The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July/August 2015

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Tamsyn Muir. The Deepwater Bride.

Eldritch portents-aplenty, which suggest to a young teen seer that a dark lord is a-coming for a bride. Best SF Review here

Richard Chwedyk. Dixon’s Road.

A dialogue-driven love (and loss) story that Chwedyk handles admirably. Best SF Review here.

James Patrick Kelly. Oneness : a triptych.

After a gentle story in the issue about love (and loss) taken forward by dialogue, Kelly provides three short vignettes on lust and sex. Best SF Review here.

Rachel Pollack. Johnny Rev.

Johnny Rev, aka Jack Shade, is a traveller, in a modern urban setting in which magic lives and there is a border, unseen by all but those who have magic, beyond which lies an altogether darker place, and an alter ego who must be kept in his place. Best SF Review here.

Oliver Buckram. The Quintessence of Dust

An automated officer of the law continues to carry out her duties, as do the rest of the robotic workforce, in the face of a scenario which does not feature in their programming.

Van Aaron Hughes. The Body Pirate.

Because of the good mix of story, idea and innovative narrative approach, I’m popping this story onto the shortlist for the Best SF Short Story Award 2015. Best SF Review here.

Betsy James. Paradise and Trout.

Short fantasy in which a young boy, recently dead, has to heed his father’s advice in walking to where his forebears live. Best SF Review here

Matthew Hughes. The Case of Myrmelon.

Further adventures of Raffalon the Thief, in Hughes’ ‘Archonate’ series, for those who like said character and series. ‘Those’ actually being the majority of the reading populace, as I’m clearly in the minority of never having found Hughes’ fantasy to my liking. (Possibly even a minority of one!)

Naomi Kritzer. The Silicon Curtain : a Seastead Story.

It’s quite convenient that the subtitle indicates that this is a Seastead Story, as that makes it no effort at all for me to skip over the story, as the first couple of stories in the sequence didn’t tickle my fancy in any way, shape or form.

Gregor Hartmann. Into the Fiery Planet.

The issue closes with a light touch, as Hartmann provides an old-school tone for a gently humorous tale of life on an exoplanet, and political machinations needed to ensure the planet remains in the embrace of the powers that be. Best SF review here.

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