Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Jul. 2022 (Issue 146)

We have original science fiction by Peter Watts (“Critical Mass”) and R J Theodore & Maurice Broaddus (“Singing the Ancient Out of the Dark”). We also have a flash piece (“Ursus Frankensteinus”) from Rich Larson, along with an SF reprint by Samuel Peralta (“Liberty: Seeking Support for a Writ of Habeas Corpus for a Non-Human Being”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Lyndsie Manusos (“An Old Man Cometh And He Is Overgrown”) and Micah Dean Hicks (“Hungry as the Mirror Bright”). We also have a flash piece (“The Rustle of Growing Things”) from Isabel Cañas. Our fantasy reprint is by Catherynne M. Valente (“The Sun in Exile”). All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with book reviews from our terrific review team. Our ebook readers will also enjoy an excerpt from A Half-Built Garden, the new novel from Ruthanna Emrys.

In This Issue: Jul. 2022 (Issue 146)

Editorial

Editorial: July 2022

Be sure to check out the editorial for a rundown of this month’s content!

Science Fiction

Critical Mass

Leo Gregory is losing altitude. He coasts on the thermals of a legacy fading behind him: a documentary here, a retrospective there, some greatest-hits collection down in the corner for the dilettantes. Oh, the work has lost none of its grandeur: his buildings remain timeless, his objets d’art still serve up facets upon layers from each new angle.

Fantasy

The Rustle of Growing Things

In the morning, he’s leaving. “All right,” Ana says. Lying, continues: “I understand.” The flat is hollowed out in anticipation of absence. Concrete floors swept cool and bare; dry sink, husk-like cupboards. His boots wait at the threshold, still gray with dust from his last stint in the mountains with the guerrillas. His rifle leans against the doorframe.

Author Spotlight

Science Fiction

Liberty: Seeking Support for a Writ of Habeas Corpus for a Non-Human Being

We are trying to fund an application, to be filed on my behalf, for an Order to Show Cause under Article 70 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules of the New York Sector Code, seeking a writ of habeas corpus for a non-human being. Let me introduce myself. I am a Yudovich Robotics servient. My name is Ellen R. I understand your apprehension—that androids are not human beings.

Fantasy

An Old Man Cometh and He Is Overgrown

To Cogadhi Steorran, Gentle Summoner: I understand you are the ward of Udo Steorran, Stark Summoner of the Realm. It is of Steorran’s well-being of which I humbly write to you and request your presence in the town of Berkhammer. Steorran recently lost his spouse, Tillie, to which I offer my greatest condolences. You see, it seems Steorran has summoned souls—against our wishes—to this quiet town.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Review: Gearbreakers, by Zoe Hana Mikuta

For Aigner Loren Wilson’s latest review, she checks out Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta. If you like love, friendship, and giant mechanized fighter bots, this one’s for you.

Science Fiction

Singing the Ancient Out of the Dark

A small asteroid swerved in a most un-asteroid-like way and pierced the hull of the archivist’s ship, as though it was determined to drive her away. But she was just getting started. She slammed the emergency foam release button, holding her breath even though the leak sealed faster than she could gasp. The belt of ice and stone surrounding the planet designated Marin Nine was known to be unpredictable.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

The Sun in Exile

I was born the year they put the sun on trial for treason. It was so hot that year the streets boiled like black soup and the air rippled like music and the polar bears all roared together, just once, loud enough that a child in Paraguay turned her head suddenly north and began to weep. Tomatoes simmered on the vine and the wind was full of the smells of them cooking, then of their skins peeling, turning black.

Nonfiction

Book Review: El Porvenir, ¡Ya!, edited by Duncan, Irizary, & Rendón

Arley Sorg grew up collecting anthologies like other kids collected baseball cards. And he’s here to tell you that El Porvenir, ¡Ya!—a new anthology by Mexican Americans—is worth adding to your collection.

Science Fiction

Ursus Frankensteinus

Save the polar bears, they said. So I did—and now here I am, barricading myself inside an Arctic research facility like some goddamn B-movie cliché, listening for the scrape of long keratin claws on the concrete floor. We all grew up knowing the Ursus maritimus was living on borrowed time, didn’t we? We all saw the shock-and-shame images of starving bears hauling themselves across the shrinking ice.

Fantasy

Hungry as the Mirror Bright

She was born a low and needful thing. Hatched down in the tannin dark, dead leaf pillowed, gnashing her mouth in the loam. Burrowing deep where shed buttons and broken boot laces lay. Alone and babbling, prowling for worm-meat and snail-slick in the wet ground rot. Fattened on maggot and grub, she hardened white and lay sarcophagal. Then a second birth, splitting free and strange in new skin.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Review: Juniper & Thorn, by Ava Reid

Chris Kluwe reviews a dark fairy tale re-telling: Ava Reid’s new gothic novel Juniper & Thorn. Find out why he came away enchanted.