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The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction May/June 2015 - Vol 128, Nos.5&6, Whole No.719
Edited by C.C. Finlay
Cover Artist: Michael Garland for
Review by Sam Tomaino
Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 1095-8258
Date: 25 April 2015

Links: Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The May/June 2015 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction(#719) has stories by Robert Grossbach, Lisa Mason, David Gerrold, James Sarafin, Albert E. Cowdrey, Sarah Pinsker, Caroline M. Yoachim, Amy Sterling Casil, and Rob Chilson, plus the usual features.

The May/June 2015 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction(#719) is a great one, with a Hugo-worthy novelette and a Hugo-worthy short story.

The fiction in the issue starts with "Teardrop" by Lisa Mason. -+- John W. Dixon is Executive Director of a company's operations on an alien planet. He has gone native and is even having an affair with a native he calla NanaNini. Company representatives arrive wanting to enforce the exploitation of the planets and its natives but Dixon has other ideas. Not much new here.

"The Laminated Man” by Albert E. Cowdrey -+- Cairns is in a small town in West Virginia, looking for a man in connection to the suicide (or murder?) of another man in New York City. He finds more and more about his quarry who is quite mysterious. All this leads to a confrontation in his target's sanctuary. Okay, but a but anti-climactic.

"Today's Smarthouse in Love" by Sarah Pinsker -+- The house at 13 Valencia has fallen in love with the house next door at #11. 13 sends 11 messages but 11 does not respond. Things get to a point that 13 neglects its family. It all makes for an amusing story.

"Entanglements" by David Gerrold -+- A semi-autobiographical tale in which David, our narrator, receives a gift on his 70th birthday from "Pesky Dan Goodman": "a parellelicon...a quantum resonator..a quawkie talkie". It allows David access to alternate versions of his world, alternate versions of himself. alternate stories he wrote in those versions. Lots of interesting asides leading up to the main story which brings up interesting issues. Great story that will be on my Hugo Short List for Novelette next year.

"Four Seasons in the Forest of Your Mind" by Caroline M. Yoachim -+- Our narrator is an alien organism, part of a hive mind that calls itself the Omnitude. Along with others of its kind, it inhabits the brain of a human colonist to its world, taking it from birth to senility and old age. The Omnitude, in a quest to escape its planet and spread itself out to the stars has already wiped out its native population. It alerted other species that have put the planet under quarantine, something the humans are not aware of. Will the Omnitude ever break out of its native planet? Interesting idea here.

"Trapping the Pleistocene" by James Sarafin -+- In a future in which much of humanity lives in totally artificial environments, Jack Morgan, his family and others live in nature enclaves where they are allowed to trap animals within limits. The powers that be want to restore North America to its pristine wilderness from before man came to spoil things. They seek to bring back extinct species and hire Jack to go back in time, 10,000 years to bring back some DNA from a species called Castoroides ohioensis, a giant beaver. Jack is used to trapping current day beaver and only goes back into the past to find a friend who had been sent back on a previous trip. Good adventure story and interesting look at future civilization.

"Entrepreneurs" by Robert Grossbach -+- Morton Rushman is your everyday middle class engineer trying to make a living for his family in a story that starts with his childhood in 1952. In the Sixties, he is working for a series of small businesses that pay low wages and treat their employees badly. At the same time, a tiny star, "2.6 billion miles beyond the aphelion of Pluto circles our Sol every 678 years. The star is called Blune by the inhabitants (called Eep) of a planet they call Narsuto". The Eep are "an irregular orange toroid, somewhat less than the diameter of a Lifesaver" with cilia which allow it some "manipulation of objects and locomotion" but their small size is limiting. They have plans to build a machine that they can sell to other species and decide to get humans to build them. This, too, is done by a corporation much like Morty deals with on Earth. The Eep send their representative, Qui-Phess and he and Morty hook up, eventually profiting from the deal. Amusing look at how business is the same all over.

"In the Time of Love" by Amy Sterling Casil -+- Brian builds an Amplituhedron, a device that can freeze time. He uses this to cheat on his wife. Things don't go as planned. Why we should care about a jerk like Brian is not clear.

"A Turkey With Egg on His Face" by Rob Chilson -+- In the introduction, we are told the author wanted to write a story in the voice of Avram Davidson. He succeeds very well. The story involves a naive but nice guy named Georgie Plunkett who is in love with the charming Chloey Carew who barely knows he exists. Georgie want to build a brick oven to help her in her bakery business but Georgie's "friend", Harry Markesan, plots to steal Chloey for himself. He has even more grandiose plans than that. But Georgie has a time machine and a Deputy Sheriff is onto Harry's nefarious activities. Absolutely fun story which will be on my Hugo Short List for Short Story next year. Liked the character of the Deputy Sheriff and would like to see him in another story.

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