[Read] ☥ Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2014 ⚇ Gamegeek-denter.de

One the best shape shifter, romance novellas I ve ever read Waitno, scratch that, the third best No but seriously, fantastic Not to sound like a misogynist, but I ve always said there is a strong connection between psychotic and erotic and the story s love interest, Song, is the very embodiment of that Her foul mouth and fun loving nature is in perfect balance with the story s bland protagonist, Alex Together, their differences make their rocky relationship glow neon in the reader s mind Not to mention, the author expertly reveals the world of the polymorph shape shifter one page at a time, hooking us in the gills Can t recommend this story enough. I enjoyed this issue a lot, it made for some great reading and would recommend giving if a look if you haven t subscribed to it yet. [Read] ☲ Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2014 ☨ January February , Volume , No , Edited By Gordon Van GelderCover Art By Ed ValigurskyCONTENT Novella In Her Eyes By Seth ChambersNovelets The New Cambrian By Andy Stewart The Man Who Hanged Three Times By C C Finlay The Via Panisperna Boys In Operation Harmony By Claudio Chillemi And Paul Di Filippo Out Of The Deep By Albert E Cowdrey The Museum Of Error By Oliver BuckramShort Stories The Story Teller By Bruce Jay Friedman The Lion Wedding By Moira Crone For All Of Us Down Here By Alex Irvine We Don T Mean To Be By Robert ReedDEPARTMENTS Plumage From Pegasus The Very Last Miserabilist In Paradise By Paul Di Filippo Films Virtual Gravity By David J Skal Science Rover The Superdog By Paul Doherty Pat Murphy Half the stars for half the stories I liked a few stories from this magazine issue, but it s definitely not worth the subscription price Also, this is another magazine that caters to white males My only recommendations are In Her Eyes by Seth Chambers and The Man Hanged Three Times by C.C Finlay. Sometime in the near ish future, there are a small fraction of human beings called polymorphs, who can alter their appearance Some of them, not many, are really, really good at controlling it and can manipulate their bodies to suit It s a messy, painful process they have to go through once per week Hold up a mirror to our society and substitute in any particular subset or all of them of the LGBT community, and you ll get the reaction you d expect from certain elements in our society Just their existence frightens some people In Her Eyes is a romance story, with some sex mixed in, showing us what happens when a normal falls in love with one of that select group of polymorphs who can manipulate their bodies completely He doesn t know why he goes out with her to begin with, doesn t know why he s attracted to her in a form she s deliberately made unpleasant, even convinces himself he isn t, but he doesn t just walk away and enjoys getting to know her instead, leaving the door open for a relationship to begin We watch through his eyes as that relationship grows, as they keep the secret that he isn t with a different woman every week, as she slowly opens up to him She quizzes him about women they see in public and what he finds attractive about them, filing that information away for future changes, changing her form to please him because she can be completely herself crude, fun loving, living in the moment but with a great love for things that never change on a human scale with him All the while, we also get to see just how far her ability goes.There s a shadowy government agency, and a hidden personality inside her head she thought was just a part of her, manipulated by her father when she was a child into becoming a boy because that was culturally desirable The outcome is tragic and disturbing, but he adapts Only she adapts , to the point of modifying the structure of her own brain.I don t normally like my fiction to end on a down tick, but this is a wonderful story and may have put the author on my watch list. Clever, well written novella Good characters, interesting sliver of a universe I never saw where it was going for a single moment I ve not read Seth Chambers before, but this was a nice introduction. This novella is a powerful blend of crass, funny, sweet, sad and poignant Alex, a curator at Chicago s Field Museum of Natural History, narrates most of this tale through the arc of him meeting and falling for the engimatic and crass Sing Song Alex soon discovers that Song is a Polymorph a human able to alter her appearance and physicality at will The rare genetic ability is much reviled, so Alex must keep Song s secret and adapt to being with a different person every week, most everything changes except for her eyes and voice This part of the tale almost hits an erotic romantic tone But a darker tale emerges in Alex s search for the true Song She knowsthan most what it means to be judged on appearance Her ability to alter her look to meet Alex s or society s or her family s expectations only obscures her true self The turn toward the serious and sad startles with