Science Fiction & Fantasy

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July 2018 (Issue 98)

This month’s cover art is by Saleha Chowdhury, illustrating a brand-new fantasy story by James Beamon (“A Song of Home, the Organ Grinds”). We also have a fantasy original from Kyle Muntz (“Wild Bill’s Last Stand”), and fantasy reprints by Genevieve Valentine (“Aberration”) and Naomi Novik (“Castle Coeurlieu”). Our science fiction originals this month are by G.V. Anderson (“Waterbirds”) and Adam-Troy Castro (“Greetings, Humanity! Welcome To Your Choice of Species!”). We’re reprinting SF by Jay Lake (“Permanent Fatal Errors”) and Caroline M. Yoachim (“The Right Place to Start a Family”). 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 a reprint of Kathleen Ann Goonan’s SF novella “The Tale of the Alcubierre Horse.” We’ll also have an exclusive excerpt from Wild Dead, a new novel from Carrie Vaughn.

In This Issue: July 2018 (Issue 98)

Editorial

Editorial: July 2018

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

Science Fiction

Permanent Fatal Errors

Maduabuchi St. Macaria had never before traveled with an all-Howard crew. Mostly his kind kept to themselves, even under the empty skies of a planet. Those who did take ship almost always did so in a mixed or all-baseline human crew. Not here, not aboard the threadneedle starship Inclined Plane. Seven crew including him, captained by a very strange woman who called herself Peridot Smith.

Fantasy

A Song of Home, the Organ Grinds

The monkeys are white-faced capuchins. Small things, their lean, black-furred bodies stand in stark contrast to the white tufts of their faces and shoulders. The Russians have cannons that can blast an airship apart in ten minutes and armored steam knights called kolotar, but of the many dangers I face on a warship a mile above the Black Sea, I fear the monkeys I tend most.
“Do not tarry,” a man whispers behind me. “They eat meat as well, boy.”

Author Spotlight

Science Fiction

Waterbirds

Constable Kershaw has not uttered any overrides, nor issued a warrant to access her memory logs, but Celia understands nonetheless that she is expected to stay, to sit and answer his questions like a suspect. It surprises her, this treatment. Like she’s human. “Are you chilly, Constable? Shall I light the fire?” “Yeah, all right,” he says, removing his hat and settling into the armchair her employer always favours. Favoured.

Fantasy

Aberration

You’ll see them someplace you’re going when you’re trying to make the most of your time. They’re standing at the top of the steps to the public library (the amazing branch where they do the photoshoots, not the squat concrete one you go to), or they’re on the balcony at a concert you overheard someone talking about. They’ll be at the greatest altitude you can reach while still seeming effortless; they like being able to look down.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: July 2018

This month, reviewer Chris Kluwe takes a look at European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, by Theodora Goss, The Mere Wife, by Maria Dahvana Headley, and Planetside, by Michael Mammay.

Science Fiction

Greetings, Humanity! Welcome To Your Choice Of Species!

Hello, there! If you have received this telepathic mailing, you are a member of the species currently self-designated Homo sapiens, as evolved on the planet locally known as Earth, orbiting the sun locally known, for some reason that escapes us, as Sol. Most of your kind is already aware of the legal proceedings just completed in Session 3,975,216.7b of the Exalted High Tribunal of the Interstellar Commission on the Minimum Standards for Worthiness of Indigenous Cultures.

Fantasy

Castle Coeurlieu

Isabeau came to Castle Coeurlieu as a girl of twelve, and its lady: She had been married two weeks before to the Comte de Coeurlieu, who was thirty-two and very large, with an always-angry hatchet face slashed and pierced through the left cheek where he had taken a crossbow bolt at the battle of Leprans, full six years ago. She had been excited beforehand: She knew it was a grand match, beyond her family’s deserts, and he was famous.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Media Review: July 2018

This month reviewer Carrie Vaughn talks Avengers: Infinity War and the nature of the franchise.

Science Fiction

The Right Place to Start a Family

Yuna searched the colonization vids for a world Oliver would find appealing. Of the half dozen people she was dating, he was her favorite, and the only one she’d really want to bring with her for the centuries-long trip to the colonies. There were seven destination planets to choose from. “What do you think of this one?” Oliver shrugged. “They’re all too expensive. Honestly, I think we’re better off staying here.

Fantasy

Wild Bill’s Last Stand

Wild Bill “The Buck” Williams rode into town for a drink, but he stayed for the pretty boys. He was as mean as they said but not so tall: a lean, hard man with a rocky face and a broad mustache, slicked at both sides from a tin of fat he kept in a satchel round his waist. That first night he broke a man’s jaw for cheating him at poker. I didn’t just hear the story, I saw it—how Wild Bill clocked the fucker upside the face, emptied the last of his drink, and knocked out half the man’s teeth with his mug.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: JY Yang

JY Yang is the author of The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune. They are also a lapsed journalist, a former practicing scientist, and a master of hermitry. A queer, non-binary, postcolonial intersectional feminist, they have over two dozen pieces of short fiction published. They live in Singapore, where they work as a science communicator, and have an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia. .