 Analog, September 2014 Clarkesworld, June 2014 Apex Magazine, June 2014
Asimov’s, August 2014
The issue is anchored by a novella from Jay O’Connell; I can’t say any of these pieces enthuse me greatly.“Of All Possible Worlds” by Jay O’Connell
In 1997, Costas, an unemployed youngish man with multiple useless degrees [Nonviolent Studies] is ...Read MoreRead more
June looks to be a very interesting month in genre short fiction, with special, guest-edited issues of some of our more prominent zines, notably F&SF and Lightspeed, the latter expanded to several times its normal length.
Publications Reviewed F&SF, July/August 2014 Lightspeed, June 2014
F&SF, July/August 2014
An issue guest-edited by C C Finlay, via electronic submission, and featuring some less usual suspects for this zine. There is ...Read MoreRead more
Playing catch-up here, trying to cover as many publications as I can get in before the end of the month. The prize this time goes to Tor.com, offering a fine set of original stories.
Publications Reviewed Interzone 252, May/June 2014 Tor.com, May 2014 Lightspeed, May 2014 Strange Horizons, May 2014 Beneath Ceaseless Skies #146-148, May 2014 Apex Magazine, May 2014
Interzone 252, May/June 2014
An issue featuring Neil ...Read MoreRead more
This column is mostly taken up with a massive and entertaining anthology full of long-established authors. I also look at a smallish new ezine with new authors.
Publications Reviewed Rogues, edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois Bastion, May 2014
Rogues, edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois
Be careful what you wish for. I’ve remarked a number of times in the course of doing these ...Read MoreRead more
Publications Reviewed Analog, July/August 2014 Asimov’s, July 2014 Clarkesworld, May 2014 The Dark, May 2014
Analog, July/August 2014
A double issue opening with another installment of Flynn’s Journeyman serial. Readers who’ve been following this extended adventure may well find it the most entertaining story in the issue, although my own favorite is the Esaias. There’s still plenty of room for a near-dozen shorter works, which have inspired some ...Read MoreRead more
As I began writing this column, the nominations for the Hugo Awards were announced. I was pleased to see some of my recommendations in the short story category. But I also noted that several of the works nominated for the longer awards were stories I hadn’t seen. It’s a reminder that the genre world keeps expanding, and there are stories to be found outside and beyond the usual sources. I ...Read MoreRead more
Winter is over! This time featuring the Spring issue of Subterranean online magazine as well as F&SF.
Publications Reviewed Subterranean, Spring 2014 Kaleidotrope, Spring 2014 F&SF, May/June 2014
Subterranean, Spring 2014
Seven stories in this quarter’s issue, none that seem to be of novella length.“The Screams of Dragons” by Kelly Armstrong
As a child, Bobby’s life was cold and grey, except in his dreams of golden palaces. ...Read MoreRead more
Featuring the June issues of the Dell digests, both with some enjoyable stuff. The real prize, though, is the April Clarkesworld. A Good Story award to both the Swanwick and Wallace pieces.
Publications Reviewed Asimov’s, June 2014 Analog, June 2014 Clarkesworld, April 2014 Apex Magazine, April 2014
Asimov’s, June 2014
A better issue than usual. Particularly liking the Palmer and Tidhar stories.“Shatterdown” by Suzanne Palmer
Cjoi was ...Read MoreRead more
Some regular ezines and a couple of quarterlies for the end of the month, not quite as many stories as I had expected from several of these sources, but a bonus amount from Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
Publications Reviewed Beneath Ceaseless Skies #142-143, March 2014 Lightspeed, March 2014 Strange Horizons, March 2014 Tor.com, March 2014 On Spec #95 Winter 2013/2014 Stupefying Stories, March 2014
Beneath Ceaseless Skies ...Read More Read more