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August 2003
© 2003 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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SF Magazine/Short Fiction Review - August 2003 
by Steven Sawicki                       
column - publications

SF has always had a strong short story tradition, and if you're not watching the magazines you're sure to miss the arrival of tomorrow's best authors and the chance to see today's best play with ideas that they're not ready to make novels out of. Steve Sawicki has been following the SF magazine field as long as I've known him, and in order to improve SFRevu's coverage I asked him to put down the remote from his DVD player (See DamnAliens DVDs) and  to give us a monthly column about short SF. - Ern

Steve Notes:  Each column will consist of a survey of a number of different magazines.  As I cover new magazines I will include the contact information at the bottom of the column so it can be sidebarred or perhaps included on a linked page. 

The September issue of Analog contains the first part of a four part serial by Edward M. Lerner.  “Moonstruck” begins with a shuttle disaster and then moves into a first contact situation.  The aliens bring gifts but also raises as many questions as they seem to answer.  The issue also contains novelettes by the seeming ever present Michael A. Burstein (“Paying It Forward”) and Richard A. Lovette (“Tiny Berries.”)  Both are worth reading and laced with humor.  Short stories for the issue include “The First Lesson” by Edward Muller, “Pale Horse” by Kevin Levites, “Section Seven” by John G. Henry, “The Watering Hole” by Pete D. Manison and “The Study of Ants” by Carl Frederick.  Non-fiction includes Tom Easton’s book review column, Jeffery D. Looistra’s ‘The Alternate View’, and a science fact article about genetics by Catherine H. Shaffer.   The cover, a rather standard space shot with generic space station, is by Vincent Di Fate

The September issue of F&SF contains an Alex Irvine novella, “Pictures From An Expedition.”  It’s about a mission to Mars but with one or two telling differences, the chief being that the crew is picked as much for their mediability as for their skill.  The results are unexpected to say the least.  A pair of Novelettes by Brett Bertholf (Alfred Bester Is Alive And Well And Living In Winterset, Iowa” and Richard Paul Russo’s “Tropical Nights At The Natatorium” are also in the issue.  Short stories by Esther M. Friesner (I Killed Them In Vegas), Eugene Mirabelli (The Only Known Jump Across Time) and Elaine Stirling (White Cloud) round out the fiction offerings.  There’s also Charles de Lint’s Book review column, Michelle West’s book review column, Kathi Maio’s film column, Paul Di Filippo’s Curiosities and a great cover by Maurizio Manzieri for the Irvine novella.

The August Asimov’s contains a new Allen Steele novella entitled “Benjamin The Unbeliever” which is set in his ‘Coyote’ universe, three novelettes by Stephen Baxter (“Touching Centauri), Tim Sullivan (“The Mouth Of Hell”), and Alexander Glass (“From The Corner Of My Eye.”  Short stories in the issue include Tom Purdom’s “Sheltering and Steven Utley’s “Exile.”  Poetry this time from W. Gregory Stewart and Maureen McHugh.  Non Fiction includes Paul Di Filippo’s book review column and an editorial by Robert Silverberg.  Cover art by Jean-Pierre Normand is nice but does not really do anything to make you want to read this issue.

The new issue of Flesh & Blood contains a nice cover by Alan M. Clark one of the best, if not the most recognizable, horror artists currently working.  Fiction offerings include “Queen Of Spades” by Tim Curran, “Sawbones” by Matthew Lee Bain, “Skyfisher” by Loren MacLeod, “The Circus” by Nancy Bennett, “The Beginning Of The End” by Cathy Burburuz, “The Goblins” by Spencer Allen, “Celia” by John Urbancik, “Wild Things” by Teri A. Jacobs and “Return From Abaddon by Forrest Aguirre.  All are short works.  Poetry this issue by Nancy Bennett, ER Carlin, Paul Melniczeck, Lucy Ward, Darrell Schweitzer, Jill Bauman, Karen Porter, Julie Shiel, Wendy Rathbone, and Jon Hodges.

