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Fantasy Magazine #50 - May 2011
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Dariusz Zawadzki
Review by Sam Tomaino
Fantasy Magazine  
Date: 26 May 2011

Links: Fantasy Magazine / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Fantasy Magazine #50, has stories by Genevieve Valentine, Jeffrey Ford, Sarah Monette, and Orson Scott Card along with Author Spotlights on all of them, and non-fiction articles by Molly Tanzer, Paul Goat Allen, Genevieve Valentine, and Helen Pilinovsky.

Fantasy Magazine #50, is an online magazine. It works just like Lightspeed. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at

The fiction begins with an original story, "Study, for Solo Piano" by Genevieve Valentine. The story is set in the same world as Valentine's novel Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, "an often-desolate landscape where long war has driven what’s left of humanity behind the walls of very small city-states... it is a glimpse into the life of some of the Circus's members in the years before the novel's main narrative begins." The circus is on the road and stops in a deserted mansion, near a town. We are introduced to a number of interesting characters who, I assume, are in the novel. This was a beautiful, lyrical, sad story and might well pique one’s interest in the novel.

Next, is a reprint, "Creation" by Jeffrey Ford (originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2002). A young boy, inspired by the story of the Creation of Adam, goes out into the woods and constructs his own man out of bark, leaves, ferns, feathers, and other things found in the woods. He had asked his father to breathe into a baby food jar, so he uses that as a breath of life. The boy leaves and when he comes back in the morning, the "man" is gone, along with the catechism book that the boy had left. Is there really a man out living in the woods? I will leave that question aside. Jeffrey Ford is one of our best writers and this shows him at the top of his form.

Then, it's back to an original, "The Devil in Gaylord's Creek" by Sarah Monette. Morgan and Francis travel the country, killing evil supernatural creatures. Morgan is the actual slayer and she wields a sword called Stella Mortua. She actually died and has somehow revived, but she can't be seen in photographs and such. Francis is from some unnamed group and he heals her when she is injured. The main adventure concerns their finding the Devil in a little Southern town called Gaylord's Creek. This all makes for a great little story and I hope to see more of these characters again.

The fiction concludes with another reprint, "Sandmagic" by Orson Scott Card, (originally published in Swords Against Darkness IV, edited by Andrew J. Offutt in 1979). This comes from a time when Card was a very new writer. Cer is a boy who war has orphaned. He meets up with a treemage, a man who protects the trees. But the treemage cannot help him in his revenge. He travels to the desert and becomes part of a tribe called the Abadapnur and he grows into manhood. He finds that they hate the sandmagic which he is pursuing to have revenge on his father's killers. He leaves those people to seek the sandmagic. This was a story of revenge and the price one pays for exacting it. It shows the same promise that "Ender's Game" had, two years before. Apparently, Card has finally returned to this world in a new novel called The Lost Gate so it is appropriate that this old story has been reprinted.

The fiftieth issue of Fantasy Magazine was another good one. I do recommend that you check out their web site and support them in some way.

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