Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction September 2005
by Gordon Van Gelder
zine ISBN/ITEM#: F&SFSep05
Date: September 2005 /
Fantasy & Science Ficiton - September 2005
The September issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is one of the best of the year (so far). Two stories get an excellent rating from me and the rest get a very good!
One of the excellent stories is "Magic For Beginners," a novella by Kelly Link. This is a truly unique story about a boy named Jeremy and his friends who love to watch a television show called The Library. The show is a "pirate", in that it shows up more or less unannounced at random times on random stations. It is only through the internet that Jeremy knows it's on. Its lead character is a female named Fox who has been apparently killed in the most recent episode. On a trip across country, Jeremy becomes involved with his show in a more direct way. Also excellent is "The Denial" by Bruce Sterling. No cyberpunk here, this takes place in a village ravaged by a flood. The lead character Yusuf must deal with the change that has come over his wife after her survival from drowning.
The other stories are also well worth reading. "Age of Miracles" by Richard Mueller is an amusing, satirical little tale about an alternate Renaissance where electricity and computers have been developed. There are many in-jokes sprinkled throughout the story and it is an utter delight. "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" by Carter Scholz tells us of time-travellers who visit the 20th century to witness performances by jazz greats. But all is not what it seems. David Gerrold contributes two stories which open and close the issue, in "A Quantum Bit Exists In Two States Simultaneously: On" and "A Quantum Bit Exists In Two States Simultaneously: Off", the narrator (who sounds like Gerrold) has a conversation with 'Pope Daniel the First of The Church of the Chocolate Bunny', one about sainthood and the other about how to stop a fanatic. Gerrold mixes humor with some serious intent here and succeeds in giving us two very good stories. In "What I Owe to Rick", Arthur Porges tells us a tale that involves Basilisks and what to do about them. Rounding out the issue is another story by Albert E. Cowdrey. Like many of his other tales, "The Housewarming" is set in New Orleans. Phil buys an old house which he already know has a haunted stable. This just begins another of Cowdrey's chilling stories.
This is an excellent issue and I can't wait for next months Anniversary issue with a story by Peter Beagle!