Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Aug 2017 (Issue 87)

Our cover this month is by Reiko Murakami, illustrating a new original science fiction short from Ashok K. Banker (“Tongue”). Our other original SF this month is from Christopher East (“An Inflexible Truth”). We also have SF reprints by Andrea Kail (“The Sun God At Dawn, Rising From A Lotus Blossom”) and Carrie Vaughn (“Swing Time”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Susan Palwick (“The Shining Hills”) and Bruce McAllister (“Ink”), and fantasy reprints by Ken Scholes (“East of Eden and Just a Bit South”) and Seanan McGuire (“A Citizen in Childhood’s Country”).
All that, and of course we also have our book and media review columns, spotlights on our fantastic writers, and an interview with Annalee Newitz. For our ebook readers, we also have an ebook-exclusive reprint of the novella “Steppin’ Razor,” by Maurice Broaddus and a book excerpt.

In This Issue: Aug 2017 (Issue 87)

Editorial

Editorial: August 2017

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

Science Fiction

Tongue

Namaste, helloji, please to come in. First time visit, so nice you came. Thank you for removing gravity shoes. Please be comfortable, no formality. It is like your home only. What for I can get you? Mineral tea? Carbon Filter coffee? Gel Cola? If it is not in our supply ration, we can send Senthil to fetch from company concessionary on main asteroid. Senthil is our homebot, see, he is understanding our language fully now. Beginning time he was little confuse. Now he is fully understand.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

East of Eden and Just a Bit South

I was in line at the supermarket, fixing to buy me some beer, when I decided to tell my story. I’d just seen the headlines on the papers saying JFK had been successfully cloned by alien tax professionals and Elvis was living his life as a woman named Loretta Stills in New Jersey. Way I figure, a bit more truth can’t hurt: My name is Cain. The Good Book is flat-out wrong about me. Most folks ask two questions about me. They want to know why I killed my brother.

Science Fiction

The Sun God At Dawn, Rising From A Lotus Blossom

Dear Sir: I hope you will forgive the impropriety of this personal letter sent without the benefit of previous acquaintance, but I feel compelled to write you in order that I might, indeed, introduce myself, and also so I might render to you my personal wishes for your hale and happy birthday. And, as I am scheduled to go on display in just a few days’ time, I would additionally like to express my genuine and incalculable pride that I am soon to be joining your illustrious ranks.

Fantasy

The Shining Hills

“Are you all right?” The voice, sharp and worried, shot out of the pocket of shadow to her left. Startled, she turned and found herself blinking at a cop, one of the ones who patrolled the park on foot. In the last light of dusk, she could just make out his half-frown, his badge, the hand resting on a nightstick. He reminded her of her father. She shivered and pulled her sweatshirt more tightly around her. She should have brought warmer clothing, but she wasn’t going to be here long.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: August 2017

This month, LaShawn M. Wanak explores the nature of caretakers in The Sum of Us anthology, takes a trip back to The River Bank in a sequel to The Wind in the Willows, and gets turned into an emotional wreck by N.K. Jemisin’s The Stone Sky.

Science Fiction

An Inflexible Truth

As the commuter jet descended toward the ruins of Las Vegas, Roland Zhang craned his neck at the window, watching the skeleton towers grow nearer. Billowing clouds of dust clogged the air, and wind-blown dunes partially buried the filthy, abandoned buildings. He’d viewed footage from the far corners of the Earth, every remote hellhole imaginable, but this was the first time he’d ever seen the real deal in person. He tugged at his collar, sweating in spite of the air conditioning.

Fantasy

A Citizen In Childhood’s Country

It was always a relief on the ward when midnight came, bringing the late-night caretakers in their faded scrubs and sensible shoes, carrying their little trays of sweet oblivion from bed to bed and room to room. They passed among the patients like the Sandman himself, leaving even the most devoted screamers sleeping peacefully. The silence wouldn’t last, but oh, it was sweet for a little while. The more damaged patients—the ones who’d been waiting years for sanity to make a house call.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

TV Review: American Gods

This month, Joseph Allen Hill turns a critical lens toward the television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s multi-award-winning novel, American Gods.

Science Fiction

Swing Time

He emerged suddenly from behind a potted shrub. Taking Madeline’s hand, he shouldered her bewildered former partner out of the way and turned her toward the hall where couples gathered for the next figure. “Ned, fancy meeting you here.” Madeline deftly shifted so that her voluminous skirts were not trod upon. “Fancy? You’re pleased to see me then?” he said, smiling his insufferably ironic smile. “Amused is more accurate. You always amuse me.”

Fantasy

Ink

The American boy, whose name was David, had always collected things. Coins, minerals, seashells, insects, and even house-brand bars of soap from hotels in his family’s travels. His collections helped him know who he was when so much of life did not; and the things he collected did not make him bleed, when so much of the world—the sharp, angular things of it—did. When you bought an old coin in a store, the coin didn’t bruise your skin or scratch your fingers.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Annalee Newitz

Annalee Newitz is the Tech Culture Editor at Ars Technica, and the founding editor of io9. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of popular tech site Gizmodo. She’s the author of Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction (Doubleday and Anchor), which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, and Pretend We’re Dead: Capitalist Monsters in American Pop Culture (Duke University Press). Her first science fiction novel, Autonomous, will be released from Tor in September 2017.