Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Feb. 2019 (Issue 105)

We have original science fiction by Matthew Baker (“Life Sentence”) and Carrie Vaughn (“Harry and Marlowe and the Disinclined Laboratory”), along with SF reprints by Charlie Jane Anders (“A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime”) and Gord Sellar (“The Incursus by Asimov-NN#71”). Plus, we have original fantasy by KT Bryski (“Ti-Jean’s Last Adventure, as Told to Raccoon”) and Ashok K. Banker (“The Terrible Oath”), and fantasy reprints by Crystal Koo (“The Perpetual Day”) and Dennis Danvers (“Healing Benjamin”). 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 have an ebook-exclusive reprint of Kat Howard’s novella “Hath No Fury.” We also have an excerpt from Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones, a new novel by Micah Dean Hicks.

In This Issue: Feb. 2019 (Issue 105)

Editorial

Editorial: February 2019

Be sure to read the editorial for a discussion of this month’s content and to get all our news and updates.

Science Fiction

Life Sentence

Home. He recognizes the name of the street. But he doesn’t remember the landscape. He recognizes the address on the mailbox. But he doesn’t remember the house. His family is waiting for him on the porch. Everybody looks just as nervous as he is. He gets out. The police cruiser takes back off down the gravel drive, leaving him standing in a cloud of dust holding a baggie of possessions.

Fantasy

The Perpetual Day

The story goes that Jackson Chua, of Chua Drugstore: King of Pills, finally slept the sleep of the dead for the price of one carton of rat poison. For days there was nothing else to say but, Well, that marriage was going nowhere, He was nearly bankrupt anyway, He couldn’t take any more of his mother’s demand for a son. Shameless lies, especially the third, because old Mrs. Chua was the type who played the bouzouki at a faux-Greek restaurant.

Author Spotlight

Science Fiction

Okay, Glory

My bathroom scale didn’t recognize me. I weigh in and weigh out every day when it’s possible—I have data going back about twenty years at this point—so when it registered me as “Guest” I snarled and snapped a pic with my phone so I would remember the number to log it manually. I’d lost half a pound according to the scale, and on a whim I picked up the shower caddy with the shampoo and so on in it.

Fantasy

Ti-Jean’s Last Adventure, as Told to Raccoon

Okay. So. There’s a time when I’m looking for Coyote, because I need to tell him this story. So, I walk the St. Lawrence River from one end to the other, and I cannot find him. Check the Rockies—he is not there. I even paddle to Baffin Island, because he likes to sleep on it. It is Coyote-shaped, a little. He’s not anywhere. But me, I have a story to tell, and so I look for someone else. Raven is not home, and Muskrat is doing Netflix and chill.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: February 2019

Lashawn M. Wanak takes a look at a trio of new books: The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders, The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie, and The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas.

Science Fiction

The Incursus by Asimov-NN#71

The Death of Science Fiction had remained a perennial, if tiresome, subject for reviewers of SF novels for decades. In each case, the supposed flatline of the genre—whether in terms of quality, viability, or intrepidity—has leapt back to gloriously resolute life, producing enough notable books in each surge of the commercial ECG that one must finally consider another oneself amid a de facto deferral of the end.

The Incursus by Asimov-NN#71

Fantasy

The Terrible Oath

The nation greeted Vrath with great warmth and approval. The Burnt Empire regarded its liege as nothing less than a demi-god; in a sense, this was not far from the truth: Whether or not the Krushan dynasty was in fact born of stonefire, they were certainly something more than human. In the Krushan tongue, which was the official language of the capitol Hastinaga and the rest of the Empire, there was no word for “lie” or “falsehood.”

The Terrible Oath

Author Spotlight

Ashok K. Banker

Nonfiction

Media Reviews: February 2019

How do Netflix’s original films stack up against their television series? Reviewer Christopher East shares some of his favorites from the last year or so.

Bird Box

Science Fiction

Marlowe and Harry and the Disinclined Laboratory

Lieutenant James Marlowe watched a room full of grown, distinguished men act like young ladies at their first ball. Flustered, fidgeting, adjusting each others’ cravats, going back and forth from one table to another inspecting equipment and displays that were already perfect, they were exhausting to watch, and so he tried not to. He had only ever been to three balls in his life, before he ran off to join the Navy, and this was a reminder of why he hated them.

Marlowe and Harry and the Disinclined Laboratory

Fantasy

Healing Benjamin

I got the healing touch when I was sixteen years old kneeling over my dying cat Benjamin in my bedroom. He was trying to crawl under the bed to die, but I wouldn’t let him, hauling him out and wrapping my body around him, my forehead pressed against his. He was a year older than me. He’d been there my whole life. I couldn’t imagine life without him. He stopped breathing, his heart stopped, and I prayed for him, though I rarely prayed then.

Healing Benjamin

Author Spotlight

Carrie Vaughn

Nonfiction

Interview: Lilliam Rivera

Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer, and the author of the young adult novels Dealing in Dreams, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster on March 5, 2019, and The Education of Margot Sanchez, available now in bookstores everywhere. Her work has appeared in Elle, Nightmare Magazine, Tin House, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, to name a few. She lives in Los Angeles.

Lilliam Rivera