Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - September 2006
by Gordon Van Gelder (Ed.)
Spilogale, Inc. Zine ISBN/ITEM#: MF&SF0906
Date: July 2006 /
The Magazine Of Fantasy & Science Fiction September 2006 57th Year of Publication
The September 2006 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is a something different from the ordinary issue. In addition to the stories, it has a sequence of letters between Ursula K. Le Guin and James Tiptree, Jr. They are quite interesting but outside the scope of this review, so I'll pass them over and get to the stories.
Even the stories are something out of the ordinary. Three of them are based on an idea by Harlan Ellison of which he was never able to make something. He explains in his introduction, "Prelude to the Endeavor: Luck Be a Lady Tonight" that the setup of the story is that Lady Luck is strolling through a gambling establishment and is recognized by a man who is smitten by her. He follows her around. Ellison adds one more complication (in his words), "The guy is the biggest loser who ever walked the Earth." I thought that the first story, "Senora Suerte" by Tannarive Due was the best, and one that I found truly exceptional. In it, Gilberto, who is in an elder care facility having suffered a stroke, sees Lady Luck at Bingo Time. But when she bestows luck on one of the old folks, that person dies that night. The end of the story is quite breathtaking. The other two stories are both very good. In "Poor Guy" by Michael Kandel a man finds Luck's favors a decidedly mixed blessing. Michael Libling's "If You've Ever Been a Lady" gives us a really inept guy who does not know how to best profit from Luck's favor.
The issue is rounded out by three more stories that I also rated Very Good. "The Song of Kido" by Matthew Corradi is the tale of Ridimon who wants to rid himself of the curse of being able to hear the dead. To do so, he goes on a hunt for a creature called a kigrin. Things turn out a little different from what he planned. In "Perfect Stranger", Amy Sterling Casil gives us a look into the future and the effect that gene therapy has on a family. Last but not least is a delightful tale from the late John Morrissey, "The Return of the O'Farrissey" is another story concerning the wizard Conhoon and his apprentice, a young girl named Kate O'Farrissey. Kate's father returns from consorting with the fairies and causes trouble. The way that it is resolved is classic Morrissey. It made me sad that we won't get a lot of stories about these two characters. They are different from the Princess and Kedrigern stories but just as wonderful.
So this issue has quite a bit to recommend it. Subscribe to this magazine or, at least, buy it at your local bookstore!
(Source: Spilogale, Inc.)