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The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction – July 2008 - Volume 115, No. 1, Whole No. 674
Edited by Gordon Van Gelder
Cover Artist: Monolithic Studios
Review by Sam Tomaino
Fantasy & Science Fiction  ISBN/ITEM#: 10958258
Date: 30 May 2008 / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is here with its July 2008 issue and some fine stories by Michael Blumlein, Matthew Hughes, Albert E. Cowdrey, Lisa Goldstein, James L. Cambias and a nice debut by Scott Dalrymple.

The July 2008 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is another good one. All the stories got a Very Good from me.

The issue begins with another story of Henghis Hapthorn, "Fullbrim's Finding" by (of course) Matthew Hughes. The story is actually a reprint that appeared in a limited edition last year, and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to read it.

Henghis is asked to find one Foldan Fullbrim, a man in search of "fundamentalities." Henghis tracks him to a remote planet called Far Grommsgrik, where answers are found. Next comes "Reader's Guide" by the talented Lisa Goldstein. This one starts off as a list of questions (which get sillier and sillier) that would be included in a book (usually for young adults) to guide readers in understanding the book. But we soon find that the writer of the guide has a more important job than being a publisher's hack writer. Once more, Lisa Goldstein gives us a delightful tale.

Michael Blumlein's "The Roberts" is a novella and the cover story for this issue. Robert Fairchild is a brilliant architect who loves women. The problem is that in pursuit of his career, he neglects them and they leave him. So he has one created that he cannot hurt. Her name is Grace and he loves her and she him. But he finds himself neglecting her and plans another created being and she does the same thing. This causes some problems in this beautifully written story.

"Enfant Terrible" by Scott Dalrymple is the author's first fiction sale and it is an admirable debut. A man (who says he's from "the university") arrives at an elementary school to observe a class. Actually, there is one child in particular (appropriately named Michael) that he is observing. The reason for that makes for a particularly chilling story.

I always like an F&SF with a Albert E. Cowdrey story in it and this issue has "Poison Victory." This isn't a story set in New Orleans but an alternate history story in which the Germans used poison gas to win the Battle of Stalingrad. It's September 1949 and our narrator is a German "war hero" who instigated the use of the gas. He does not like the Nazis and has a Cossack wife and a lot of land in occupied Russia. Adolph Hitler is dying and events around the narrator are looking more dire. What action can he take?

The issue concludes with another alternate history from James L. Cambias, "The Dinosaur Train." In this one, Merian C. Cooper had discovered living dinosaurs on Tengkorak Island years ago. It's 1980 and Sean's grandfather runs a popular show featuring dinos. Sean loves the dinosaurs and the show, but now the star attraction is sick. He must make a decision on what's best for the dinosaur.

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

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