The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction - May/June 2016 - Volume 130, Nos.5&6, Whole No.725
Edited by C.C. Finlay
Cover Artist: Max Bertolini, The Stone War
Review by Sam Tomaino
Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine / eMag ISBN/ITEM#: 1095-8258
Date: 28 April 2016
Links: Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The May/June 2016 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction(#725) is here and it's a great one with a Hugo-worthy novelette.
The fiction in the issue starts with "More Heat Than Light by" Charlotte Ashley. -+- In an alternate history, where the French Revolution came to Quebec. Lieutenant Davy defeats Captain Gordon in combat and takes him prisoner. He becomes a friend along with Sous-Lieutenant Shapatish Atshikan of the First Anishinaabeg Legion. But Davy is a biological female which is eventually revealed. The three friends have another adventure involving the monsters that live in the north. Good fantasy.
"Last of the Sharkspeakers" by Brian Trent -+- In a future where much of humanity lives in a hollowed out Ceres, Tacan and Sierra are part of a small group that evolved to live under primitive conditions. They finally encounter the Tower People, those living in comfort and technology that have held back such evolution to remain human. But when Tower people discover they can communicate with the voidsharks (hollow whale-like creatures use for transport), they enlist Tacan's and Sierra's help in combating another group with their own voidsharks, But it is not easy to work with people that do not think you're human. Very good.
"The Nostalgia Calculator" by Rich Larson -+- Noel has worked for Detling & Dronyk for three months monitoring the nostalgia calculator, a sinecure his Uncle Dick, an executive with the firm got him. But he has more initiative than anyone thinks he has and notices that the time between nostalgia periods is getting smaller. What happens when it gets to zero? Clever story. Great satire.
"Coyote Song" by Pat McEwen -+- Yutu is a crime scene photographer called out to take pictures of a dead man but that does not prove easy. She runs afoul of the dead man's grandmother, a very feisty little old lady, who says he was killed by the Angel of Death. She wants them to keep their hands off body. She has real problems with her grandson, a gangster. Things get worse when another grandson is found dead with his heart literally cooked inside his body. Granny turns out to be more than a little old lady and it takes deep Native American magic from Yutu and Voudun magic from her supervisor, Nathan, to combat the foreign Kampuchean magic. Really spectacular stuff!
"The Great Silence" by Allora & Calzadilla and Ted Chiang -+- This is a series of pieces that Chiang wrote to accompany a multi-screen video installation: one showing the radio telescope in Arecibo and the other showing the endangered Puerto Rican parrot. He brings these two together very well.
"Caribou: Documentary Fragments" by Joseph Tomaras -+- This is a series of interviews reflecting on an incident in Caribou, Maine, involving military torture of terrorists and a way to try to suppress memory in the near future. The story has a nice build-up to the end.
"Steamboat Gothic" by Albert E. Cowdrey -+- Sheriff Chew of St. Genevieve Parish in Louisiana is investigating what has happened in an old mansion rented out by some Hollywood types to make a movie. He finds eight people dead in an inexplicable fashion. A witness had described seeing a nine-foot-tall giant with chalk white skin but Chew plants evidence implicating a local drug lord he wants to get rid of. Things take a decidedly strange turn but a rough justice rules. Great Louisiana flavor to this entertaining supernatural tale!
"Ash" by Susan Palwick -+- Penny's house and all her belongings are destroyed by fire. She rebuilds missing some of the stuff he lost. But then, the tree outside her house starts bearing strange fruit: some of the things destroyed by fire. The next year, she actually asks the tree for a few more odd items, but it starts bearing something else. Great little story with a very good ending.
"The Secret Mirror of Moriyama House" by Yukumi Ogawa -+- Yui delivers a package left at their house to old Mrs. Moriyama, who remembers her as a child. While there, she briefly falls asleep and awakens to see the old lady with an old man with what has to be a fatal wound to his head. Turns out he is dead and has come through a special mirror so that Mrs. Moriyama can patch him up. Yui winds up becoming her assistant...and more. Beautifuuly done fantasy.
"The Long Fall Up" by William Ledbetter -+- The Jinshan Corporation want to control life on its space station and had told people that babies cannot be born in Zero-G. To prove they are lying, a pregnant Veronica Perez has launched herself into space and will broadcast the birth to Earth. Jager Jin has been ordered to intercept her and kill her and the baby. When he decides not to, he must find a way to prevent it from happening anyway. Good solis story.
"The Stone War" by Ted Kosmatka -+- A stone man crouches silently in the hills and does not move. People come and go and it does nothing unless someone attacks him. Then, he rises, kills his attacker and returns to his crouch. Centuries pass until a king builds an arena around him. Men attack him and die. But when the king orders one to attack, the stone man kills the king. A neighboring country attacks the kingdom, but the sets the statue high up so the soldiers will attack it and be massacred. But they withdraw. Later, they have their own stone man. I won't spoil it any further. This was a great story, beautifully written. It will make my Hugo Award shortlist for novelette next year. It should also be nominated for a World Fantasy Award.