Robert Turner at Tangent Online enjoyed the issue, particularly the stories by Ford, Scholz, and Kritzer:
In “The Winter Wraith” Jeffrey Ford puts together a tale of dread based only on an old Christmas tree and some uncanny events tied to being home alone in winter. The language is evocative and effectively paints the picture of the house and the narrative voice. The inconclusive nature of the story fits well with the tone and provides the reader with an enjoyable frisson as the tale ends…
“Gypsy” by Carter Scholz is a novella length work that is well worth the time needed to digest. Starting from the standard refugees-from-a-dying-Earth narrative, Scholz creates a believable world in which desperate geniuses make a last ditch attempt to settle a new planet. The differing POV’s and the way in which they create a patchwork story is well done and provides a satisfying read. The story is at its best as the various characters deal with entropy over the course of their trip.
In “Cleanout” by Naomi Kritzer three sisters are faced with the task of cleaning out their mother’s home after she has a stroke. As they do, they come across hints that their immigrant parents came from further away than they had suspected. The story mixes the stresses and concerns of contemporary life with elements of magical realism and the conclusion is pitch perfect.
Here’s the complete Table of Contents.
- “Gypsy” – Carter Scholz
- “Hob’s Choice” – Tim Sullivan
- “Tomorrow Is a Lovely Day” – Lisa Mason
- “The Winter Wraith”– Jeffrey Ford
- “The Thirteen Mercies” – Maria Dahvana Headley
- “Her Echo” – KJ Kabza
- “The Fabulous Follicle” – Harvey Jacobs
- “DreamPet” – Bruce McAllister
- “Cleanout” – Naomi Kritzer
- “It’s All Relative at the Space-Time Café” – Norman Birnbach
- “The City of Your Soul” – Robert Reed
- “Phases” – Sophie White
Departments this issue include no less than three book review columns, from Charles de Lint, Michelle West, and Elizabeth Hand, film reviews from Kathi Maio, cartoons by Arthur Masear, J.P. Rini, Joseph Farris, and Bill Long, the results of Competition #90, Coming Attractions, and Douglas A. Anderson’s Curiosities column, on the 1924 British fairy novel The Capture of Nina Carroll, by Arthur Thrush.
The cover is by David Hardy, featuring Bhen, the cheerful green alien who first appeared forty years ago on the November 1975 issue of F&SF, and who has been featured on about a dozen covers over the past four decades.
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is edited by C.C. Finlay, and 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 2015 issue.