The Lady of the Carnelias, Richard Calder. Calder returns once more to his Lord Soho
The Worms of Hess, Barrington J. Bayley. I approached this story with no little trepidation,
Incunabula, Richard Calder. Every so often I come across a story during the reading of
Liberty Zone, Keith Brooke. Keith Brooke, not content with having SF novels published at an
Hideaway, Alastair Reynolds. Far future, with humanity in dire straits. The enigmatic Waymakers have, perhaps,
The Suspect Genome. Peter F. Hamilton. Futuristic crime fiction. Not quite a locked room mystery,
H.M.S. Habbakuk. Eugene Byrne. Alternate History, with an aircraft carrier made of ‘pykrete’ turning the
Lord Soho, Richard Calder. A rich, entertaining story, a far distant sequel to the author’s
Cadre Siblings. Stephen Baxter. Baxter packs a lot into a short space: a post-invasion Earth,
Colours of the Soul, Sean McMullen. A virus is spreading across the globe, and those
Buy a copy from amazon.com / amazon.co.uk Ravenbrand. Michael Moorcock. Interzone enters the Millennium with
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction finishes 2009 with an issue of their now
Elizabeth Hand. The Far Shore. A middle-aged man, ballet dancer initially, ballet teacher after an
Sean McMullen. The Art of the Dragon. Dryly satirical tale in which a gigantic dragon
Reed, Wightman and O’Driscoll are the cream of the crop, with Kessel’s new story, Bisson and Cowdrey not quite up to their (well-established) best.
The first of the now double-size but bi-monthly F&SF. The disappointment of now to be
Daniel Abraham. The Curandero and the Swede : a Tale from the 1001 American Nights.
Fred Chappel. Shadow of the Valley. When protagonist Falco previously appeared in F&SF in ‘Dance
Charles Coleman Finlay. The Minutemen’s Witch. Adventure set against the American Revolution, with added witchcraft.
Wayne Wightman. A Foreign Country. Quentin A. Denmore is standing for President of the USA,
Albert E. Cowdrey. Inside Story. Retired Detective Sergeant Alphonse Fournet finds the lure of work,
Paolo Bacigalupi. Pump Six. The lead-out story in Bacigalupi’s collection ‘Pump Six and Other Stories’.
Marc Laidlaw. Childrun. Wandering bard Gorlen Vizenfirthe makes a re-appearance in F&SF after a ten
Matthew Hughes. Fullbrim’s Findings. Good news for fans of Hengis Hapthorne, of whom there are
Ted Kosmatka. The Art of Alchemy. Excellent SF/science thriller. It has a sense of place
Robert Reed. Reunion. F&SF regular Reed hit top form with the previous issue’s ‘Five Thrillers’,
James Stoddard. The First Editions. Fantasy, in which a bibliophile falls afoul of a fellow
Alexander Jablokov. The Boarder. Another in the ‘historical space race’ faction milieu, as a Russian
James L. Cambias. Balancing Accounts. A strong SF story to open the issue, and one
Sean McMullen. The Twilight Year. A historical tale with the merest whiff of the fantastical.
David Marusek. Osama Phone Home. Published earlier in MIT’s Technology Magazine, and it reads like
Robert Silverberg. Against the Current. A car salesman leaves work early after a sudden but
Dangnabbit, GvG has put the Ted Chiang story last of all. Can I resist a
Esther M. Friesner. At These Prices. Lightweight, very lightweight humour, involving a particularly unappealing hotel
Lawrence C. Connolly. Daughters of Prime. I’m not a big fan of xenolinguistic/xenothropological fiction. Ursula
Matthew Hughes. Sweet Trap. Further adventures of Hengis Hapthorne, in a story previously in the
Ian R. MacLeod. The Master Miller’s Tale.. Based in the alternate setting of his novel
Gene Wolfe. Memorare. This special Gene Wolfe issue leads off with an SF story which
Not having bothered with the lengthy Hughes story, as is my wont, there wasn’t a huge amount to get to grips with, with Reed, Rickert and Goulart all providing stories of the ilk that they regularly provide for F&SF ie well written and OK for what they are, but none of them a humdinger.
