Science Fiction & Fantasy

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May 2020 (Issue 120)

This month we have original science fiction by Adam-Troy Castro (“The Time Traveler’s Advice to the Lovelorn”) and Marie Vibbert (“Single Malt Spacecraft”), along with SF reprints by Alex Irvine (“One Hundred Sentences About the City of the Future”) and Charlie Jane Anders (“Rager in Space”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Millie Ho (“The Fenghuang”) and Alexander Weinstein (“Destinations of Love”), and fantasy reprints by Carmen Maria Machado (“I Bury Myself”) and C. Robert Cargill (“We Are Where the Nightmares Go”). All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. Our feature interview will be with Stephen Graham Jones. Our ebook readers will also enjoy an excerpt from Molly Tanzer’s new novel, Creatures of Charm and Hunger.

In This Issue: May 2020 (Issue 120)

Editorial

Editorial: May 2020

Be sure to check out the editorial—we’ll give you a rundown of this month’s terrific content and share all our updates and good news.

Fantasy

The Time Traveler’s Advice to the Lovelorn

Time is best described as the thing that must crawl by before even the most unlikely events finally get around to happening. A lot of it had passed in the little village we now visit, drifting down its cobblestoned streets like loose papers carried away by the wind, before the most unlikely of all developments had finally occurred. Samael, the junk collector, had fallen in love. Nobody had ever expected this, in large part because Samael was as dull and unimaginative a man who had ever lived.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

I Bury Myself

Here is what you do when you need to choose the end. First, find a person who knows your body, and fuck them for three days. Then, drive to a meadow, where there is so much life. There, dig a hole long enough and wide enough for your body to fit. Next, climb in. Then, wait.

Science Fiction

One Hundred Sentences About the City of the Future: A Jeremiad

  1. It rained yesterday, only in my precinct, far in excess of the scheduled and published amount, as a result of which some of my more delicate houseplants, which are flowering, were severely damaged.
  2. The choices in the mayoral election are disappointing, far from the ideological panoply promised in early stages of the campaign.
  3. Because of this, I am deciding whether or not I should file a formal Notice of Intent not to vote.

Fantasy

The Fenghuang

Her skin was sore and feverish under her fingers, as it always was a few days after she came back from the dead. Candice unwrapped the bandages around her head and peeled off the itchy scabs behind her ears. She shuddered at the memory of her regeneration: the charred bones snapping back into place, the raw skin stretching over exposed nerves, the first pump of blood searing like hot acid through her reborn body.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: May 2020

This month, LaShawn M. Wanak reviews Corry L. Lee’s new novel, Weave the Lightning, Laura Lam’s Goldilocks, and Bethany C. Morrow’s A Song Below Water.

Science Fiction

Melting Like Metal

When the quantum supercomputing systems of the God called Nemesis registered the sighting of the heretic Candor Gray—already tried in absentia and slated for termination, and assigned the serial number of HA3-940QK322PF-P—Enga Afonbataw Konum of Nemesis was already waiting, as she’d waited during the last few dozen stupid assignments. Enga was an angel of Nemesis, a no-longer-human cyborg built for a singular purpose: to hunt down and destroy the Gods’ enemies.

Fantasy

We Are Where the Nightmares Go

Everyone knows the story of the little girl who fell down the rabbit hole and of the children who walked through the wardrobe and of the little girl who was scooped up by the tornado and of the little boy who found the book that never ended and of the little girl who said the right words on the other side of the mirror and of the little girl who unlocked the bricked-up door in the cellar and of the little boy who had such wonderful dreams night after night. But those are the children who came back.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Media Review: May 2020

Ready to get your kids started in gaming? Looking for some help? We brought in a very special reviewer to check out these new D&D supplemental materials designed for kids. Find out if they’re a good fit for your family!

Science Fiction

Rager in Space

Sion sent a drunk text to Grant Hendryx at four in the morning, whipping off her hoodie and bra, snapping a pic and writing a sexy caption before hitting send. Except she aimed the camera the wrong way, and she picked the wrong entry in her address book, so Grant Donaldson, senior project manager at Aerodox Ventures, was surprised to receive a blurry photo of a pair of parking meters with a message that read, ‘LICK MY LEFT ONE.’ The next day, Sion had an invitation to go to outer space.

Fantasy

Destinations of Love

Your guidebook writers are—alas—very familiar with booking tickets in search of love. How many of us haven’t packed our bags for the new continent with this foolish goal in mind? We’ve stumbled through our travels, searching cities and villages for romance. In cafés, opera houses, and hotel rooms, we felt acutely alone. Why, even the most exquisite restaurants were dulled by the empty chair across from us.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Stephen Graham Jones

Stephen Graham Jones is the recipient of an NEA fellowship, the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction, the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction, a Bram Stoker Award, four This Is Horror Awards, and he’s been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the World Fantasy Award. By day, he is the Ivena Baldwin Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder.