The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, August 2007

Esther M. Friesner. At These Prices.

Lightweight, very lightweight humour, involving a particularly unappealing hotel guest who takes much more from the hotel than the bath robe. The humour didn’t really work for me, so after a while it was a skim through to the end of a story which just felt a tad olde-fashioned.

Albert E. Cowdrey. In the Flying Vatican.

A follow up to ‘The Tribes of Bela’ (F&SF August 2004) which was well-received, and appeared in Dozois 22nd. This doesn’t quite hit the heights of that previous story, being somewhat narrower in scope as a murder on an orbiting habitat that is a religious retreat has to be solved. Fine as far as it goes, but just a feel of 1997 or 1987 about it, as opposed to a story from 2007.

Nancy Farmer. Mole Cure.

Originally written for a YA anthology we are informed, and it rather reads as such as a young man gets treatment for his moles (body blemishes as opposed to creatures making a mess of his garden lawn).

Chris Willrich. A Wizard of the Old School.

Further adventures of Krumwheezle the wizard.

Gwyneth Jones. The Tomb Wife.

The issue picks up at the death with a story which fits a lot into a small space. It’s not a straightforward read, but rather a complex look at relationships and the nature of relativity.

Conclusion.

The Jones story is very much the ilk that you would want to see in F&SF on a regular basis. The others very much of an ok rather than an ilk.

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