Science Fiction & Fantasy

Beren & Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Nov. 2016 (Issue 78)

We have original science fiction by Chris Kluwe (“Dinosaur Killers”) and Alyssa Wong (“Natural Skin”), along with SF reprints by Lavie Tidhar (“Under the Eaves”) and Mary Robinette Kowal (“For Solo Cello, op. 12”). Plus, we have original fantasy by J.B. Park (“Shooting Gallery”) and Helena Bell (“I’ve Come to Marry the Princess”), and fantasy reprints by Alex Jeffers (“Two Dead Men”) and Catherynne M. Valente (“A Dirge for Prester John”).
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 our usual ebook-exclusive novella reprint and an excerpt from The Genius Asylum by Arlene F. Marks.

In This Issue: Nov. 2016 (Issue 78)

Editorial

Editorial, November 2016

Be sure to check out the Editorial for a run-down of this month’s terrific content and all our great news and updates.

Science Fiction

Dinosaur Killers

Another rock fell today. Jaurez, on 54b. Pretty sure that’s who it was. Maybe. Didn’t talk much during the daily vidcalls, brown eyes peering out from beneath his shaggy black hair, floating every which way in zee-g. Supposed to keep it short, but company regs don’t apply. Not anymore. His kids were on Croia Hab. Partner too. Three of thousands, now just clouds of matter joining all the other debris.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

Two Dead Men

Everybody knows everybody else in Fejz, they used to say. They meant the high town, crowded shoulder to shoulder on its twin narrow peaks, not the sprawl of the low town in the bottomlands under the escarpment and the falls. That was before the little war. It was never true but during the siege you learned how few you had known, how superficially you were acquainted with your nearest neighbors.

Science Fiction

Under the Eaves

“Meet me tomorrow?” she said. “Under the eaves.” He looked from side to side, too quickly. She took a step back. “Tomorrow night.” They were whispering. She gathered courage like cloth. Stepped up to him. Put her hand on his chest. His heart was beating fast, she could feel it through the metal. His smell was of machine oil and sweat.

Fantasy

Shooting Gallery

It took a while, but in the end we bargained it down to a shot right on my chest, with his mom’s gun. I didn’t know anything about guns, but the thing he showed me looked safe enough, a little pistol that was smaller than the palm it rested on. Then we ran into another problem: Nick wanted to bring his buddies, or at least the ones he trusted.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Media Review: Westworld

John Joseph Adams, Theresa Delucci, and Rajan Khanna join David Barr Kirtley in a panel discussion for The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy to dissect and analyze the first four episodes of the new HBO show Westworld.

Science Fiction

Natural Skin

As I shrug on my jacket, moving across the carpet as quietly as I can, my sister Xuemei pushes her blankets aside and rolls over onto her belly with a soft murmur. “Liin jie. Where are you going?” Fuck. I glance at her across our shared bedroom, her pale skin glimmering in the near darkness. My shoes are already on; no use lying about it now. “Go back to sleep, kiddo.”

Fantasy

A Dirge for Prester John

We carried him down to the river. It churned: basalt, granite, marble, quartz—sandstone, limestone, soapstone. Alabaster against obsidian, flint against agate. Eddies of jasper slipped by, swirls of schist, carbuncle and chrysolite, slate, beryl, and a sound like shoulders breaking. Fortunatus the Gryphon carried the body on his broad and fur-fringed back.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews, November 2016

This month, we bring in a group of special reviewers to look at what’s new and exciting in the world of graphic novels, including Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1, Mighty Jack: Book One, Neil Gaiman’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties, and Nimona.

Science Fiction

For Solo Cello, op. 12

His keys dropped, rattling on the parquet floor. Julius stared at them, unwilling to look at the bandaged stump where his left hand had been two weeks ago. He should be used to it by now. He should not still be trying to pass things from his right hand to his left. But it still felt like his hand was there. The shaking began again, a tremelo building in his hand and knees.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

I’ve Come to Marry the Princess

Before Jack can apologize to Nancy, she has to believe that dragons exist. Nancy’s mad at him because they were supposed to perform a skit at the talent show and he stood her up. They’ve been practicing it for two summers. It’s called “I’ve Come to Marry the Princess.” When Jack didn’t show, Nancy had to go on stage all by herself. He didn’t ditch her on purpose; his dragon egg was hatching and he needed to be there.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Stephen Baxter

Stephen Baxter is the author of over forty books, including the Xelee Series, the Manifold series, and The Time Ships, the only authorized sequel to H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. He’s also collaborated with Terry Pratchett on The Long Cosmos series and with Arthur C. Clarke on books such as Time’s Eye and The Light of Other Days. Baxter’s latest book, which he wrote with Alistair Reynolds, is called The Medusa Chronicles.