Fiction Review -
by Steven Sawicki
have your magazine or short fiction work mentioned here send a copy to
Steve Sawicki, 2824 Furbeck Rd., Altamont, NY 12009. Everything
received will be considered. Items not sent will not.
In this Column: Fantasy & Science Fiction,
Mythic Delirium, Wormhole Books,
The April issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction begins with James L. Cambias’ novelette, “The Ocean of the Blind.” It’s a story about a survey team stationed on a distant water planet, not able to have contact with the indigenous species and stuck with a member of their team who’s a jerk. The rest of the group have even devised a private file listing ways they’d like to kill this individual. The story revolves around what happens when this individual breaks the rules and manages to make contact. This is followed by John Morressy’s novelette “The Unpleasantness at Le Chateau Malveillant.” Kedrigern the wizard is invited to a meeting of kings to help thwart an assassination attempt. He doesn’t want to go but Princess convinces him otherwise. After a number of adventures he manages to solve the puzzle in an entertaining and amusing way. “The Forest on the Asteroid”, a short story by Robert Sheckley is about...nothing much it seems. I’m not even sure it qualifies as a writing exercise. I think this piece got accepted purely on name value. “The Millstone”, by Kate Mason is a short fantasy story about three young boys/men, the ranking order which gets two of them in trouble and the unfortunate/fortunate circumstances which befalls the least of them. The story is well written and amusing with an unforeseen ending. “The Seventh Daughter” by Bruce McAllister is a short story about, well, to be honest, I’m not sure what it’s about. It is short so it does have something going for it. Albert E. Cowdrey’s novella “Silent Echoes” comes next and is one of those stories where the fantastic element is so marginal to the plot that you wonder whether it was just jammed in there for the submission. Again, I’m not sure if Joe Fan had submitted this if it would have been published. “Gas” by Ray Vukevich is the penultimate piece of fiction in this issue. It’s a short story about a young woman who’s about to introduce her boyfriend to an unusual musical experience. To make it more interesting the performer is a relative and an alien. I had doubts about this one at the start but Vukevich does a great job of making it all work. The final story is a novelette by David Gerrold. I’ve been hot and cold on Gerrold for years. This is one of his better stories. It’s about a boy traveling from the city to the country but in a very strange land. Good stuff. It’s also the cover story, with the cover done by David Hardy.
Mythic Delirium’s new issue contains 17 poems in its 30 pages. Encompassed poets include some of the top names in the field including Jane Yolan, with a nostalgic little piece called “Musings About Seth”, Jennifer Crow, Ann K. Schwader, Bruce Boston who continues to show that poetry and humor make a great combination with his “Things Not To Say When You Meet The Master Of The Universe”, W. Paul Ganley, Bud Webster with a very visual circus poem that borders on the surreal. All this in a nice package, well illustrated and with a cover by Tim Mullins.
Wormhole Books is a small press that produces chapbooks in both hardcover and softcover editions. They produce 250 numbered hardcover, 52 lettered copies and 750 numbered softcovers of each work they produce. Each book is also autographed and printed on acid free paper. The books have a great feel to them. They also do most of the work in-house, from editing to design to composition to hand-sewing, etc. They produce both contemporary titles (of which there are thirteen) and vintage titles (three so far.) They also produce a
regular catalog/newsletter. I mention the catalog because it includes flash fiction and interviews that you don’t see other places. The catalog in front of me contains Jamie Ferguson’s “The Apology” which had me a bit confused right until the end when I just barely figure out what was going on before Ferguson exposed it. There’s
also a story by Chuck Anderson called “Fallen Hero” which is about a world war two concentration camp and the interface between reality and fiction. It’s nicely done.
I’ve also got a copy of #9 in their contemporary series, Nova in a Bottle by John Kennedy. The chapbook contains not only the cover story but two others as well. “Nova in a Bottle” was first published in 1992 (I’m not sure where) and is reprinted here. It’s a love story in it’s simplest forms between an AI entity taking care of a forest area, a self regulated repair mech and a cyborg soldier. All have been fighting a war for their entire lives and they are presented with a choice about what their future might hold. “Rigid” the next piece is a very short story also about choices as it tells a story of a young woman in a concentration camp who is tasked with taking care of the commandants daughter. “Irrelevant Details” is the final piece and it’s more of a ‘slice of life’ story than anything else. Good if you like these kinds of things. I don’t. Overall an excellent read and the chapbook is a work of art in itself with color cover and interior color illustrations by Joanna Erbach and introductions by Connie Willis and Edward Bryant.
The April 2004 issue of the
Fortean Bureau is up and issue #21 contains material that no other fiction magazine would even dare to approach. The luminaries in this issue shine from the greatest areas of prodom and include John Joseph Adams, Elizabeth Bear, Holly Black, Steven Brust, Lois McMaster Bujold, Leah Cutter & Mike Brotherton, S. Evans. Neil Gaiman, James Patrick Kelly, Nancy Kress, Jay Lake, Marissa K. Lingen, Nick Mamatas, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Karen Traviss, Jeff VanderMeer, Ray Vukcevich, and Jo Walton. And what do you get from each of these stars? How about their grocery lists. Whether it’s on a palm pilot or a scratch of paper the truth is here revealed. Previous issues do actually contain fiction.
