Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Mar. 2019 (Issue 106)

We have original science fiction by Carolyn Ives Gilman (“On the Shores of Ligeia”) and Woody Dismukes (“My Children’s Home”), along with SF reprints by Violet Allen (“The Synapse Will Free Us From Ourselves”) and Charlie Jane Anders (“A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Maria Romasco Moore (“Self Storage Starts with the Heart”) and Ashok K. Banker (“A Problem of Progeny”), and fantasy reprints by Richard Kadrey (“Ambitious Boys Like You”) and Kat Howard (“Those Are Pearls”). 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 the SF novella “Of Love and Other Monsters,” by Vandana Singh, and an excerpt from Arkady Martine’s new novel, A Memory Called Empire.

In This Issue: Mar. 2019 (Issue 106)

Editorial

Editorial: March 2019

Be sure to read the editorial to keep up with everything new and exciting—and for a rundown of this month’s terrific content.

Science Fiction

The Synapse Will Free Us from Ourselves

I can create any scenario I want for Dante, any story, any setting—anything. I have total control over his universe. Today he inhabits a grand mansion. The design is mostly mid-century modern, with just a hint of gothic whimsy. Each room is crafted to maximize luxury and pleasure, pleasure that can exist beyond the laws governing the material universe. It is a miracle, a place of wonder and dreams, a place where anything may happen.

Fantasy

Self-Storage Starts with the Heart

You’ll notice how the commercials never mention the price. They’ve all got some lab-coated guy with chiseled cheekbones spouting dumbed-down drivel about how emotions have wavelengths, the same as light or sound, which are reflected and absorbed by the objects around us. How this discovery has the potential to revolutionize your life. Yes, you, the one glued to your screen at three a.m., binging YouTube videos.

Author Spotlight

Science Fiction

On the Shores of Ligeia

Seth Calder felt like he had barely dozed off when his alarm blared at 6:00 a.m. Level morning sunlight leaked through the blinds onto the birch and linen furniture of his Stockholm apartment. Amalia was already in the shower, so he lurched out of bed and went to check his news feed. NASA TO LAUNCH MARS CREW TODAY, said the first headline. The picture showed the ten crew members in flight suits, grinning at the camera.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

Ambitious Boys Like You

Sonny, his cousin, was from Houston, but being from the city wasn’t why Witt found him interesting. It was that while Witt believed in everything—God, the Devil, spooks, not spilling salt without throwing some over your shoulder—Sonny believed in absolutely nothing. Not 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination, not heaven or hell. The way he talked, Witt sometimes wondered if Sonny believed in him.

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: March 2019

Reviewer Arley Sorg takes a look at A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine; Ragged Alice, by Gareth Powell; and New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color, a new anthology edited by Nisi Shawl.

Science Fiction

A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime

Sharon’s head itched from all the fake brain implants, and the massive cybernetic headdress was giving her a cramp in her neck. But the worst discomfort of all was having to pretend to be the loyal servant of a giant space blob. Pretending to be a thing instead of a person. This was bringing back all sorts of ugly memories from her childhood.

Fantasy

A Hundred Thousand Arrows

After decades of warring, a time of peace came to the Krushan dynasty. The great armies of the Burnt Empire set aside their battle armor and weapons in exchange for flowers and rice. A great celebration lit up the streets of Hastinaga, the capital city. The marriage of Emperor Sha’ant and his unusual new Empress, Jilana. The daughter of a fisher chief married to the Emperor of the greatest empire in the known world!

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Media Review: March 2019

Carrie Vaughn dives into steampunk to review the film adaptation of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines.

Science Fiction

My Children’s Home

My children do not dream and neither do I. But that does not mean our sleep is sound. Sometimes they wake in the middle of the night, eyes wide and wet, grasping for a reason they stare into the darkness. I wish I could tell them it was a nightmare, that whatever they are feeling isn’t real, but instead I tell them to close their lids and lay lightly back into sleep, which they always do. My children are good at taking orders.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

Those Are Pearls

Elaine broke her curse like a mirror, heedless of the shards that scattered across the floor. The guests at the party laughed, applauded, whooped with delight at her reckless abandon. She offered them an exaggerated curtsy, holding the pose as she held their eyes, reveling in their gaze, in the simple pleasure of being seen. The broken pieces of the curse slid into liquid, shimmering like mercury before fogging into smoke and disappearing.

Nonfiction

Interview: Sarah Pinsker

Sarah Pinsker’s short fiction has won the Nebula and Sturgeon Awards, and she’s been a finalist for the Hugo and numerous other awards. Small Beer Press will publish her first collection, Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea, in March 2019, and her first novel, A Song For A New Day, will be published by Berkley in September. She lives in Baltimore with her wife, in a hundred-year-old house.