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Analog Science Fiction and Fact by (Spilogale, Inc. October 2006 / ) - Analog Science Fiction and Fact – Vol. CXXV, No. 11 – November 2006 – ISSN 1059-2113
Table of Contents: Serial:Rollback (Part II of IV) by Robert J. Sawyer Novella: The Good Kill by Barry B. Longyear Novelette: Where Lies the Final Harbor? by Shane Tourtellotte Short Stories: Prenenge by Mike Resnick and Keven J. Anderson * Man, Descendant by Carl Frederick Science Fact: The Interstellar Conspiracy by Les Johnson and Gregory L. Matloff Reader's Departments: The Editor's Page * In Times to Come * The Alternate View by Jeffery D. Kooistra * The Reference Library by Tom Easton * Brass Tacks * Upcoming Events by Anthony Lewis

The latest issue of Analog has some of my favorite writers and all the stories got a Very Good from me. This was an enjoyable issue to read.

I first started reading magazine short fiction seriously to nominate for the Hugo Awards in 1980. The standout writer from the year before was Barry B. Longyear and I am very happy to read a new story from him. "The Good Kill" is a fun "buddy detective" story with one of the buddies being a duck with a human mind. Two detectives must find a killer and the conclusion is something I should have seen coming but didn't. This story was an utter delight. One of my favorite new writers is Shane Tourtellotte and he contributes a fine tale with "Where Lies the Final Harbor?". A reporter wants to find out why old navigators have been disappearing. She teams up with a navigator to search for a mysterious planet. What she finds changes her life.

"Prevenge" by Mike Resnick & Kevin J. Anderson is a tale of a man who is one of the Knights Temporal who go back in time to prevent murders. The man finds that things in this case are a little more complicated. In "Man, Descendant", Carl Frederick gives us a story about a man observing a black hole who gets a little out of sync with standard time.

All in all, this is a very good issue of this venerable magazine.

Asimov's Science Fiction - October/November 2006 by Sheila Williams (ed) (Spilogale, Inc. October 2006 / ) - Asimov's Science Fiction – October/November 2006 – Vol. 30 Nos. 10 & 11 – ISSN 1065-2698
Table of Contents Novellas: A Billion Eves by Robert Reed * Down to the Earth Below by William Barton Novelettes: Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colours of the Earth by Michael F. Flynn * 1 Is True by Ron Collins Short Stories: Biodad by Kit Reed * After I Stopped Screaming by Pamela Sargent * The Small Astral Object Genius by James Van Pelt * The Seducer by Carol Emshwiller * Saving for a Sunny Day, or, The Benefits of Reincarnation by Ian Watson * Foster by Melissa Lee Shaw Poetry: Preponderance of the Small by Rebecca Marjesdatter * Hell on Wheels by Sandra J. Lindow * I Was a Teenage Werewolf by Greg Beatty * Frankenstein Vs. The flying Squirrels by David Livingston Clink * Grey November by Holly Philips * Forward and Backward Belief by Vincent Miskell * Remembering the Future by Darrel Schweitzer Departments: Editorial: The Pulp-Art Time Machine by Sheila Williams * Reflections: Making Backups by Robert Silverberg * On the Net:Secrets of the Webmasters (Part One) by James Patrick Kelly * Science Fiction Sudoku by Rebecca Mayr * On Books by Norman Spinrad * The SF Conventional Calendar by Erwin S. Strauss

The newest Asimov's is a double issue and this one is well worth all those pages. All the stories got, at least, a Very Good from me and one got an Excellent.

The Excellent one is by James Van Pelt and is called "The Small, Astral Object Genius". In this story, a young boy has a device called a "Peek-A-Boo" that somehow can take pictures of distant galaxies. Like many others, he sends it out regularly and sometimes adds to mankind's knowledge. In his case, he uses it to escape from a bad situation at home. How the whole thing is resolved makes for a great story. Also in this issue is "A Billion Eyes" by Robert Reed. In this story, Kala lives in an offshoot from our Earth that was settled by a man, armed with a special device, that kidnapped a dormitory full of young women. Different religions and customs have developed and Kala must find a better way. "Down to the Earth Below" by William Barton is an exciting story about a group of boys who find another world by going though a cave. The story evokes Edgar Rice Burroughs (consciously) but gives it a modern spin.

In Michael Flynn's "Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colours of the Earth", he tells a story from many viewpoints after a ferry carrying 1000 people mysteriously disappears in a fog. In "1 Is True" by Ron Collins, a young man must find out about the death of an ex-girlfriend to clear himself. The story has an interesting high-tech solution. Kit Reed is one of our best short story writers and in "Biodad", she illustrates this perfectly. A woman goes in search of the sperm donor who is the father of her children. Things are not as simple as she thinks. "After I Stopped Screaming" by Pamela Sargent is an amusing little story about a woman who spent time in a hairy paw some 70 years ago. Another great short story writer is Carol Emshwiller. In "The Seducer", a man must escape from his past torments by his sister. "Saving for a Sunny Day, or, The Benefits of Reincarnation" by Ian Watson is a funny, little story set in a future where an A.I. has shown reincarnation to be real and the benefits (and problems) that result. The last story, "Foster" by Melissa Lee Shaw is a chilling little tale about dealing with the loss of a loved one.

I think Sheila Williams is doing a great job with Asimov's and I look forward to each issue more and more.