To have your magazine or short fiction work mentioned here send a copy to Steve Sawicki, 2824 Furbeck Rd., Altamont, NY 12009. Everything received will be considered. Everything not sent will not be considered.
- Abyss & Apex, http://klio.net/abyssandapex/
- AlienQ, http://www.alienq.com/
- Another Realm, http://www.anotherealm.com/
- Camp Horror, http://newcamphorror.i8.com/
- Chiaroscuro, http://www.chizine.com/
- Fortean Bureau, http://www.forteanbureau.com/
- Gothic Net, http://www.gothic.net/
- Marsdust, http://www.marsdust.com/
- Quantum Muses,
- SciFi.com SciFiction:
- Strange Horizons, http://www.strangehorizons.com/
- Would That It Where, http://wouldthatitwere.com/
- Absolute Magnitude, DNA Publications,
P. O. Box 13511, Roanoke, VA, 24034-3511, $4.95, 4/$16 ($6, 4/$22 Canada, $9,
4/$35 Elsewhere), Full sized, Color Cover, 66 pgs.
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. www.analogsf.com.
- Artemis, Ian Randal Strock Ed., 4/$15, 8/$24 ($20/$32 Canada; $32/$45 Elsewhere), 1380 East 17th St., Suite 201, Brooklyn, NY 11230-6011, Quarterly, Full Sized, 50 pgs.,
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,
- Black Satellite, Brian Lingard, Ed., Dark Tree Press, P. O. Box 748, Boylston, MA 01505, $4, 3/$10 ($5, 3/$13 Canada, $6, 3/$15 Elsewhere), Digest, Black and White Cover, 52 pgs., Web site:
The Bachelor Machine, M. Christian, Green Candy Press, 601 Van Ness Ave., E3-918, San Francisco, CA 94102, $14.95, 210 pgs.,
Destiny, Crystalline Sphere Publishing, R. R. #6, St. Marys,
Ontario, Canada N4X 1C8, Digest Sized, Color Cover, 126 pgs., $6.50
US, $7.50 Canadian, $7.00 elsewhere.
Dark Animus #4, P. O. Box 750, Katoomba, NSW 2780, Australia,
$7.70 Australian, $5 US plus $2.50 shipping and fondling, 4/$25 AU or US, Digest
Sized, 80 pgs., www.darkanimus.com.
Dream People Publications, 5103, 72nd place, Hyattsville, MD, 20784, Digest Sized Chapbook, $5, 44 pgs.
Electric Velocipide, John Klima, Ed.,
PO Box 663
Franklin Park, NJ
08823, $3, 3/$5.75, 32 pgs., Black and White Cover, Digest Sized,
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.
The Fortean Bureau, Jeremy and Sarah Tolbert, eds.,
HolQed, Lawrence M. Schoen, Ed., P. O. Box 634, Flourtown, PA, 19031-0634, $5, 4/$16 ($20 Canada, $25 Overseas), (Make checks payable to KLI), Quarterly, Digest, Black and White cover, 16 pgs.
Infinity Plus, http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/
Mike Allen Ed., DNA Publications, P. O. Box 13511, Roanoke, VA,
24034-3511, $5, 2/$10, 4/$16, Digest, color cover, 28 pgs.
Jeff Paris and Adam Golaski, Eds., 25 Cutter Ave., Somerville, MA 02144,
$8 for one, $16 for a two issue subscription, 102 pgs.
The Nth Degree,
Michael D. Pederson Ed., 77 Algrace Blvd., Stafford, VA 22556, Free at
conventions or 6/$15, Full sized, color cover, 32 pgs.
Oceans Of The
Mind, Richard Freeborn, Ed.,
Trantor Publications, 9838 Old Baymeadows Rd. #283, Jacksonville, FL,
www.trantorpublications.com, 4/$9.95, 8/$$16.95, Electronic only
distributed in pdf format via email
Path of the Just, James Lower, ed., Guardians of Order, 176 Speedvale Ave., West, Unit #2, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1H 1C3, $14.95, trade paperback, 207 pgs.
Polyphony, Wheatland Press, Deborah Lane & Jay Lake, Eds., P. O. Box 1818, Wilsonville, Or, 97070, $17.95, Trade Paperback, 386 pgs.,
Space And Time,
Gordon Linzner, Ed., 138 W. 70th St. [4B],, New York, NY 10023-4468,
Full Size, Color Cover, $6.50 for single, 2/$10, 4/$20 (outside US 2/$12,
4/$24), full sized, color cover, 48 pgs.
Tree, by Mark McLaughlin, Yellow Bat Press, 1338 West Maumee,
Idlewilde Manor #136, Adrian , MI 49221, $3, 34 pgs. (Make checks
payable to Richard Geyer)
The Third Alternative, TTA Press, 5 Martins Lane, Witcham, Ely, Cambs CB6 2LB, England, 3 pounds 95 (about $7 US), Oversized, Color Cover, 66 pgs., (http://www.ttapress.com)
Trunk Stories, William Smith, Ed., 470 Prospect Ave., Apt 3D, Brooklyn, NY 11215, $4 (plus $1 shipping), Digest, Black and White cover, 44 pgs.
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
Wormhole Books, 3005 Fairfield Ave., Fort Wayne, IN, 46807. Dawn Dunn & Chris Dunn Publishers, www.wormholebooks.com