its raising of new issues dysmorphia and gender dysphoria among others The novella is highly recommended The use of true Chicago as the setting, was mere icing for this Chicago transplant In Her Eyes appears in The Year s Best Science Fiction Fantasy Novellas 2015 edited by Paula Guran and published by Prime Books It first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy Science Fiction, January February 2014. Four out of the ten stories in this issue straight sucked Totally disappointing Fortunately, this issue was saved by some stand out stories In Her Eyes by Seth Chambers does something new with the overdone subject of shape shifters Sex plays a big role yet it doesn t resort to cheap writing It s a twisted love story with a sci fi edge This one kept me glued All Of Us Down Here by Alex Irvine is a Marxist cyber punk story about a lonely boy in the future This story is rich in social and interpersonal dynamics People who have the means can upload themselves into a virtual utopia Everyone else is forced to exist in a technology starved United States This one could have definitely been extended into a novella The Man Who Hanged Three Times by C.C Finlay is supernatural country western written in the style of classic pulps Murder in a small town has led to an innocent man being condemned to death Yet something keeps saving him from execution The chilling truth is disturbing This story might qualify as dark humor.The rest of the stories are hardly worth mentioning The editors are letting some really lacking stories through. A new year and a new issue of The Magazine Of Fantasy Science Fiction with which to celebrate it Hurrah The first thing I scanned was The Via Panisperna Boys In Operation Harmony , co authored by Claudio Chillemi and Paul Di Filippo, two fellows clearly not frightened by quotation marks Unless Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1934 and Marconi invented an iconoscope television that lets the watchers be watched, this is set in an alternative history The lads of the title are a bunch of Italian physicists who flee to the USA to develop a weapon to fight Hitler Quite a nice weapon really Enrico Fermi is their leader and they enjoy playing music together The other band members are Ettore Majorana, Emilio Segr and Bruno Pontecorvo, all of whom can be found in Internet encyclopaedias One of those stories that are good fun to read and was probably evenfun to write.These historical fantasies are often entertaining, as is the case again with The Man Who Hanged Three Times by C.C Finlay Consarn it, if this one ain t set in the old west Dagnabit, a fine tale of a drunk and no good citizen, who is accused of killing the Chinese woman with whom he lived in sin He denies it but is found guilty and they try to hang him The narrator of this one is interesting and it did not feature Hollywood made up swearwords That s just me The New Cambrian by Andy Stewart is definitely my type of thing and might have been printed in one of those great SF magazines of the fifties such as Astonishing now Analog , Galaxy or even The Magazine Of Fantasy Science Fiction It s a good old fashioned story of engineers and biologists working on Europa, one of Jupiter s moons Dr Schneider, a female biologist, has been lost in a tragic accident in the ice covered ocean, the first death on the planet It shakes everyone Our first person narrator is her former lover, Ty Their affair ceased when his wife Ana came to join them at the base Human feelings interact with the complexities of life in alien waters to make an interesting yarn that borders on horror.There sScience Fiction in For All Of Us Down Here by Alex Irvine which extrapolates the continuing separation of society into the haves and have nots Perhaps I should say renewed separation We got a bitequal for a while Anyway, in a not too distant future, the haves can upload themselves to the Sing, which seems to be an orbiting computer complex Their bodies are cared for but they soon lose the knack of using them properly The story is about an encounter between a lad in Orono, Maine that crossword puzzle favourite, as Stephen King once called it and a Singular It s a neat family drama, but the context of the story isinteresting and I am sure there are other tales, probably a novel, to be extracted from this fascinating concept Once the technology exists, I have no doubt there will be people delighted to upload themselves into their favourite computer game and spend eternity there, especially as the condition of planet Earth deteriorates.Moving from the Sing to Song, Seth Chambers gets the editorial mature content warning for his novella In Her Eyes and, rightly so, as the language is crude and direct That suits the character of the lady in it The gentleman and first person narrator is Alex, who works in a museum, and it s there that he meets Song, a not very pretty woman He likes her, despite her looks, they go out and then there are some surprises To saywould be to ruin it for the reader but it is a raunchy yet emotional story based on