Interzone #206 by Andy Cox (Editor) (TTA Press October 2006 / ) - Interzone – Issue 206 – October 2006 – ISSN 0264-3596
Table of Contents: Fiction: The Beekeeper by Jamie Barras * Distro by Tim Akers * The New Chinese Wives by Will McIntosh * Karel's Prayer by Chris Beckett * The Ship by Robert Davies * The Nature of the Beast by Jae Brim Interviews: David Naughton and Camden Toy interviewed by Sandy Auden * James Patterson interviewed by Paul F. Cockburn Non-fiction: Ansible Link by David Langford * Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe * Bookzone edited by Sandy Auden * Scores by John Clute * Mangazone by Sarah Ash * Radiozone by Maureen Kincaid Speller

Interzone is certainly the best-looking science fiction magazine and has the best reviews and features. It also has consistently great stories. All of them got a Very Good from me.

The issue starts out a little weakly with "The Beekeeper" by James Barras. This tells of the investigation of a world that had been seeded with life and how the settlers eke out a living. "Distro" by Tim Akers is a story about a man who is part of a "Distributed Personailty" (spread out over several people). One of the persons is killed and there are more attacks as the lead character finds out what is happening. In "The New Chinese Wives", Will McIntosh gives us a future China where men are forced to marry New Wives who are actually 3-D holographic images and accept them as the same as human. One man finds a solution to this problem. "Karel's Prayer" by Chris Beckett is a chilling tale about the use of a new technology to destroy terrorists. This one has some wonderful twists and turns. In "The Ship" by Robert Davies we get a brief story about a spaceship that appears over Boston Harbor and the effect it has on humanity. Last of all, "The Nature of the Beast" by Jae Brim is the story about a special clone who has her own ideas about her future.

Again, this is a magazine that you should be reading.

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - December 2006 by Gordon Van Gelder (Ed.) (Spilogale, Inc. October 2006 / ) - The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction – December 2006
Table of Contents: NOVELETS: Bye the Rules by Matthew Hughes * The Christmas Witch by M. Rickert * Damascus by Daryl Gregory SHORT STORIES: Dazzle the Pundit by Scott Bradfield * Pills Forever by Robert Reed * John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner by Susanna Clarke DEPARTMENTS: Books to Look For by Charles de Lint * Books by James Sallis * Coming Attractions * Films: Beautiful Slacker, Wake Unto Me by Kathi Maio * Curiosities by David Langford * CARTOONS: Arthur Masear * COVER: By Laurie Harden for "The Christmas Witch"

The December 2006 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is one of the best of the year. Two of the stories got an excellent rating from me and the rest got a very good.

I'll talk about the two excellent stories first. "Bye the Rules" by Matthew Hughes is another of his tales about Guth Bandar. Bandar has been thrown out of the Institute for Historical Inquiry for heresy. He claimed the noosphere was sentient. His downfall was orchestrated by one Didrick Gabbris. Gabbris is now going after Bandar's uncle and the battle is on in the noosphere. The other excellent story is by Susanna Clarke of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell fame and is a side story of that novel. In "John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner", Uskglass, the Raven King, treats a charcoal burner badly and pays a price for it.

The rest of the issue is well worth reading. "The Christmas Witch" by M. Rickert is a touching story of a girl whose mother has died and how she deals with the strange legends of her new hometown. In "Damascus", Daryl Gregory gives us a story of a woman named Paula who becomes a disciple of a dangerous new religion. Scott Bradfield's "Dazzle the Pundit" is another amusing story about an intelligent dog. In this one, Dazzle is giving a lecture series in Berlin but must figure out how to handle a difficult student. Last, there is "Pills Forever", another unusual story by Robert Reed. This one is about extended life for a man and his cat.

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction continues to be the best magazine on the stands.

Talebones #33 - Summer 2006 by Patrick & Honna Swenson (Eds.) (Talebones/Fairwood Press Summer 2006 / ) - Talebones – Issue #33 – Summer 2006 – ISSN 1084-7197
Subscriptions $24 for 1 Year, $44 for 2 Years - $7 for Sample issue (Canada add $1.50 per issue, other foreign add $5) 5203 Quincy Ave SE, Auburn, WA 98092 – www.talebones.com
Table of Contents: Fiction: Tiny Voices by James Van Pelt * When You Can't Go Back by Nina Kiriki Hoffman * Scare Tactics by Jennifer Rachel Baumer * Untainted by Katherine Woodbury * Bliss by James Michael White * Diplomatic Relations by Don D'Ammassa * The Feather by Donald Lucio Hurd * The Dandelion Clock by Stephen Couch Poetry: Uncaught by Mark Rich * Death Comes by Greg Schwartz Non-Fiction: Bare Bones (editorial) * Tell Tales (letters) * Tattle Tales (bios) Cover: Art by Paul Swenson

This is the first issue of Talebones that I've reviewed and I certainly hope to see more. This is one of the best small press magazines that I've seen in a while.

All the stories in this issue are well worth reading but the best are the first three. In "Tiny Voices", James Van Pelt gives us a near future in which just about every object or appliance used by people has some intelligence. The story illustrates that, unfortunately, humanity has become less humane. For one young woman, that may change. The always excellent Nina Kiriki Hoffman writes of an unusual world in "When You Can't Go Back". In this future, appliances and furniture have been made human. Alice. a former refrigerator, misses her old life. "Diplomatic Relations" by Don D'Ammassa is a hilarious tale about a ship's captain that agrees to a simple, "can’t fail" job which is anything else but.

"Scare Tactics" by Jennifer Rachel Baumer is a chilling tale of a handyman named Jack who takes the wrong job. James Michael White's "Bliss" is about a young woman with a hobby that will make your skin crawl. "The Dandelion Clock" by Stephen Couch is a scary, little story about a man whose family falls victim to an unusual plague. In "The Feather", Donald Lucio Hurd tells the story of a future where just the appearance of a feather can bring hope. The last story. "Untainted" by Katherine Woodbury is about a school with a deadly curriculum.

This magazine is one you should be subscribing to!

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