Alexander Jablokov. Brain Raid. Jablokov wrote some strong short stories in the 80s/90s, being one
Jeremy Minton. The Darkness Between. Subterranean horrors, as group of men, part of a Klondike-type
Matthew Hughes. Bye the Rules. Another of Guth Bandar’s regular appearances in F&SF. M.Rickert. The
Albert E. Cowdrey. Revelation. The bucolic pair, Dr. Dorshin, psychiatrist, and Professor (Dr.) Drea(d) both
Tananarive Due. Senora Suerte. This issue featurs a trio of stories by authors who have
Chris Willrich. Penultima Thule. Gaunt and Bone return for more cod-fantasy fun, the story being
R. Garcia y Robertson. Kansas, She Says, Is the Name of the Star. Garcia y
Albert E. Cowdrey. Animal Magnetism. Another of F&SF regular Cowdrey’s well observed, well drawn humorous
Matthew Hughes. A Herd of Opportunity. Another tale of Guth Bandar, this one evidently from
Daryl Gregory. Gardening at Night. Analog-style ‘scientist fiction’, or ‘lab opera’ as editor Gordon van
Alex Irvine. Shambhala. The story was inspired by the illustration by Mark Evans which graces
Gary W. Shockley. The Cathedral of Universal Biodiversity. One of those stories where either I’m
Robert Reed. Less Than Nothing. Reed further develops the story of the boy Raven, one
Delia Sherman. Walpurgis Afternoon. Cosy suburbia is threatened by a brand new house appearing overnight,
Chock full of protein for the brain, with only a bit of excess fat and carbohydrate. To burn off those calories I’m off for a bit of ‘fast-paced’ Asimov’s action…..
David Gerrold. A Quantum Bit Exists in Two States Simultaneously : On This issue is
Matthew Hughes. Thwarting Jabbi Gloond. A prequel to the adventures of Hengis Hapthorn to which
An issue which gets stronger the further you get in (unless you’re a fan of the Kedrigern stories). For me Utley and McCalliser where the pick of the bunch, with Cowdrey, Reed and Shultz entertaining.
PDF version reviewed. Charles Coleman Finlay. Of Silence and the Man at Arms. The third
Steven Popkes. The Great Caruso. A long-term smoker sources some dubious cigarettes, and finds that
Paul Di Filippo. The Secret Sutras of Sally Strumpet. Similar in style to PDF’s humourous
Albert E. Cowdrey. The Amulet. In which a young journalist (in New Orleans, natch) meets
Matthew Hughes. Inner Huff. Further comic adventures of Guth Bandar (last seen in ‘A Little
Alex Irvine. The Lorelei. A nice piece of writing about the fin-de-siecle New York art
Having just read the Oct/Nov double issue of F&SF I ploughed straight in to this
Lisa Goldstein. Finding Beauty. Fairy Tale which looks at the Sleeping Beauty story from Prince
Mark W. Tiedemann. Rain from Another Country. Even after her death, Ann Myref is trying
Robert Reed. The Condor’s Green-Eyed Child. Reed returns to the strange milieu of ‘Raven'(F&SF Dec
James Stoddard. The Battle of York. Some 3000 years after the passing of America, the
Matthew Hughes. A Little Learning. Hughes posits a novel method for transiting multiverses – the
A Best SF Review-LiteTM, on account of my having read this issue about a month
James L. Cambia. Ocean of the Blind. A very Analog type of story. A team
Matthew Hughes. Mastermindless. The protagonist realises with a start that his facial features and his
Paolo Bacigalupi. The People of Sand and Slag. Bacigalupi’s ‘The Fluted Girl’ (F&SF June 2003)
Nancy Etchemendy. Nimitseahpah. A tale of strange doings in the desert a century ago (cue
For me the issue gets progressively stronger, with the earlier stories not quite doing it for me to any great extent.
Judith Moffett. The Bear’s Baby. Moffett has written a couple of novels featuring the Hefn,
Bret Bertholf. Alfred Bester Is Alive and Well and Living in Winterset, Iowa. A ‘doozy’
A so-so issue, some way below their best, and bit below the average high quality.
Charles Coleman Finlay. Wild Thing. The Arthurian mythos is seen from another perspective, with the
One of the occasional F&SF special issues devoted to a particular author, which I for