Science Fiction & Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Apr. 2016 (Issue 71)

We have original science fiction by Carrie Vaughn (“Origin Story”) and Matthew Bailey (“The Birth Will Take Place on a Mutually Acceptable Research Vessel”), along with SF reprints by Patricia Strand (“Cause for a Haunting”) and Peter Watts (“Collateral”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Nghi Vo (“Dragon Brides”) and Rudy Rucker (“The Knobby Giraffe”), and fantasy reprints by Theodora Goss (“Lily, With Clouds”) and Ken Scholes (“Of Metal Men and Scarlet Thread and Dancing with the Sunrise”). All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. For our ebook readers, we also have an ebook-exclusive reprint of the novella “Incident on a Small Colony,” by Kristine Smith, and an excerpt from Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s new novel, HEX.

In This Issue: Apr. 2016 (Issue 71)

Editorial

Editorial, April 2016

Be sure to check out the Editorial for all our news, updates, and a run-down of this month’s content.

Science Fiction

Cause For A Haunting

Kate took the hatbox to the dining room table, lifted the top, and removed the items: a glass brooch, a wood carving of a beaver, an empty perfume bottle, a blue silk scarf. It was the photograph she picked up: four by six, black and white, but well preserved beneath glossy finish. A man and woman stood in front of a small, red-bricked house—this house, but minus the coniferous shrubs and mature trees, it appeared different. Bleak almost, the coziness that had lured Kate and Shawn absent.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

Dragon Brides

Dragon brides are notoriously difficult women. We have lived with dragons, after all, those strange and terrible animals with their curiously human eyes, and some of us come back down from the broken mountains with their hisses still in our ears. I was taken by the green dragon of Mahr when I was fifteen, and it was a full year before my lord brought me back down. Forty years would pass before I would come to those steep paths again.

Author Spotlight

Science Fiction

Origin Story

Living in Commerce City, odds are you’re going to get caught up in something someday—pinned down in the crossfire of some epic battle between heroes who can fly and villains with ray guns, held captive in a hostage crisis involving an entire football stadium, or even trapped by a simple jewelry heist or bus hijacking. When my turn came, I got stuck in a bank robbery.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

Lily, with Clouds

Eleanor Tolliver’s heels clicked on the sidewalk—click click, click click, like a cantering horse, if a horse could canter in size seven and a half shoes. It was odd, this lopsided step, in a woman whose lavender suit had been bought last week at Lord & Taylor. Really, she admitted to herself as she clicked down Elm Street, she should not have bought the narrows. The left shoe, in particular, pressed against her corn and produced the cantering gait we have noticed.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Television Review: The Man in the High Castle (Season 1) and Occupied

This month, we take a look at thought-provoking television shows: Amazon’s PKD adaptation,The Man in the High Castle (Season 1), and the Norwegian political thriller Occupied.

Science Fiction

Collateral

They got Becker out in eight minutes flat, left the bodies on the sand for whatever scavengers the Sixth Extinction hadn’t yet managed to kill off. Munsin hauled her into the Sikorsky and tried to yank the augments manually, right on the spot; Wingman swung and locked and went hot in the pants-pissing half-second before its threat-recognition macros, booted late to the party, calmed it down.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

The Knobby Giraffe

My name’s Irit Ziv. I have a low-rent apartment in the East Village that I used to share with my girlfriend, Shirley Chen. It’s April now, and Shirley died four months ago. Ever since then, I’ve been visiting Ma and Pa’s flat in Brooklyn Heights a lot. An awesome spot, with a full view of lower Manhattan. The trees by the river are turning green. I’m a grad student at NYU, trying to finish a PhD thesis in the physics department. Physics was probably a bad choice for me, but it’s too late to change.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: April 2016

This month, we take a look at a handful of space opera novels: Shadow of Empire, by Jay Allan, The Empress Game, by Rhonda Mason, The Dangerous Type, by Loren Rhodes, and The Last Exodus, by Paul Tassi.

Science Fiction

The Birth Will Take Place on a Mutually Acceptable Research Vessel

When they inform you the birth will take place on a mutually acceptable research vessel, you nod and smile as if it was your choice all along. Because smiling and nodding is what you’ve been doing since the beginning. Because this is bigger than you. Because at least this way it feels like you’re being honored and feted instead of herded and controlled. Mr. Kagawa, courteous and diplomatic by profession, does his best to make it all seem like a request.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

Of Metal Men and Scarlet Thread and Dancing with the Sunrise

Rudolfo’s Gypsy Scouts found the metal man sobbing in an impact crater deep in the roiling smoke and glowing ruins of Windwir. He crouched over a pile of blackened bones, his shoulders chugging and his bellows wheezing, his helmet-like head shaking in his large metal hands. They approached him silently, ghosts in a city of ghosts, but the metal man still heard and looked up.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Bill McGoldrick

Bill McGoldrick is the head of original programming at Syfy. He was brought in two years ago to oversee a major overhaul in the network’s lineup, which is designed to lure hardcore science fiction fans back to the channel with smart, ambitious shows. The new lineup includes adaptations of many classic fantasy and science fiction novels, including works by Arthur C. Clarke, Aldous Huxley, and Frederick Pohl, as well as books by newer writers such as Dan Simmons, John Scalzi, James S. A. Corey, and Lev Grossman.