The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction – April 2008 – Volume 114, No.4, Whole Number 671
by Gordon Van Gelder (Editor)
Edited by Gordon Van Gelder
Cover Artist: Maurizio Manzieri
Review by Sam Tomaino
Fantasy & Science Fiction ISBN/ITEM#: 10958258
Date: 23 February 2008 / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The March 2008 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction includes stories by James Stoddard (rated Excellent), Robert Reed, Tim Sullivan, Steven Utley, Kevin N. Haw and Kate Wilhelm as well as the usual reviews and articles. The April 2008 issue The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is another great one. One of the stories got an Excellent from me and the rest got a Very Good.
The story that I found Excellent was "The First Editions" by James Stoddard. Jakob Mamolok is an avid book-collector in the tiny country of Aquitanita, somewhere near France, in what seems to be the late 19th century. He is invited to visit the library of a rich and mysterious man named Yon Diedo. After a sumptuous dinner, he tells Diedo his life story and is then taken on a tour of the man's library. In a special section, he is turned into a book! He has one eye with which to see and can feel and communicate with other books adjacent to him. He falls in love with his neighbor book named Janine and what follows is a wonderful tale. This will be on my Hugo short list for next year.
The rest of the novelettes are all worth reading, too. The inimitable Robert Reed contributes "Five Thrillers", a series of tales of the adventures of one Joseph Carroway, a ruthless charmer who can get anyone to do what he wants. Most of the time, this is for an ultimately good purpose, even if that might be in the very long run. Tim Sullivan's "The Nocturnal Adventure of Dr. O and Mr. D." features two men who journey out one night into the fog to see an old friend of one of them. We eventually find out more about them and their situation and the astute science fiction reader will figure out who one of them is.
"The 400-Million-Year Itch" is another one of Stephen Utley's stories about a space-time anomaly that takes people back to an alternate-universe version of the Paleozoic Era. This one is from the point of view of a woman accompanying a renowned physicist who can learn some lessons on how to be a human being.
The issue is rounded out by two short stories. "Render Unto Caesar" by Kevin Haw is a three-page humorous short about how the I.R.S. finds a way to collect taxes on the income of a virtual reality troll queen from a computer game. This one will have you laughing throughout. Last, but definitely not least, veteran writer Kate Wilhelm gives us "The Fountains of Neptune". Julia is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and decides not to sit around waiting to die. She goes to Rome and finds something special in the Eternal City.
I guess I have to say it again. Subscribe to this magazine!