There are some funny types out in Arkansas, I do believe, and in this modern fantasy, some even curiouser happenings. Intriguing, and wondering already what happens next…
A huge machinehouse has been home to many workers, cut off from the outside world since they were put in service as children.
A little gem of a story from Thomas. It’s only a few pages long, but grabs you and doesn’t let go.
A much darker story than you generally get with Cowdrey in F&SF. As times brutal, it’s a near-future story of politics, opposition to the ruling regime, and the decisions people have to make when it’s time to stand up and be counted.
Stories by Melanie Tem, Damien Walters Grintalis, Chris Butler, Antony Mann, Carlos Hernandez. Cover by Jim Burns. A so-so issue, light on SF.
A singularly unattractive jaded middle-aged Oxford tour guide cum ELT teacher comes across a tree with a knot on its trunk uncannily like a face,..and no prizes for guessing the ending!
Vaughn, Rucker and Di Filippo, Schwartz, and Rick Wilber the pick of the issue.
More about baseball’s Moe Berg, in a reality(ies) quite different from ours – to the extent that Babe Ruth is a lithe pitcher. An enjoyable follow-up to a story last year, ending with a cliff-hanger leaving this reader looking forward to more.
A neat story of alien invasion/occupation, and a setting well worth a revisit.
Palpable melancholia in occupied Lithuania, with a man with a small amount of magic in his fingertips, which can do nothing to challenge the oppression in his town.
An army veteran, without his legs, has a fairly bleak outlook.
A story which gives as much detail as you will ever need (perhaps more) on the breeding habits of pandas.
I and I enjoyed this dread tale, ‘gnarly transrealism’, as it is described in the introduction.
Unless you’re expert on the Spanish Civil War, or guess who the titular Blair is (not Tony!) you’re left with a so-so story about young children evacuated to Britain in the 1930s.
Nice story from Vaughn, revolving round a decision about her future that a career military type has to make whilst staying with her homesteader family.
Post fall-of-humanity vignette. Not a real new ground-breaker, and ‘Doc’ ain’t as mean as Walking Dead’s ‘Governor’…
Stories by Robert Reed, G. David Nordley, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Eric Del Carlo, Megan Arkenberg. A fairly weak issue, truth be told, with Reed taking up a lot of space, but to slightly less than usual effect.
I struggled through this dense horror, which, despite a climactic confrontation, nothing is revealed, explained or resolved.
..truth be told, I was running out of steam towards the end, as Reed does takes the reader, and the characters, a long way (and back),
A short, bittersweet story of love, a unique blend of Mars, race, wine and intolerance.
Pheromonal aggression is a major public health risk post Neuro-Chemical War, and of the employees of The Agency uses his talents to spot those about to go apeshit.
Fine as far as it goes, but probably works better as a first chapter in a YA novel.