The latest issue of New Genre contains essays by Jeff Paris (Childlike) and Adam Golaski (No Contest).  Fiction comes from Philip Raines and Harvey Welles (“In Search Of The Cowboy Saints”), Thomas Dunford (“Inside Everything Is An Engine”), Steve Duffy (“Glass Stoppered Bottles”), and Cherly Smith (“Two Birds”).  The uncredited cover, unless credit should go to Maryellen Hanley, is fitting for what this magazine is trying to do; unbound by genre or trope yet reflective of the creativity and energy that makes great fiction.

Fantastic’s lineup for it’s Summer 2003 issue includes “Gravesend” by Tom Piccirilli, “City Of Fire” by Chris Bunch, “Stored Dreams” by Mark Fewell, “Running Out” by Charlene Babb Knadle and a prolog to Roger Zelazny’s “The Dawn Of Amber” by John Gregory Betancourt.  This is the beginning of a trilogy that Betancourt, a Zelazny scholar, has been hired to write.  Poetry in this issue is from Nathan Whiting, Mary Soon Lee, Kendall Evans and Jennifer Crow.  The striking cover is by Tim White.

Issue #332 of Weird Tales contains Kelly McCullough’s “Shatter, David J. Schow’s “Five Sisters: A Fable”, Keith Taylor’s “The Archpriest’s Potion”, Robert Sheckley’s “The Tales Of Zanthias” and Robert Waters’ “The Assassin’s Retirement Party.”  Poetry by Darrell Schweitzer, illustrated Limericks by George Barr, reviews by John Betancourt and a so-so cover by Keith Minnion.

Oceans of the Mind is an electronic magazine distributed in pdf format.  Each issue is themed with the latest one built around the art of Chesley Bonestell. (  Gregory Benford starts everything off with an article entitled “Getting It Right”.  Joe Murphy’s “Exploring The Earth By Moonlight” is the first piece of fiction followed by Greg Beatty’s “Earthmen will Believe Anything.”  “The Golfball And The Javelin” by Terry Bramlett is next followed by “Wishing On An Airplane” by Marissa Lingen.  Gregory Benford’s piece on The Matrix, “Theological Science Fiction--Why The Matrix Matters” closes the issue.


Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Stanley Schmidt, ed., Box 54625, Boulder, CO, 80323-4625, $3.50/$4.95 single issue US/Canada, $39.97,$47.97 one year (12 issues), Digest, Color Cover, 144 pgs.

Asimov’s Science Fiction, Gardner Dozois, ed., Box 50433, Boulder, CO 80322-4033, $3.50/$4.95 single issue US/Canada, $39.97,$47.97 one year (12 issues), Digest, Color Cover, 144 pgs.

Fantastic, Edward J. McFadden, ed.,, DNA Publications, P. O. Box 2988, Radford, VA  24143-2988, $4.95, 4/$16 ($5.95, 4/$22 Canada, $9, 4/$35 Elsewhere), Full sized, Color Cover, 48 pgs.

F&SF, Gordon Van Gelder, Ed., P. O. Box 3447,  Hoboken, NJ, 07030, $3.99 US/$4.99 Can. for one, $44.89/11, ($54.89 outside US), Digest, Color Cover, 162 pgs.

Flesh & Blood (Tales Of Fantasy And Dark Horror, Jack Fisher, Ed., 121 Joseph St., Bayville, NJ 08721.  $5 for one, $13 for 3 (make checks payable to Jack Fisher), Digest, Color Cover, 52 pgs.  

New Genre, Jeff Paris and Adam Golaski, Eds., 25 Cutter Ave., Somerville, MA 02144, $8 for one, $16 for a two issue subscription, 102 pgs.

Oceans Of The Mind, Richard Freeborn, Ed., Trantor Publications, 9838 Old Baymeadows Rd. #283, Jacksonville, FL, 32256,, 4/$9.95, 8/$$16.95, Electronic only distributed in pdf format via email

Weird Tales,  DNA Publications, P. O. Box 2988, Radford, VA  24143-2988, $4.95, 4/$16 ($6, 4/$22 Canada, $9, 4/$35 Elsewhere), Full sized, Color Cover, 66 pgs.

© 2003 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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