Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Jan. 2019 (Issue 104)

This month, our cover art comes from Reiko Murakami, illustrating a brand-new short story set in A. Merc Rustad’s Sun Lords of the Principality series: “With Teeth Unmake the Sun.” Our other original science fiction story, “Midway,” by Tony Ballantyne, is about living life as an intergalactic wanderer. We also have SF reprints by Roger Zelazny (“The Engine at Heartspring’s Center”) and Sarah Micklem (“The Book Collector”). Our original fantasy stories include the second installment of Ashok K. Banker’s Legends of the Burnt Empire series—and if family sagas are for you, you definitely won’t want to miss this new story, “Son of Water and Fire.” Meg Elison digs into family drama, too, in our second fantasy original, “Endor House,” which is one witchy reporter’s attempt to tell the story of a family of magical innovators. We also have fantasy reprints by Emily B. Cataneo (“The Emerald Coat and Other Wishes”) and E. Lily Yu (“The Pilgrim and the Angel”). Our nonfiction lovers will enjoy our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. We’re also excited to bring you a feature interview with Henry Lien, who is not only creating inspiring fantasy fiction for younger readers, but who once served as Lightspeed’s art director. We couldn’t be happier for his success! For our ebook readers, we have an ebook-exclusive reprint of the fantasy novella “What There Was to See,” by Maria Dahvana Headley, and an excerpt from Charlie Jane Anders’ new novel, The City in the Middle of the Night.

In This Issue: Jan. 2019 (Issue 104)

Editorial

Editorial: January 2019

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

Science Fiction

With Teeth Unmake the Sun

Io Destiny is a rich planet, home to three billion lives, built as a faceted gem to honor the Seven Suns. All the gods are worshiped equally here in peace. Temples caress the lower atmosphere and ships dance in celestial orbit; the Seven Suns are honored in effigy in great statues and holograms that mortals adore. Io Destiny is the only neutral world. While the gods chafe and feud with each other, hovering on the cusp of war, this planet is sacrosanct.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

The Emerald Coat and Other Wishes

I met Violet for the first time when she tiptoed through the museum door in her gray schoolteacher’s dress, trailing the smell of autumn leaves into the antechamber. She pulled her faux-kid gloves off finger by finger as she craned her neck around the mahogany-paneled room. Then her eyes fell on me, sitting at the podium that bars the door leading to the exhibits. “Excuse me, do you know the way to the Bethnal Green Tube stop?”

Science Fiction

The Engine at Heartspring’s Center

Let me tell you of a creature called the Bork. It was born in the heart of a dying sun. It was cast forth upon this day from the river of past/future as a piece of time pollution. It was fashioned of mud and aluminum, plastic, and some evolutionary distillate of seawater. It had spun dangling from the umbilical of circumstance until, severed by its will, it had fallen a lifetime or so later, coming to rest on the shoals of a world where things go to die.

Fantasy

Son of Water and Fire

Born of water, into water, the boy knew no other world. It would not always be thus. Someday, he had been told, he would leave here for another place. His mother had told him this, in a quiet time, her body swollen and expanded to its widest, spanning banks miles apart, trailing enormous skirts of silt. He loved her at these quiet times, when her icy mountain rage had mellowed to a somnolent trawl, flowing majestically down to the ocean.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: January 2019

This month, reviewer Chris Kluwe digs his teeth into three new science fiction novels: Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik; The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi; and Salvation, by Peter F. Hamilton.

Science Fiction

Midway

It’s not unusual to hear music in a spaceport arrival lounge. After all, if aliens didn’t enjoy music, I’d never have been able to travel. But this sounded familiar. Disturbingly familiar. Standing in line, I felt a sinking sensation as the tune wound its way to its conclusion. It was The Beatles. Millions of light years from Earth and I was listening to The Beatles. How did I feel?

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

The Pilgrim and the Angel

Three days before Mr. Fareed Halawani was washed and turned to face the northeast, a beatific smile on his face, he had the unusual distinction of entertaining the angel Gabriel at the coffeeshop he operated in the unfashionable district of Moqattam in Cairo. Fareed was tipped back in his monobloc chair, watching the soccer game on television. The cigarette between his lips wobbled with disapproval at the referee’s calls.

Nonfiction

Media Reviews: January 2019

This month, Christopher East reviews new SF television shows Maniac and Counterpart.

Science Fiction

The Book Collector

“Go away, Todd. We’re busy,” Larry said. “Besides, you’re wasting your time. You know she only likes to fuck imaginary people.” “That’s because she hasn’t tried the real deal,” Todd said. “And that would be you?” Larry asked. Col yawned ostentatiously at Todd, but he didn’t take the hint. He was thick that way. There was hardly room for two people in the cubicle Col shared with Larry.

Fantasy

Endor House

Meet Hermes Maleficarum, the reclusive force behind the multiverse’s biggest publishing house. A mystery generations in the making. The first thing I notice about Hermes was how unlike the rest of his family he seems. Hermes’ parents, Taliesin and his wife Morgana, were something of a power couple in the magic business, cutting a twin swath like obsidian blades at every fashionable event.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Feature Interview: Henry Lien

Henry Lien is a 2012 graduate of Clarion West. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as Asimov’s, AnalogF&SF, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. He is the author of the Peasprout Chen series. Born in Taiwan, Henry currently lives in Hollywood. Hobbies include writing and performing campy science fiction/fantasy anthems, and losing Nebula awards.