Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Nov. 2018 (Issue 102)

This month’s cover art is by Galen Dara, illustrating an original fantasy short story by Theodora Goss (“Queen Lily”). We also have new short fiction from Matthew Hughes (“Hapthorn’s Last Case”), and fantasy reprints by Cadwell Turnbull (“Other Worlds and This One”) and Sofia Samatar (“Meet Me In Iram”). We have original science fiction by Theodore McCombs (“Talk to Your Children about Two-Tongued Jeremy”) and Stephen Graham Jones (“Moon Boys”), along with SF reprints by Charles Yu (“America: The Ride”) and Maureen McHugh (“Oversite”). Our nonfiction team brings us our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. Our feature interview is with author Andy Duncan. For our e-book readers, this month’s novella reprint will be “Trinity,” by Nancy Kress. We also have an excerpt from Molly Tanzer’s new novel, Creatures of Want and Ruin.

In This Issue: Nov. 2018 (Issue 102)

Editorial

Editorial: November 2018

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

Science Fiction

America: The Ride

We have a kid now and another on the way and—the idea is, the hope is—that we are, at least in a technical sense, adults. We’d always assumed we would know more, would have accomplished more, by the time we got to this point, assumed we would have turned into different people, better people. That was the idea. That was the hope. Looking back over our shoulders, we can see the track stretching out behind us, an unbroken line from where we got on to where we are now. The voice of the American ride says: Please keep your attention focused in a sideways direction.

Fantasy

Queen Lily

Once upon a time, there was a princess named Little Snowdrop, who had six brothers and four sisters. Her brothers were ravens, and her sisters were swans. Whenever they wished, they would fly around the castle on their black or white wings, but Snowdrop, not having any wings of her own, could not join them. She could only wave at them from the window of a high tower as they flew by. Her father was the King, and he loved her very much.

Author Spotlight

Science Fiction

Talk to Your Children About Two-Tongued Jeremy

His name was Two-Tongued Jeremy; he was a monitor lizard with a forked tongue, thick glasses, and a wild, wagging smile meant to convince children that learning could be fun, too. He came highly rated. He updated automatically. When our promising children propped their tablets against their stacks of textbooks, their glazy angelic eyes took on that ferocious determination we liked to see in ourselves.

Fantasy

Other Worlds and This One

When I finally visit Hugh Everett, it’s 1982. We sit down and pahnah pours himself a glass of sherry and lights a cig before asking me about the purpose of my visit. We’re in Hugh’s bedroom. He’s sitting on his bed, in full suit and tie, taking deep drags from his cigarette. I take a seat in a chair next to the window. I tell him I want to hear about his theory. This isn’t true. I know his theory well.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: November 2018

In this month’s column, LaShawn M. Wanak reviews Empire of Sand, by Tasha Suri; How to Fracture a Fairy Tale, by Jane Yolen; and The Future is Female anthology (edited by Lisa Yaszek).

Science Fiction

Oversite

“It doesn’t hurt, Gram,” Renata says. My sixteen-year-old daughter pulls up her t-shirt sleeve to show her bare arm, the skin summer brown and the muscle swelling slightly into smooth biceps, flawless. “I had it done when I was little and see, you can’t even tell.” My mother is sitting in the little examining room at the assisted living complex. Everything is white and hospital-like but there’s no examining couch.

Fantasy

Hapthorn’s Last Case

My assistant said, “You have received an invitation from Holk Xanthoulian. He is embarking on a new menu and invites, and I quote, ‘a select coterie of the cognoscenti to sample its superlative assemblage of tastes, textures, and titillations.’” “He has a flair for the alliterative,” I said. “Sadly, that is true,” my assistant said. “Shall I decline?”

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Media Review: November 2018

Review Violet Allen takes a look at the SF movie Kin.

Science Fiction

Moonboys

You ask how my brother died on the moon that day, but that’s the wrong question. Ask instead what he spelled with his bootprints when we first stepped down from the platform. Ask instead the one song he listened to, the whole flight there. Ask why he wanted me there instead of Jess, his wife. It’s because we used to pretend the backyard at night was the moon. That we were astronauts. That gravity was different.

Moonboys

Fantasy

Meet Me in Iram

We are familiar with gold, says Hume, and also with mountains; therefore, we are able to imagine a golden mountain. This idea may serve as an origin myth for Iram, the unconstructed city.

Meet Me in Iram

Author Spotlight

Stephen Graham Jones

Nonfiction

Interview: Andy Duncan

Andy Duncan’s short fiction has been honored with the Nebula, Sturgeon, and multiple World Fantasy awards. A native of Batesburg, SC, Duncan has been a newspaper reporter, a trucking-magazine editor, a bookseller, a student-media adviser, and, since 2008, a member of the writing faculty at Frostburg State University in the mountains of western Maryland, where he lives with his wife, Sydney.

Andy Duncan photo by Ellen Datlow