Archive for the ‘Fiction Roundup’ Category

Hey everyone. I thought it’d be a good idea to just catch up on all the print magazine stories in 2008 so far. I’m getting all of my data and review excerpts from The Fix, which is an awesome review magazine run by the amazing Eugie Foster. It’s a good site to keep up with if you’re interested in short fiction.

January

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

  • “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Michaela Roessner
  • “Mars: A Traveler’s Guide” by Ruth Nestvold
    • Nestvold gives us a poignant glimpse into the desperate requests for information from a computerized travel guide, made by a stranded traveller doomed by a series of freak accidents. Those who have studied transport disasters will recognize the horrific inevitability of supposed fail-safes not working in a cascade. It’s a better, stronger story than the Powell, and an object lesson in how to write very short stories.

Asimov’s

  • “The Whale’s Lover” by Deborah Coates
  • “The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald” by Tanith Lee
    • Lee has come up with a clever twist on viruses and on the need they have to propagate themselves. Her quiet, subtle description of a population that has lost hope and who only attempts to live life, one day at a time, is masterful. Recommended and the issue’s standout for me.

Weird Tales

  • “Landscape, With Fish” by Karen Heuler
  • “Events at Fort Plentitude” by Cat Rambo

Polluto

  • “Werewolf of Sappho” by Deb Hoag
  • “A Deck of Cards” by Jess Freeborn

OnSpec

  • “Daystar” by Sarah Carless
  • “Pressina’s Daughters” by Angela Slatter
  • “Re-Annunciation” by Nancy Chenier
  • “Pest Control” by Kate Riedel

February

Asimov’s

  • “The Egg Man” by Mary Rosenblum
  • “Sex and Violence” by Nancy Kress

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

  • “Retrospect” Ann Miller
  • “Philologos; or, A Murder in Bistrita” by Deborah Doyle and James Macdonald
    • This compact, fleetly paced and beautifully crafted mystery demonstrates what Sherlock Holmes would be like if he investigated monstrous affairs.

Realms of Fantasy

  • “The People’s Republic of the Edelweiss Village Putt-Putt Golf Course” by M.K. Hobson
  • “Hobnoblin Blues” by Elizabeth Bear
  • “The Singers in the Tower” by Peni R. Griffin
  • “And Spare Not the Flock” by Margaret Ronald
    • In my humble opinion, Cormac embodies the essence of Christianity, far more so than those who presumed to judge his actions or condemn his new companions. Kudos to Ronald for showing us a real man of faith, who perseveres in doing what he believes is right, despite personal danger and his own doubts.

Interzone

  • “Pseudo Tokyo” by Jennifer Linnaea
  • “The Faces of My Friends” by Jennifer Harwood-Smith

GUD

  • “Painlessness” by Kirstyn McDermott
  • “The Salivary Reflex” by Tina Connolly
  • “Jamie Hawkins’ Muse” by Vanessa Gebbie
    • [The author] crafts a subtle and affecting tale. It is full of emotion but never sentimental. … There is nothing overtly supernatural in this story, but it is extraordinary.

Andromeda Spaceways

  • “Motor Skills” by Eugenie Edquist
  • “The Last Deflowerer” by Karen Maric
  • “The Children’s Crusade” by Susan Wardle
    • …one of this issue’s strongest stories.

Escape Velocity

  • “The Appliance of Science” by Sheila Crosby

March

Asimov’s

  • “Kallakak’s Cousins” by Cat Rambo
  • “Spiders” by Sue Burke
  • “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear
    • Bear depicts her setting with authenticity, tackling issues of race and social class in addition to Harding’s quest to understand the shoggoth lifecycle.
  • “Master of the Road to Nowhere” by Carol Emshwiller
    • I loved the description of the group’s customs; how they manage to survive on the edge of the society we know is completely believable. Emshwiller succeeds admirably in depicting an alien way of thinking but one we can still empathize with.

Analog

  • “The Spacetime Pool” by Catherine Asaro
    • This is a very good adventure story… [it] entertains, surprises, and moves at a good pace.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

  • “Rumple What?” by Nancy Springer
  • “Exit Strategy” by K.D. Wentworth
    • Wentworth’s lighthearted tone, which appears dismissive at first, dances elegantly across questions of teenage autonomy, parental concern, cults vs. religion, even transgender identity, coming to rest in an unexpected (for me, at least) and very fitting place.

Black Static

  • “The Morning After” by Carole Johnstone

Leading Edge

  • “Last Heir” by Laura Ware
  • “The Book Of Thuti” by Karen L. Kobylarz
  • “At The Gates Of White Marble” by Aliette de Bodard

April

Asimov’s

  • “An Almanac for the Alien Invaders” by Merrie Haskell
  • “Ghost Town” by Catherine Wells
  • “Strangers When We Meet” by Kate Wilhelm
  • “Memory Dog” by Kathleen Ann Goonan
    • Goonan paints a complex picture of the future; her idea of smackers and of the way information would be transmitted in a world gone mad is brilliant. She handles the relationships between her main characters very well, especially the point of view of the memory dog—a hard act to pull off.
  • “The Room of Lost Souls” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • If the universe is nothing special—colonies, spaceships, and ruins from an elder race—the Room itself is a brilliant idea, and Rusch successfully creates a creepy myth around it, building up the intensity of the narration until the final, shattering reveal.

Realms of Fantasy

  • “Gift from a Spring” by Delia Sherman

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

  • “The Fountain of Neptune” by Kate Wilhelm

Have you read any of the stories listed? I’d love to see some other thoughts on them from folks here.