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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 ...Read MoreRead more
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 ...Read MoreRead more
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 ...Read MoreRead more
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 ...Read MoreRead more