A clever piece of meta-fiction by Tidhar, poking fun at the SF writing community, and there are references to several SF books that are quite delicious.
A rich and rewarding read, with Hobson (M.K. to his friends?) putting effort into creating a setting, and a palpable sense of place, and people, and history, and background, rather than a cod medieval fantasy setting.
‘Every age gets the chair that it deserves’ is the key sentence to the story, I reckon. Although working out where the key goes is another matter.
A taut, dark thriller which sees the USA reaping what it has sown, as drones with high-level AI ruthlessly seek out their targets over North America.
Kress does what she does best – creating some believable, flawed characters, and puts them in a believable, flawed setting.
An elegant story by Sanford, inspired, it says by one Satoshi Kon, noted Japanese anime animator.
Steampunk, and in a colonial setting, but from a Jamaican perspective. Dreadpunk. An’ ting.
A short (two page) take on what an agony aunt column might address in terms of human foibles and robots, chromosomal choices for babies, telecomms and uploading.
A shortish extrapolation of biotech – some technical issues once a-life starts to mutate, and what opportunities might arise.
A strong issue with Maurice Broaddus, Maggie Shen King, and Sarah Pinsker my picks.
A good story from an author new to me, but I’d have recommended a different title – for a couple of reasons!
A nice story about people and love, sitting a little uncomfortably on a frozen foundation.
A story that has a retro feel to in a variety of ways, not always good.
Looks at the impact of the Chinese one-child policy and the consequences of men outnumbering women in a well-handled story with believable characters.
A very hi-tech heist. The heist and indeed the story itself is over very quickly!
Further adventures of the wizard Raffalon.
Dark, rotting, and remote – the old building and the old uncle with whom young Lindholme is sent to stay.
Set against the America of motorways, motels, anonymous small towns, and that stuff that you catch out of the corner of your eye but it’s not there when you turn around
Set in the same/similar world to his ‘The Way of The Needle’ from Asimovs March 2012 – metal/mechanical crablike race of creatures, harvesting minerals and other materials from the planet’s surface.
Stories this month from : de Bodard, Collins, Kress, McHugh, Jablonksy, Tem, with Collins and Jablonsky the pick of the bunch.
Altogether a subtle, rounded and substantial piece of writing involving scientists and science, but much more than scientist fiction.
A story equally at home in a crime or horror mag, but a neat combo of Coen Brothers and the Matrix.
A YA story with a teenage protagonist, and it fairly breezes through in traditional YA style.
A lightweight course to cleanse the palate during a multi-course repaste.
A classy story from Tolbert, that has a lot in it to like.
Lacking a bit of subtlety and texture – more like an Analog than an F&SF story, more Aerosmith than Patti Smith.
Not an issue with a standout story for this reader, but entertaining enough.
An ancient with a palpable sense of ennui, awaiting a noseless assailant, provides justice for and sentence on a man long-travelled in search of that justice.
A great story from an author new to me – not a new idea, but a well-handled take on alternative futures/pasts.
Xeno-ethnography and xeno-linguistic that has this reader shouting “Hree! Hree!”
Further adventures of the gargoyle Spar and the bard Gorlen. As I have a physician-certified allergy to fantasy stories featuring bards, it’s with a hey nonny-nonny that I make my way-o to the next story in the issue-o.
Ryman relates a meeting between Elizabethan amateur astrologist Thomas Digges, friends of astronomy Tycho Brahe, including Messrs Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and one young playwright William Shakespeare,..
Grandmaster Aldiss gives an elegant oriental take (albeit a very rude one!) of the inspiration behind a biological tweak – a seafood-induced inspiration.
A parable on having to leave the past behind, as a house AI begins to overstep its domestic duties.
Will a recently widowed academic wife go to the dogs?
Part of de Bodard’s ‘Xuya’ series of stories and nice to have a story with purely female characters, thus avoiding any need to have plot driven by hairy-arsed testosterone!
A story in somewhat dubious taste that relies too much on the simple premise taken from the pun in the title.
A god makes a return to a small fishing village, in search of that one thing which even the immortal gods cannot have.
A monstrance of monstrous provenance proves too hot to handle for a southern neo-Nazi, who gets more than his fingers burned.
Another clever story from Liu, well read by Kate Baker, who I haven’t had the pleasure of having in my ears for some time.