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Zines, Magazines, and Short Fiction Review- 11/2005  Next Month / Last Month
Send your zines to: Sam Tomaino c/o SFRevu P.O. Box 7615, Newark, DE 19714

SCIFICTION (9/28/05 - 10/19/05) by www.scifi.com (www.scifi.com November, 2005 / ) - SCIFICTION (9/28/05-10/19/05) Edited by Ellen Datlow (at www.scifi.com)
Stories reviewed:
The Canadian Who Came Almost All the Way Home From the Starsby Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold 09/28/05 | The Serial Murders by Kim Newman (10/05/05-10/19/05)

This month, I only have two stories from Ellen Datlow's SCIFICTION site to review, as one of them was a three-part story. Both get a very good rating fomr me.

"The Canadian Who Came Almost All the Way Home From the Stars" is by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold. In it, an American is sent to investigate an anomaly in a Canadian lake. It's a spatial dimple that dips down into the middle of the lake and seems to be connected to a Canadian man who has made an interstellar voyage. He becomes involved with the man's wife who is convinced of the success of her husband's quest. Lake and Nestvold create characters that we care about in a wonderful story.

"The Serial Murders" by Kim Newman is a three-part annotated story set in England in the 1970s. Richard Ipperson is an investigator for the Diogenes Club (Sherlock Holmes fans, take note) who is curious as to why there have been strange deaths that parallel those on a soap opera. There aren't copycats because the murders take place concurrent with the broadcast of the show. With the aid of beautiful college professor Barbara Corri, he finds out what is happening and stops the villains from futher murders. This was a tremendously fun story.

Again, I recommend this site whole-heartedly!

Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine by (Dell December, 2005 / ) - Asimov's Science Fiction - December 2005 - Vol 29 No 12, Whole Number 359) ISSN 1065-2698
Table of Contents: Novella Diving Into the Wreck by Kristine Kathyrn Rusch | Novelettes Amba by William Sanders | The Perimeter by Chris Beckett | Short Stories To the East, a Bright Star by James Maxey | Ikiryoh by Liz Williams | Earthtime by Damian Kilby | Poetry Cosmic Ego by Mike Allen | Inside the Bubble Chamber by Robert Frazier | Newton's Mass by Timons Esaias | Departments Editorial: Writing Workshops by Sheila Williams | Reflections: Lovecraft as Science Fiction by Robert Silverberg | One the Net: Mastery by James Patick Kelly | Thought Experiments: Invasion of the Vinyl Space Monkeys by Therese Littleton | On Books by Peter Heck | The SF Conventional Calendar by Erwin S. Strauss

The December 2005 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction has one excellent story and most of the rest of the issue is worth reading as well.

Fortunately, the excellent story is the novella, "Diving Into the Wreck" by Kristine Kathyrn Rusch. She tells us about the captain of a salvage ship who makes a remarkable discovery and enlists a group of people to salvage it. Rusch creates some interesting characters here and also gives us a great story.

The novelettes are also worth reading. "In Amba" by William Sanders, we see a near-future Earth in which Global Warming has taken place and had a profound effect on the world. The lead characters are men who have profitted from the changed scenery. Even though I'm a skeptic on Global Warming, I enjoyed the story. "The Perimeter" by Chris Beckett shows us a world in which most of the people are "virtual", in that their brains are in jars and their images are projected onto a "consensual London". One of them meets up with some real physical people and we get a very good story out of it.

The short stories are a mixed lot. The best is "Earthtime" by Damien Kilby. A woman who has been protecting the universe, somewhere in deep space, is sent back to her regular life (present day America) with only her knowing what she has been doing. She must learn to be human again. Also interesting is "Ikiryoh" by Liz Williams. An alien female is given the care of a child and told she is an ikiryoh but not what that means. The mythology behind the story is quite interesting. Lastly, I did not care for "To the East, a Bright Star" by James Maxey. The lead character, despite a heroic act, is someone I did not like and I was not concerned with his eventual fate.

All in all though, this was a very good issue, with a nice article by Robert Silveberg on H.P. Lovecraft adding to my enjoyment.

Analog - December 2005 by (Dell December, 2005 / ) - Analog - December 2005 - Vol.CXXV No. 12 - ISSN 1059-2113
Table of Contents: Serial Sun of Suns pt II by Karl Schroeder | Novella Audobon in Atlantis by Harry Turtledove | Novelette Do Neanderthals Know? By Robert J. Howe | Short Story A Christmas in Amber by Scott William Carter | Hotel Security by Carl Frederick | The Slow Ones by Larry Niven | Science Fact Testosterone Replacement: Beyond Viagra to Successful Aging by Fran Van Cleave | Reader's Departments The Editor's Page | In Times to Come | The Alternate View by John G. Cramer | The Reference Library by Tom Easton | Brass Tacks | Upcoming Events by Anthony Lewis

The December issue of Analog is a good one, with all the stories well worth reading & getting a very good rating from me.

"Audobon in Atlantis" is another alternate history story from the master of the craft, Harry Turtledove. This has a very alternate Earth. Visible on the title page is a map of the Atlantis that John James Audobon travels to in search of a rare bird. This Atlantis is the eastern part of North America that's about 1000 miles away from the rest of the continent! Turtledove gives us a very good story set in this world.

"In Do Neanderthals Know" by Robert J. Howe a man must deal with his best friend and his wife getting ahead of him on the evolutionary scale. "A Christmas in Amber" by Scott William Carter is a touching story of a man who gets a wonderful gift from his granddaughter. Carl Frederick's "Hotel Security" tells us of a man who runs afoul of his own profession. "The Slow Ones" by Larry Niven is another Draco Tavern story about some very slow aliens.

