Science Fiction & Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

Advertisement

Oct. 2016 (Issue 77)

We have original science fiction by Stephen S. Power (“Fade to Red: Three Interviews About Sebold’s Mars Trilogy”) and Mary Anne Mohanraj (“Plea”), along with SF reprints by Karen Joy Fowler (“Game Night at the Fox and Goose”) and Fran Wilde (“A Moment of Gravity, Circumscribed”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Jeremiah Tolbert (“The Cavern of the Screaming Eyes”) and Kat Howard (“The Key to St. Medusa’s”), and fantasy reprints by Aliette de Bodard (“The Dragon’s Tears”) and Will Kaufman (“October’s Son”). 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 an ebook-exclusive reprint of the novella “The Stars Do Not Lie,” by Jay Lake, and an excerpt from Will McIntosh’s new novel, Faller.

In This Issue: Oct. 2016 (Issue 77)

Editorial

Editorial, October 2016

Be sure to read the Editorial for a run-down of this month’s content and to catch up with all of our news.

Science Fiction

Game Night at the Fox and Goose

Alison called all over the city trying to find a restaurant that served blowfish, but there wasn’t one. She settled for Chinese. She would court an MSG attack. And if none came, then she’d been craving red bean sauce anyway. On the way to the restaurant, Alison chose not to wear her seat belt.

Fantasy

The Cavern of the Screaming Eye

“Is that the collapsible, carbon fiber ten-foot pole from TrunchCo—” I slammed my locker door and spun the combo lock, but it was too late; the fanboy already seen my gear. I didn’t know what his interest was, but I didn’t want to encourage him. I said nothing. He continued: “I’ve got the one from a couple of years ago that folds up. It sucks.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Science Fiction

Fade To Red: Three Interviews About Sebold’s Mars Trilogy

I’ll be the first to admit that my homemade rover didn’t do the original justice and my color treatment was a better reflection of my Hollywood thinking than of the Martian landscape. What appealed to JPL was how I captured the tension of driving the rover across Gale, where every pebble can put years of training to the test. They were also impressed that I left my Curiosity outside Hanksville, Utah, not far from the Mars Desert Research Station, then controlled it and its cameras from a van several miles away. And they were amazed that my route for approaching the Mars Light almost perfectly mirrored their own.

Fade To Red

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

The Dragon’s Tears

Huan Ho sealed the last window, leaving only a crack in the shutter. Tonight, he thought, his eye on the empty streets, the neighbours’ barred shutters. Tonight he had to pass the door on the hill, or let the sickness take his mother. She had been watching him from her bed. “They ride tonight,” she said, when he was done.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Media Review: 12 Monkeys and Mr. Robot

The real world may seem increasingly dystopian lately, but that doesn’t seem to have quenched our thirst for dystopian visions. Two current shows—one that reaches into the cinematic past, the other straight into the modern zeitgeist—are leveraging the science fictional furniture of dystopia to powerful, if decidedly different, effect.

Science Fiction

A Moment of Gravity, Circumscribed

Djonn’s father owned the last ticker in the city and made sure everyone knew it. Brass-bodied, the ticker looked fragile and cold, its clouded glass face obscuring the dark symbols beneath. Despite its age, it ticked loud and regular, breaking the arc of a day into increments. “You have thirty ticks to decide,” Djonn’s father said when he made a deal.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

The Key to St. Medusa’s

My parents knew I was a witch before I was born. The signs were there, they told me. They were unmistakable. Well. Not all of the signs, or they never would have kept me as long as they did. But enough: My mother’s hair, previously sedate and well-mannered, turned curly and wild during her pregnancy, sometimes even grabbing forks from other people’s hands at meals.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: October 2016

This month, Andrew Liptak reviews a cyberpunk murder mystery (False Hearts, by Laura Lam), a debut space opera (Behind the Throne, by K. B. Wagers) and a Lovecraftian horror novel that fittingly takes place at a Lovecraftian horror convention (I Am Providence, by Nick Mamatas.

Science Fiction

Plea

Three families ahead of them in line. Many more behind, stretching along the beach; it had taken most of the day to get this far, and Eris’s sun was now setting, casting red-gold rays across the sand. Gwen resisted the urge to remind Jon to stand up straight. Their hosts—potential hosts—couldn’t stand up at all, and there was no reason cetaceans would even notice a human’s posture, much less care.

Fantasy

October’s Son

When my wife began to swell, I wondered what seed infected her womb, my own having long proved fruitless. As she grew, her cravings turned to dirt and water and long spells naked in the yard under the bare trees and what sun pierced the clouds, and I asked her, Who have you loved? Who have you fucked? Why is your belly growing round?

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Allen Steele

Allen Steele is the author of such novels as Orbital Decay, V.S. Day, and Ocean Space, as well as the eight-volume Coyote series about colonizing a habitable moon in the 47 Ursae Majoris system. His short story collections include Rude Astronauts, The Last Science Fiction Writer, and Sex and Violence in Zero G. He’s also a highly regarded expert on space travel who has testified before the House subcommittee on space and aeronautics.