Science Fiction & Fantasy

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June 2013 (Issue 37)

This month, we have original fantasy by Megan Arkenberg (“The Huntsman”) and Christopher Barzak (“Paranormal Romance”), along with fantasy reprints by Theodora Goss (“Princess Lucinda and the Hound of the Moon”) and from Shawn Speakman’s new all-star charity anthology, Unfettered, we have a new story from Carrie Vaughn (“Game of Chance”). Plus, we have original SF by Sarah Grey (“The Ballad of Marisol Brook”) and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley (“Alive, Alive Oh”), and SF reprints by Paul Park (“Get a Grip”) and Ken Liu’s current Hugo Award finalist (“Mono no aware”). And of course we have our usual assortment of author and artist spotlights, along with feature interviews with bestselling authors Nalo Hopkinson and Robert J. Sawyer. For our ebook readers, our ebook-featured novella is “The Fool’s Tale” by L. Timmel Duchamp, and the featured novel excerpt is from Abaddon’s Gate by James S. A. Corey.

In This Issue: June 2013 (Issue 37)

No editorial found.

Fantasy

Princess Lucinda and the Hound of the Moon

When the Queen learned that she could not have a child, she cried for three days. She cried in the clinic in Switzerland, on the shoulder of the doctor, an expert on women’s complaints, leaving tear stains on his white coat. She cried on the train through Austria, while the Alps slipped past the window of her compartment, their white peaks covered with snow.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Theodora Goss

I think the basic idea of the story, with the hound asking for the princess, came to me first. I often think first in plot. Then the characters seemed to follow naturally, then the settings. Sylvania was a lot of fun to create. But it’s actually larger than this story: I’ve set several other stories there, and I’d like to write more about that country. It’s my way of exploring the history of Eastern Europe, a kind of fantastical thought experiment.

Science Fiction

The Ballad of Marisol Brook

Her name, this time, is Marisol Lysium Brook. The media, long bored with the minutiae of her death, occupies itself by speculating which stars will grace the guest list at her reconstruction gala.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Sarah Grey

The first inspiration was early Hollywood studio contracts. In short, during Hollywood’s Golden Age in the first half of the 20th century, studios contracted with actors. The actor was all but owned by her studio—she took the parts assigned her, whether she liked them or not. I found myself wondering how cinema history might have played out if studios had contracted the right to clone their actors. Jean Harlow, always alive, always twenty-six, the leading lady in every film?

Fantasy

The Huntsman

“It’s the best bargain you’ll get in this town,” the faery woman says. She’s standing by a cracked kitchen sink with mold between the tiles, rinsing diced tomatoes and crooked green jalapeño rings. “A heart for a heart. And my heart’s more than what she’s used to, I’ll tell you that. You couldn’t find better if you went door-to-door from every house in the tithe-projects.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Megan Arkenberg

As the title suggests, “The Huntsman” began as a retelling of Snow White; I was playing with the idea that the huntsman had a more permanent role in the Queen’s life than the original tale suggests. I kept returning to the image that now forms the opening of the story, the huntsman tracking a woman in a rather gritty, unromanticized urban setting. What was this man’s job—and why was he so good at it?

Science Fiction

Mono no aware

The world is shaped like the kanji for umbrella, only written so poorly, like my handwriting, that all the parts are out of proportion.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Ken Liu

This story began with my interest in narratives that don’t follow the supposed “rules” of storytelling. There’s a lot of advice out there for genre writers, often phrased as universal laws. For example: The hero of the story must actively work at solving a problem.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Pavel Elagin

Pavel Elagin is a concept artist living in Australia, working for the entertainment industry.

Fantasy

Paranormal Romance

This is a story about a witch. Not the kind you’re thinking of either. She didn’t have a long nose with a wart on it. She didn’t have green skin or long black hair. She didn’t wear a pointed hat or a cape, and she didn’t have a cat, a spider, a rat, or any of those animals that are usually hanging around witches. She didn’t live in a ramshackle house, a gingerbread house, a Victorian house, or a cave.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Christopher Barzak

It’s my own tongue-in-cheek response to the current state of the paranormal romance subgenre. I want to love paranormal romances, but I feel like that subgenre takes itself overly seriously, and by doing so has limited the types of paranormal romances that it could explore.

Science Fiction

Get a Grip

Here’s how I found out: I was in a bar called Dave’s on East 14th Street. It wasn’t my usual place. I had been dating a woman in Stuyvesant Town. One night after I left, I still wasn’t eager to go home. So on my way I stopped in.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Paul Park

I love his stories where the whole nature of perceived reality turns out to be untrue. I’m also interested in meta-fiction, where there’s usually a rupture in the text, a place where the story is no longer what you thought you were reading. It’s a version of the same device, only one is inside the story, and the other is outside.

Nonfiction

Interview: Nalo Hopkinson

Jamaican-born author Nalo Hopkinson burst onto the publishing scene in 1997, when her novel Brown Girl in the Ring, set in present-day Toronto and featuring supernatural events drawn from Caribbean folklore, won the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest. She followed that up with a string of other successes, including 2001′s short story collection Skin Folk, which was acclaimed by The New York Times. Her two latest novels are Sister Mine and The Chaos.

Fantasy

Game of Chance

Once, they’d tried using sex to bring down a target. It had seemed a likely plan: Throw an affair in the man’s path, guide events to a compromising situation, and momentum did the rest. That was the theory—a simple thing, not acting against the person directly, but slantwise. But it turned out it was too direct, almost an attack, touching on such vulnerable sensibilities. They’d lost Benton, who had nudged a certain woman into the path of a certain Republic Loyalist Party councilman and died because of it. He’d been so sure it would work.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Carrie Vaughn

I love the most unlikely characters in any giving adventuring group. The one who isn’t the strongest or most powerful, who doesn’t have any particular talents and skills.

Science Fiction

Alive, Alive Oh

The waves crash onto the blood-red shore, sounding just like the surf on Earth: a dark rumbling full of power. It’s been seventeen years since we left.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

I wrote the first paragraph last. It was important to get the reader grounded quickly: This is genre, this is about women, this is not going to have a happy ending. I wanted to instil the reader with a sense of foreboding, because the narrator already knows what she’s about to tell you.

Nonfiction

Interview: Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer—called “the dean of Canadian science fiction” by The Ottawa Citizen and “just about the best science-fiction writer out there these days” by The Denver Rocky Mountain News—is one of only eight writers in history (and the only Canadian) to win all three of the science-fiction field’s top honors for best novel of the year: the Hugo Award (for Hominids), the Nebula Award (for The Terminal Experiment), and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (for Mindscan). He has written more than twenty books, including Flashforward, which was adapted into a television series on ABC. The show ended in 2010, but more Sawyer adaptations are in the works, and the author himself has been tapped to write the screenplay for a feature film version of his 2012 novel Triggers, a near-future conspiracy thriller.