With all the recent bad news surrounding print fantasy magazines, it’s good to pause to reflect on the blessings we have. Especially those blessings that arrive in our mailbox every two months like clockwork, bringing the best in modern short fantasy. I’m talking, of course, of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, now in its 62nd year of publication. The latest issue has just arrived, and it looks terrific as usual. Contents include:
Quartet and Triptych – Matthew Hughes
The Ice Owl – Carolyn Ives Gilman
Under Glass – Tim Sullivan
They That Have Wings – Evangeline Walton
Object Three – James L. Cambias
How Peter Met Pan – Albert E. Cowdrey
The Klepsydra: A Chapter from A Faunery of Recondite Beings – Michaela Roessner
Over at Locus Online Lois Tilton reviews the complete issue, including the excellent epic fantasy “Quartet and Triptych” by Matthew Hughes:
In the far-future Archonate, the thief Luff Imbry has decided it would be profitable to secure a group of rare and valuable alien figures, believed to be hidden in a maze on the grounds of a defunct family of aristocracy. The maze being full of deadly traps, he arranges to obtain the life mask of one of the deceased aristocrats, charged with her essence, in the belief that she will be able to negotiate the maze for him. But the essence in the mask has its own interests and demands, in exchange for which she offers an even greater treasure at the heart of the maze. At much greater risk….
Readers familiar with Hughes’ work will know pretty well what kind of entertainment they’re getting here: the eccentric characters, the highly mannered prose, the intricate plot.