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January/February Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction now on Sale

Saturday, January 4th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

F&SF Jan-Feb 2014-smallJust how excited I am by the arrival of F&SF every two months is probably unfairly influenced by the cover.

I can’t help it — I’m just a sucker for good cover art. Some of my favorite recent covers have been Max Bertolini’s marvelous down-in-the-dungeon piece for May/June 2012, Maurizio Manzieri’s enigmatic alien egg for July/August 2011, and our own Mark Evan’s first cover for F&SF, the 2012 Jan/Feb issue.

Of course, all the best magazine covers feature space ships, intrepid humans exploring foreboding alien landscapes and — especially! — robots. Which is why I was especially taken with the cover for the January/February 2014 issue, by the great Ed Valigursky.

Valigursky, who painted covers for IF, AmazingFantastic, and many others (not to mention many of my all-time favorite vintage paperback covers, like Space Viking and The Cosmic Computer), died in 2009, so I’m not sure how editor Gordon van Gelder managed to get his hands on a cover I’ve never seen before, but he did. Valigursky’s piece pays tribute to the classic look of F&SF from the 50s and 60s, and still somehow manages to look modern and fresh. That’s no small feat.

Chuck Rothman reviews the issue for Tangent Online, including Oliver Buckram’s novelette ”The Museum of Error.”

Sometimes a wonderful conceit is more than enough to hold a story together. “The Museum of Error” is one of these: a museum that features various scientific mistakes –- the “Rounding Errors Through the Ages” exhibit, robots who insist they’re human, the Never-Right Clock, and Pete the Petrified Cat. Herbert Linden is the Assistant Curator for Military History, and is called to find out what happened to Pete, who may have been stolen by their competitors, the Science Institute. Oliver Buckram’s story is filled with imagination, and is very cleverly constructed, with a mishmash of what seem to be one-liners [that] all come together in the end.

This issue contains stories from C.C. Finlay (whose novella “The Nursemaid’s Suitor” appeared in Black Gate 8), Albert E. Cowdrey, Robert Reed, Alex Irvine, and others.

Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

NOVELLA

  • “In Her Eyes” – Seth Chambers

NOVELETS

  • “The New Cambrian” – Andy Stewart
  • “The Man Who Hanged Three Times” – C.C. Finlay
  • “The Via Panisperna Boys in “Operation Harmony” – Claudio Chillemi and Paul Di Filippo
  • “Out of the Deep” – Albert E. Cowdrey
  • “The Museum of Error” – Oliver Buckram

SHORT STORIES

  • “The Story-Teller” – Bruce Jay Friedman
  • “The Lion Wedding” – Moira Crone
  • “For All of Us Down Here” – Alex Irvine
  • “We Don’t Mean To Be” – Robert Reed

Departments this issue include book reviews by Charles de Lint and Elizabeth Hand, film reviews from David J. Skal, Paul Di Filippo’s Plumage From Pegasus column (which appears to skewer Paolo Bacigalupi), Coming Attractions, a science column from Paul Doherty and Pat Murphy, and a Curiosities entry by Lawrence Forbes.

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is edited by Gordon van Gelder. The cover price is $7.99 for a thick 258 pages. Check out the complete TOC and additional free content at the F&SF website.

We last covered F&SF here with the November/December issue.

9 Comments »

  1. For me I like the old Gray Morrow covers that were on the Perry Rhodan novels. They had that same look. I like the 50-60s sci fi art. At minimum it has to have an alien landscape, a guy with a ray gun, and a robot. I liked the Morrow covers more than I liked the Rhodan books.

    Comment by Wild Ape - January 4, 2014 11:59 pm

  2. Ape,

    Yes! Morrow’s dynamic Perry Rhodan covers brought a terrific sense of fun to the series. He tapped into every science fiction trope in existence in creating 120+ covers — and created a few new ones.

    Alien landscapes, ray guns… and don’t forget dinosaurs!

    http://www.blackgate.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Perry-Rhodan-17.jpg

    He really made deep space seem like the most exciting setting possible, filled with giant alien machines, fast ships, and beautiful, billowing gas clouds.

    http://www.blackgate.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Perry-Rhodan-3-Galactic-Alarm.jpg

    And his sinister robots were incomparable.

    http://www.blackgate.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Perry-Rhodan-23.jpg

    Here’s an assortment of a few dozen covers for the series:

    http://www.blackgate.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Perry-Rhodan-covers-3.jpg
    http://www.blackgate.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Perry-Rhodan-covers-4.jpg

    Comment by John ONeill - January 5, 2014 11:46 am

  3. I’ve never even heard of Perry Rhodan and I want them just because of the covers.

    Like I’ve said before John, your pics of old paperbacks are like porn! I just love them for some reason.

    Comment by James McGlothlin - January 5, 2014 3:45 pm

  4. You’ve never heard of Perry Rhodan?!

    James, you’re making me feel old.

    Comment by westkeith - January 5, 2014 6:58 pm

  5. > I’ve never even heard of Perry Rhodan and I want them just because of the covers.

    James,

    Perry Rhodan was my first introduction to science fiction. My friend John MacMaster gave them to me in the fall of 1975, when I was in Junior High, and I loved them. From there I moved on to Clifford D. Simak, Piers Anthony, and Isaac Asimov, and there was no turning back.

    The series has been published continuously in German since 1961, but hasn’t had a reliable US publisher since the late 70s. I wrote an article about the brief return of Perry Rhodan at SF Site in 1998:

    http://www.sfsite.com/vault/john38.htm

    Sadly, only three issues of the new English series were published.

    > Like I’ve said before John, your pics of old paperbacks are like porn!

    I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I think the main reason I write articles for Black Gate is because it gives me an excuse to post pictures of old books.

    Comment by John ONeill - January 5, 2014 8:38 pm

  6. > James, you’re making me feel old.

    We’re not old, Keith. We’re rich in history!

    Comment by John ONeill - January 5, 2014 8:39 pm

  7. I love the cover of this F&SF. It is like a homage to the old pulp artists. I completely agree with your assessment of Morrow. After you see one of his robots all others seem dull. I’d say the only deadly looking machinery that I’ve seen since is the Battletech mechs–and I know, the mechs aren’t robots.

    James—I almost have a complete set. My advice is to loot the old book stores when you can. You’ll find dozens of them that you can pick up. If you have to go the Ebay route I suggest buying them in lots. I’m just a few short of a complete set. I’m trying to find #66 and #75. The books are easy reads and fun. One of my favorites is one about the microbots, I think it was #35 or there abouts. The microbots are super small robots the size of flies or ants that do all sorts of spying and create mayhem. We aren’t to far off from that. They are like the fore runners of Nanobots.

    Comment by Wild Ape - January 5, 2014 10:30 pm

  8. >We’re not old, Keith. We’re rich in history!

    Of course. You could we’re vintage, classics even.

    Comment by westkeith - January 6, 2014 1:13 pm

  9. [...] last covered F&SF here with the January/February [...]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » March/April Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction now on Sale - March 16, 2014 11:38 pm


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