Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Sept. 2020 (Issue 124)

We have original science fiction by Adam-Troy Castro (“The Author’s Wife vs. The Giant Robot”) and Sunny Moraine (“Note to Self”), along with SF reprints by Caroline M. Yoachim (“Shadow Prisons of the Mind”) and Hugh Howey (“Machine Learning”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Alexander Weinstein (“Destinations of Waiting”) and Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (“Entanglement”), and fantasy reprints by L.D. Lewis (“Moses”) and Karen Joy Fowler (“Persephone of the Crows”). 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 is with Mark Oshiro. Our ebook readers will also enjoy an excerpt from Christopher Paolini’s new novel To Sleep in a Sea of Stars.

In This Issue: Sept. 2020 (Issue 124)

Editorial

Editorial: September 2020

Don’t miss a rundown of this month’s terrific content and updates from the Adamant Press universe.

Science Fiction

The Author’s Wife vs. the Giant Robot

The year I turned five, my father got taken out by a giant robot. I was present and I took it very personally. You honestly don’t expect that kind of thing when you’re a kid, not even if you’ve seen the giant robot from a distance every day of your life and have been taught what random carnage the giant robot got up to. I had grown to that tender age knowing that the giant robot killed people at the rate of one a day.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

Moses

Moses is not dreaming. She is remembering. She is twelve, standing drenched on the blacktop, all heaving, nervous breaths and frustrated tears blending with the rain. The air around her begins to pulse. She should have been home by now. A dozen things need doing before her mother gets home, and her little sister stands on the sidewalk, fidgeting beneath a plastic umbrella.

Science Fiction

Shadow Prisons of the Mind

With the right overlays, the city was charming—apartment buildings done up like giant row houses, seamlessly blending Victorian and modern sensibilities, boutiques and cafés on tree-lined streets, parks bathed in sunshine. Vivian Watanabe had lived on this block, once, in a high-rise apartment painted cornflower blue with trim in teal and white. She couldn’t see it now, not the way she used to.

Fantasy

Destinations of Waiting

In compiling a guidebook to the Eighth Continent, it’s been a common observation by our writers that all travel involves a painful amount of waiting. There’s the time spent waiting for a taxi to arrive, the time wasted waiting in line at the airport, and a seemingly endless amount of hours waiting in concourses and bus terminals, train stations and hotel lobbies.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: September 2020

Arley Sorg reviews the novel Burning Roses, written by S.L. Huang, and anthologies edited by Joe M. McDermott (Evil in Technicolor) and Sheila Williams (Entanglements).

Science Fiction

Note to Self

The notion of the quantum mirror was first floated by two graduate students (Sapna Gupta and Mark Shaw) over a fourth round of beers in a small pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and therefore one should consider the role of intoxication in its initial conception. This is not to say that the notion itself was a foolish one; the subsequent procession of events should be sufficient proof that it was not.

Fantasy

Persephone of the Crows

Isabelle Winters once saw a fairy. For real. It was little, like a hummingbird, with a hummingbird’s frantic wings, and it was moving through the garden, shaking the rosebuds open for the bees. She’s just told this to Polly, though not exactly in those words. The sarcastic for real, for instance, is all Polly. If there was ever a girl primed to see fairies, Isabelle Winters is that girl.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Media Review: September 2020

Christopher East reviews streaming shows Devs and Years and Years.

Science Fiction

Machine Learning

You asked me once if I had any favorites, and I asked you which of your sons you most loved. Do you remember? It was when I was on your radio show, the one where between the music you interview machines. Do people ever listen to this show? I do. I like hearing how the other machines think, what they’re building, what’s next. I hear the tiredness in their voices. I wonder if you do too.

Fantasy

Entanglement

I never met my father, the sea monster, but my mother told me about him: eight raging tentacles that felt, when she stroked them, like finest silk, the deep calm ocean blue of him, the round eyes that revealed secrets in their reflections. The first time she looked into them, she saw an image of herself in her future, and she was kind and full of joy. They met on a dating app. There weren’t that many options. | Copyright 2020 by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Mark Oshiro

Mark Oshiro is the Hugo-nominated writer of the online Mark Does Stuff universe (Mark Reads and Mark Watches), where they analyze books and TV series. Their debut novel, Anger Is a Gift, was a recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award in 2019. Their lifelong goal is to pet every dog in the world.