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Fantasy Magazine #56 - November 2011
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Jenny Laatsch & Madame Thenadier
Review by Sam Tomaino
Fantasy Magazine Online Magazine  
Date: 29 November 2011

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

Fantasy Magazine #56, has stories by K.M. Ferebee, Theodora Goss, Lavie Tidhar, and Ellen Kushner along with Author Spotlights on all of them, an Artist Spotlight of cover artists Jenny Laatsch & Madame Thenadier, and non-fiction articles by Helen Pilinovsky, Emma Bull, and Kat Howard, along with a Feature Interview with Charlaine Harris by The Geeks Guide to the Galaxy.

Fantasy Magazine #56, is an online magazine. It works just like Lightspeed. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at www.fantasy-magazine.com. Beginning with the August issue, I instituted a policy of only reviewing original stories. As usual, this magazine has two, but since one of the reprints is from a 2011 anthology, I'll treat it as new and review it.

"Seven Spells to Sever the Heart" by K.M. Ferebee is the story of Samuel Crewe who lives in an England in which witches are not unusual and not necessarily illegal. He is the seventh son of a witch who was herself a seventh daughter. His brothers are all dead or have left England. He is lonely without them, even though one brother's ghost haunts the house. He discovers some of his mother's old books, including one with the same title as this story. He uses one of the spells in the book but does it help? This story used the fantasy background to tell a story about the human condition.

The reprinted story that is still a 2011 story is "Christopher Raven" by Theodora Goss (Originally published in Ghosts by Gaslight edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers, 2011). I'm certainly glad to have read this story. The story opens with four women, in the early part of the twentieth century, returning to Collingswood, the school they had attended as girls. Lucy is our narrator and there is also Tollie, Eleanor, and Mary. They had roomed together in their last year even though they had not been friends. The new headmistress had opened what had been the bedroom on Lady Collingswood, founder of the school. The girls began to bond when they began to dream of a dashing young man reading poetry to them and going further. They eventually determine him to be Christopher Raven, a poet who had briefly stayed there until an argument with Lord Collingswood. He had disappeared after that. The rest does not come as much of a surprise but it is beautifully written and enough to make me consider taking a look at the anthology.

"Red Dawn: A Chow Mein Western" by Lavie Tidhar starts out in a village in China called Three Blind Sisters. A meteorite containing what had is called Qi had landed there. Qi is a stone that allows people to do magic but it is a finite resource. Tidhar acknowledges Larry Niven's The Magic Goes Away as a source for this idea. Men come to the village and burn it down, taking a young boy's sister. Years pass and the boy grows up. This all develops into some thing like a Western as he seeks his revenge. Another great story from Tidhar.

The fifty-sixth issue of Fantasy Magazine continues the great reputation of this magazine. Check it out at their web site and support them in some way.

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