Science Fiction & Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

Advertisement

Jan. 2017 (Issue 80)

We have original science fiction by Adam-Troy Castro (“The Whole Crew Hates Me”) and Molly Tanzer (“Nine Tenths of the Law”), along with SF reprints by James S.A. Corey (“Rates of Change”) and Mary Rosenblum (“Tracker”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Kat Howard (“Seven Salt Tears”) and Jeremiah Tolbert (“The West Topeka Triangle”), and fantasy reprints by Jeffrey Ford (“Daddy Longlegs of the Evening”) and Kima Jones (“Nine”). 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 “Awakening,” by Judith Berman, and an excerpt from Sean O’Brien’s new novel, Beltrunner.

In This Issue: Jan. 2017 (Issue 80)

Editorial

Editorial, January 2017

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

Science Fiction

Rates Of Change

Diana hasn’t seen her son naked before. He floats now in the clear gel bath of the medical bay, the black ceramic casing that holds his brain, the long articulated tail of his spinal column. Like a tadpole, she thinks. Like something young. In all, he hardly masses more than he did as a baby. She has a brief, horrifying image of holding him on her lap, cradling the braincase to her breast.

Fantasy

Seven Salt Tears

When I was a child, my mother would tell me stories of the sea. When I couldn’t sleep, when I was restless, when I burned with some childhood fever, she would sit by my side, and conjure something wonderful and strange, something half-magic, from the ocean for me. “Mara,” she would say, smoothing the hair from my forehead as she tucked the covers around me, “did you know that to summon a selkie, you must shed seven tears into the ocean?”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Science Fiction

The Whole Crew Hates Me

They hate me. They have told me this, again and again, starting from almost the first day of the mission, and continuing every day since then, carrying their hostility well outside the confines of the solar system and into the realm of bentspace. Their hatred does not quite extend to the realm of murder, at least not yet; but it does include telling me every day, in every possible way, that they find my presence intolerable.

Fantasy

Daddy Long Legs of the Evening

It was said that when he was a small child, asleep in his bed one end-of-summer night, a spider crawled into his ear, traversed a maze of canals, eating slowly through membrane and organ, to discover the cavern of the skull. Then that spider burrowed in a spiral pattern through the electric gray cake of the brain to the very center of it all, where it hollowed out a large nest for itself.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Movie Reviews: January 2017

Carrie Vaughn reviews Moana, Rogue One, and Passengers.

Science Fiction

Tracker

The City Man was calling him. Tracker lifted his head from his garden, distracted from the small fears and satisfactions of the black beetles sucking juice from the ruffled cabbages beneath his fingers. The scent of that calling came to him on the soft westerly winds that also carried molecules of ocean, fish, and seagull shit, dying shelled-things and hungry water-living mammals.

Fantasy

The West Topeka Triangle

As much as the other kids in my neighborhood like to tell me I’m a know-it-all, I realize just how short the list of things I actually know is one cold winter morning in 1987. I know my vocabulary words, everything that can be known about the Bermuda Triangle, and how well-liked a kid is by who they walk to school with.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews, January 2017

This month, Andrew Liptak digs into second novels, including Indomitable, by W.C. Bauers, Remnants of Trust, by Elizabeth Bonesteel, and A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers.

Science Fiction

Nine-Tenths of the Law

Donna had picked up Jared’s favorite—Romano’s to go, he liked the rosemary bread and the penne rustica—and was just putting it in the oven to keep warm when they brought him in. They being EMTs, after pounding urgently on the door, and brought him in meaning he was on a stretcher. He had an IV in his arm and his eyes were bandaged with thick layers of gauze.

Fantasy

Nine

Tanner named the motel Star Motel because calling the place North Star Motel would’ve been asking for it. Colored folks recognized that “star” and the little lights Jessie insisted they burn in the windows. Most of their customers were hungry, travel-weary young men who did not believe the VACANCY sign as they approached the motel and did not believe that Tanner, round as a dishpan, wide as the door, was its owner.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Kij Johnson

Kij Johnson is the author of the novels The Fox Woman and Fudoki, as well as the short story collection At the Mouth of the River of Bees. She’s worked at Tor Books, Wizards of the Coast, Dark Horse Comics, and Microsoft, and is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Kansas. We spoke with her about her novella The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, a feminist take on H. P. Lovecraft.