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The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction – June 2008 - Volume 114, No. 6, Whole No. 673
Edited by Gordon Van Gelder
Cover Artist: David Hardy
Review by Sam Tomaino
Fantasy & Science Fiction  ISBN/ITEM#: 1095-8258
Date: 25 April 2008

Links: Magazine Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is here with its June 2008 issue and some fine stories by Ted Kosmatka, Al Michaud, Rand B. Lee, Mary Patterson Thornburg, P.E. Cunningham and the always unusual Robert Reed.

The June 2008 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is another good one. All the stories got a Very Good from me and the last one was the best of all.

The issue begins with "The Art of Alchemy" by Ted Kosmatka. John and Veronica work for a multinational steel company. John is a scientist and Veronica an administrator. When a man offers them a new material that will make steel obsolete, they are faced with a dilemma as to how to get the world to benefit from it. Their bosses might have other ideas.

Mary Patterson Thornburg's "Fergus" is a bittersweet story about a missing child who seems to pop up, without having aged, on more than one occasion. This was a beautiful story from someone who I want to see more from.

Al Michaud returns with another story of Clem Chowder and the people of Clapboard Island, Maine, in "The Salting and Canning of Benevolence D." As the story begins, Clem finds himself haunted by a ghost called "th' Silent Woman," a spirit in the form of a headless woman. With the help of a college professor and a spiritualist, they discover her name is Benevolence Durham, slain by Indians 400 years ago. Thus is set up a fantastic, exciting story involving madmen, ghost, possession and a mysterious talisman.

Robert Reed contributes one of his unusual tales in "Character Flu." It seems "nanobodies" have been feeding off people's minds and creating virtual, sentient characters. What can be done about them?

In P.E. Cunningham's "Monkey See," Ji is a zhindi warrior, investigating a threat to the emperor from what looks like a small, deserted town. Zhindi warriors have enchanted swords that they can speak to and Ji's is named Shakaru. It warns her of danger which she discounts. All she sees around the village is monkeys. Soon she finds an unexpected challenge in this nice little tale.

The issue concludes with the cover story, "Litany" by Rand B. Lee. This was the best story in the issue. A man calling himself Rafael Anderssen rents a house in La Llorona, a small town in northern New Mexico. The town is so named because of a local ghost called (in English) the Weeping Woman. We know from the start that he is not a normal man. We learn he has a mission here and that there will be some confrontation. All this results in a wonderful tale and a very good one to end the issue on.

Gordon Van Gelder has put together another great issue. Once more, I say, subscribe!

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