This issue did not disappoint at all, so I recommend it!

Fictitious Force #1 by (Jonathan Laden December, 2005 / ) - Fictitious Force #1 - edited by Michele Barasso & Jonathan Laden $5 from: Jonathan Laden/Fictitious Force, 1024 Hollywood Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20904, $16 for a 4-issue subscription
Table of Contents The Harps of Titans by Sharon E. Woods | A Fully Intergrated Marketing Plan by Greg Beatty | Horse Years by Will McIntosh | The Writer's Orchard by Sandra McDomald | Elegy for the Square Deal Towns by Toiya Kristen Finley | A Spec(i)Fic Retrospective by Sean Melican | Dragons Just Wanna Have Fun by Paul Woodlin | Walking West by Joel Best | Paper Tigers by Melissa Mead | (Just Like) Starting Over by Stephen Couch | Like Cleveland, without the Sparkle by Jay Lake | Watercolors in the Rain by Beth Bernobich

I was sent a review copy of this magazine with an unusual size (11" high, 4 1/4" wide). The only name I recognized amongst the authors was Jay Lake, so I'd classify this as an "amateur" publication, but with some talent. All the stories are short, with some "short-short". "The Harps of Titans" by Sharon E. Woods is a very good story about a man who must clean some ancient harps in a city in which war is approaching. In cleaning them, he finds what is really important. "A Fully Intergrated Marketing Plan" by Greg Beatty is a short-short about an unusual business plan and only rates an OK from me. "Horse Years" by Will McIntosh Is another very good story about a casino where you can gamble your very life force away. "The Writer's Orchard" by Sandra McDonald is a good little story about a very unusual place for writers to get their ideas. "Elegy for the Square Deal Towns" by Toiya Kristen Finley is a depressing tale about an area that has lost the factories that built it up. I did not see much fantasy there. "A Spec(i)Fic Retrospective" by Sean Melican is a humorous tale about an magazine tha never was and the effect it had on the science ficiton we know in this world. It has lots of good in-jokes. "Dragons Just Wanna Have Fun" by Paul Woodlin is a very funny little short-short.

"Walking West" by Joel Best has an interesting idea with people suddenly walking to the west for no apparent reason. The only problem I had with it was that there was not enough of a story to go with it. "Paper Tigers" by Melissa Mead is a funy little comment about that bane of writers known as editors. (Just Like) "Starting Over" by Stephen Couch is another story that I rated as verty good about expermenting on an alien being that runs into trouble. "Like Cleveland, without the Sparkle" by Jay Lake is an amusing little tale about an unscrupous marketer who gets what he deserves. The issue ends with "Watercolors in the Rain" by Beth Bernobich, another very good story about a husband and wife who must learn to move on from past mistakes.

An unusual feature of this magazine is that most of the stories (the longer ones) have an author reflects section at the end. They vary in quality but this is a nice idea. I'd like some actual information about the authors and some words from the editors, too, but I do recommend.

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - January 2006 by Gordon Van Gelder ( January 2006 / ) - Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction January 2006 issue, which is scheduled to go on sale November 29, 2005
Table of Contents: Novellas Planet of Mystery -44- Terry Bisson | Novelets Less Than Nothing -7- Robert Reed | The Boy in Zaquitos -138- Bruce McAllister | Short Stories Shadow Man -87- Matthew Hughes | Horse-Year Women -92- Michaela Roessner | A Daze in the Life -116- Tony Sarowitz | Journey to Gantica -126- Matthew Corradi | Departments Books To Look For -34- Charles de Lint | Books -38- Elizabeth Hand | Coming Attractions -91- | Films: 101 More Uses of Enchantment -110- Kathi Maio | Index to Volumes 108 & 109 -159- | Curiosities -162- Bud Webster | Cover: By Max Bertolina for "Planet Of Mystery"

The January 2006 issue if The Mageazine of Fantasy and Science Ficiton has something unusual, a serialized story. I will review "Planet of Mystery" by Terry Bisson when it concludes next month.

The rest of the stories in this issue all get a Very Good from me. "Less Than Nothing" by Robert Reed is a sequel to "The Condor's Green Eyed Child" in the August 2004 issue. It continues the story of Raven Dream, a 10 year old Native American boy who must suffer the consequences of killing a man in that previous story. He goes on a journey and discovers more about himself and the outside world. "The Boy in Zaquitos" by Bruce McAllister tells us the story of a man who must do distasteful things during the Cold War and what he does to assuage his guilt. "Shadow Man" by Matthew Hughes is not a story about Henghist Hapthorn or Guth Bandar. This takes place in our own world and tells us about a disturbed young man who feels he's being watched.

"Horse-Year Women" by Michaela Roessner is based on Chinese astrology and those 'Year of' animals that we see on menus in Chinese Restaurant. A woman born in the Year of the Dragon, is curious about women born in The Year of the Horse. She becomes friends with one such woman and also hears some fascinating legends about them.

"In A Daze in the Life", Tony Sarowitz shows us a near-future world in which people are willingly 'Capped' by the installation of a 'Cerebral Appliance' that allows an outside group (government or business) to use their brain for processing. He gets flashes of an interesting young woman, meets her and finds something about what is being done with his brain. "Journey to Gantica" is an impressive debut story by Matthew Corradi. Set in a fantasy world, it relates the story of Adelia who grows larger than the people of her village. She thinks that her size means that she was meant to slay giants. She is told they are Upland in a country called Gantica. Her quest takes her to surprising places. We get a very classic fairy story here and I will be looking forward to more stories from Mr. Corradi.

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