September 18, 2008

Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, Oct/Nov 2008, Part II

Book Cover

The last post has a link to a description discount. Again, if you have better links please send them to me.

Going Back in Time by Laurel Winter

Richard meets Ellie at the end. Before that – can you call it before? Winter’s contribution is a time-travel tale told in brief snippets. Slightly confusing, she keeps her tale short enough that the snippets are fairly easy to piece together. An amusing and deceptively light story, I think about this tale a little more than I should when I read it.

Private Eye by Terry Bissom

As the intro warns, this story is not for the kids. Whoever said kids get to have all the fun? This ranks in my top three from the issue, along with “Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment” and “The Scarecrow’s Boy.” It’s a little bit psychological, quite a bit voyeuristic, and completely satisfying. No ‘onscreen’ sex, but very sexy. For me the sexiness works because it’s also romantic. Eula and the narrator are both strong characters and Bissom uses technology in a rather probable manner.

December 22, 2012 by Sophie M. White

Pff-t. The Maya
Are absolutely correct
About 2012.*


Whoever by Carol Emshwiller

A woman wakes up without an identity, but discovers one she likes. She tries to discover more about herself and knows a little of what she’d like to become, but she’s content as “Whoever.” I wonder about the woman’s past, especially given some of the story’s events, but I like that she’s happy without it. This story made me cheerful just in time for M. Ricket’s assault on my psyche.

Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment: One Daughter’s Personal Account by M. Rickert

The comparison is facile, but I draw a connection between this and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” For one thing, both disturb me. “Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment” does not hide what is happening in the story. It neither reveals everything at the beginning nor ends with an unexpected twist. The narrator is simply considers the executions of mass numbers of women so commonplace that she doesn’t need to think about why they happen until she becomes introspective. Ricket’s tale revels in hypocrisy and mixes the mundane and grotesque into a too-realistic tale. I want to read it again to pick apart the details, but I’m giving my mind some time to recover first.

Planetismal Dawn by Tim Sullivan

Sullivan’s contribution, like Winter’s, involves some time travel. He goes about it in a much different way, although both stories offer greatest insight into a single relationship. Nozaki’s subordinate Wolverton discovers something rather curious while the two try to return to the base on the asteroid they’re studying. Nozaki, on the other hand, discovers some of her shortcomings as an officer. Quite a bit occurs in this novella, but Sullivan keeps things under control and ends the story neatly.

The Scarecrow’s Boy by Michael Swanwick

I would like this story if only for the line, “We are as God and Sony made us.” Stanwick pulls together adventure, politics, and robots in a fabulous story about an old technology scarecrow who doesn’t need a wizard for brains, heart, or courage. There’s a moment of darkness that both gives the story necessary edge and highlights how sweet most of it is.


I enjoyed the departments and enjoyed the book reviews most. However, I am going to see Iron Man tonight. I wonder what my view of the movie will be. (Eh, I tend to enjoy both brainless spectacles and Edward Norton so it will probably be positive.)

*Had an amusing story about the movie and Edward Norton (who isn't in the movie), but I just got crappy news. Oh well.

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