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Fantasy Magazine #52 - July 2011
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Chen Wei
Review by Sam Tomaino
Fantasy Magazine Online Magazine  
Date: 26 July 2011

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

Fantasy Magazine #52, has stories by J.S. Breukalaar, M. Rickert, Catherynne M. Valente, and Kelly Link, along with Author Spotlights on all of them and an Artist Spotlight of cover artist Chen Wei, and non-fiction articles by Wendy N. Wagner, Hannah Strom-Martin with an interview with Jacqueline Carey, Lauren Davis and Helen Pilinovsky.

Fantasy Magazine #52, 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, "Union Falls" by J.S. Breukalaar, Deel owns a bar and is looking for a piano player for the bar's band. When Ame (pronounced Amy) shows up, she appears unqualified. She has no arms. But they let her try out anyway and she plays brilliantly with her feet. Ame gets the job and the band is a big hit. The real story here is about Deel, a tragedy in her life and how Ame showing up changes her. This was a beautiful little story that I won't forget soon.

Next is a reprint, "The Machine" by M. Rickert (originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2003). This is mostly a retelling of the myth of Procne and Philomela. Procne's husband, Tereus, lusts after her little sister, Philomela. He rapes and imprisons her. The sisters have their revenge. This was well-told with the basic story surrounded by speculation on the human condition.

Next, is an original story, "The Wolves of Brooklyn" by Catherynne M. Valente. Wolves just show up one day in Brooklyn. They become part of life there, although sometimes they eat people The story is told by a young woman named Anna, who even wears red. This was a very different kind of story and very well-written.

The fiction concludes with reprint, "Swans" by Kelly Link, (originally published in A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales, 2000). Emma's mother dies and her father re-marries. In classic fairy tale fashion, the stepmother turns Emma's brothers into swans. While this sounds familiar, Link heads off into a different direction and provides a nicely-told tale..

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