There was a time — or so it seems to your editor — when writers turned to science fiction to explore ideas they couldn’t touch in any other medium. A fair number of stories regarded as classics today were transgressive when they first came out.
These days, however, the internet seems to thrive on posts by people who aren’t keen on tolerating viewpoints that differ from their own, and some of those posts focus on the science fiction and fantasy field. They’ve inspired us here at F&SF to give this issue an extra helping of stories that deal with touchy themes or go beyond the bounds of Political Correctness.
Quite an intro. There’s an impressive list of contributors taking part in this rebellious experiment, including Albert E. Cowdrey, Scott Baker, and David Gerrold.
Even film reviewer Alan Dean Foster gets in on the act with a little honest blasphemy in his column, “On Novelizing Noah,” a meditation on adapting last summer’s biblical-themed movie, written as a conversation with God.
Here’s Tangent Online reviewer C.D. Lewis on Gerrold’s contribution.
David Gerrold’s “The Old Science Fiction Writer” is a first-person account given to a grandchild (gender not yet decided), set in a science-fiction future in which achieved technology has rendered made-up technology obsolete – and apparently science fiction with it. From the first paragraphs it’s clear Grandpa isn’t prone to delivering G-rated material blessed by committees for consumption by formative minds: he’s offering full-color stories we’d like to hear ourselves. But … the child demands the truth. Alas. It’s an interesting future in which puberty involves an application for a license, and requires a test. (Grandpa has seen Return of the Jedi and has advice: “It’s a trap!”)… “The Old Science Fiction Writer” proves there’s always another story to tell, and something to learn. And it shows a strong argument in favor of science fiction as a platform for social discussion.
Read C.D. Lewis’s complete Tangent review here.
And here’s the complete Table of Contents:
- “The Judging” – Rand B. Lee
- “Hollywood North” – Michael Libling
- “I’ll Follow the Sun” – Paul Di Filippo
- “Golden Girl” – Albert E. Cowdrey
- “Yeshua’s Dog” – Tim Sullivan
- “Nanabojou at the World’s Fair” – Justin Barbeau
- “Feral Frolics” – Scott Baker
- “The Bomb Thing” – KJ Kabza
- “The Old Science Fiction Writer” – David Gerrold
Departments this issue include book reviews by Charles de Lint and Michelle West, film columns from Alan Dean Foster and Kathi Maio, cartoons by Mark Heath and Arthur Masear, and a Curiosities entry by Graham Andrews. The cover is by Mondolithic Studios.
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is published 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 September/October issue.