an interesting Science Fictional concept A strong contender for the best story this issue, if the magazines still ran polls.Paul Di Filippo has the regular Plumage From Pegasus spot as well as the aforementioned collaboration and gives us The Very Last Miserabilist In Paradise Science has solved all mankind s problems and there is boundless energy, food for all and no work unless you want to, and all the benefits once dreamed of by SF writers But one SF writer is not happy Good fun as usual.Albert E Cowdrey is a welcome regular in these pages, often with comedy, but Out Of The Deep presents him in serious mode After an incisive description of fifties America, the protagonist, Pete, tells us how he met Alistair McCallistair, a rich kid, whilst on holiday on the Gulf coast Time passes and Pete is a Viet Nam vet and a bit messed up McCallistair has avoided the war, as rich kids did, and now hires his old friend as a bodyguard because one of the bad guys is out to kill him The fantastical element comes from McCallistair s cook and concubine, a lady from the Caribbean with that ol black magic It s a great story with interesting characters, not least, the messed up hero Cowdrey is a good old fashioned storyteller who gives you a definite beginning, middle and cathartic end You know exactly what s happened and there s none of that woolly vagueness that sometimes plagues the genre He deserves to be on the bestseller lists and many of his yarns, because they are so strong as stories, would make good films, including this one He could easily write straight thrillers, I think, and achieve mainstream success but clearly, he has a fondness for fantasy We are lucky to have him The Museum Of Error is a longer entertainment from Oliver Buckram, who has contributed hilarious short stories in the past Herbert Linden is the Assistant Curator for military history in the museum and is called upon to investigate when the petrified cat goes missing The cat was turned to stone by the gorgon gun of mad inventor Theophrastus Morhof who accidentally petrified himself, too, and is also an exhibit Evil rivals at the Science Institute may be responsible for the theft Buckram s inventiveness in dreaming up the exhibits for the Museum of Error is almost unbelievable and there s a good gag in nearly every paragraph It also works pretty well as a detective story Thoroughly enjoyable We Don t Mean To Be Kind by Robert Reed is set in a distant future when the universe is winding down and some creatures catch up with the Creator The conflict is told from both points of view An interesting concept at the far reaches of the fantastical and I m not sure if I liked it or not I m pretty sure it s good and that my hesitancy is based on residual Catholic guilt and the fear that He might be watching me read and judging.Moira Crone gets away with The Lion Wedding one of those fantasies set in the real world that are generally written by and appeal to sensitive ladies Well crafted and some will like it but not really my type of thing Likewise The Story Teller by Bruce Jay Friedman in which a professor of literature finds himself in an afterlife where a story is demanded from him It was okay but writers writing about writing should probably be confined to non fiction.The stories by Cowdrey, Buckram and Chambersthan compensate for the cover price of the magazine by themselves and the additional worthy material is a bonus I should also mention the non fiction articles but my electronic preview does not include the current ones and by the time I get a hard copy the review is done Generally, they are excellent The intelligent book reports of Charles De Lint and Elizabeth Hand give me good lists of books I don t have time to read and so are frustrating Readers with fewer tomes to be done will find them useful On the other hand, a movie takes up less lifespan and the film reviews, by various contributors, highlight DVDs to look out for, often ones that have not been commercially successful but are well worth a watch Also, they are not snobbish and will allow that a half decent Hollywood action movie of the sci fi sort can be entertaining, too.So, The Magazine Of Fantasy Science Fiction is keeping alive several worthy traditions For the Creator s sake buy it and keep them going Eamonn MurphyThis review first appeared at Is it the absence of John Joseph Adams from FSF that has made this magazine seemingly less stellar compared to how I remember it being in the past This particular issue is likely an aberration in my usual enjoyment of the magazine, but it does start to make me worried In Her Eyes by Seth Chambers is a very well done story, taking a SF plot of shape shifting into profound and unexpected directions The Man Who Hanged Three Times by C C Finlay stood out as a less deep but thoroughly enjoyable tale For the short stories For All of Us Down Here is the most significant, Alex Irvine continuing to write engaging social commentary in fiction Aside from these, however, the remainder of the issue I found forgettable or best forgettable.