The longest story in the March/April issue of F&SF is John P. Murphy’s novella “The Liar,” which editor C.C. Finley introduces with, “If you’ve ever wondered what the result would be like if Garrison Keillor wrote a Stephen King story, then look no further.” In his review at Tangent Online, Jason McGregor writes:
Greg is a “liar,” which is to say someone who can tell broken things they aren’t really broken and, if he’s convincing enough, repair them with an imposition of will alone. When the old sexton can no longer perform his duties, Greg takes over and learns about the town’s secret: every November 5th, a teenager dies. Unraveling this supernatural mystery takes him back to a crashed WWII bomber nearby and another secret. Adding urgency to this fatal problem is that Greg and Pastor Julie have a budding relationship going and Julie has a wayward teenaged daughter…
[Murphy] creates interesting characters steeped in a sense of place (small-town New Hampshire) in which quite a bit does happen and, even when matters aren’t at a peak, I was content to hang out with the folks of the story. The realistic aspects are very well done, the fantasy is deftly woven in (and creative in recasting the essence of the supernatural element), and the horror adds spice.
Jason van Hollander’s cover illustrates Marc Laidlaw’s novelette “The Ghost Penny Post.” Here’s the complete Table of Contents.
- “The Liar” – John P. Murphy
- “The Ghost Penny Post” – Marc Laidlaw
- “Red in Tooth and Cog” – Cat Rambo
- “The Language of the Silent” – Juliette Wade and Sheila Finch
- “A Mother’s Arms” – Sarina Dorie
- “Belief” – Nancy Kress
- “Nanabojou and the Race Question” – Justin Barbeau
- “Diamond” – Chris Devito
- “The Silver Strands of Alpha Crucis-d” – N.J. Schrock
- “Golden Gate Blues” – James L. Cambias
- Books to Look For –Charles de Lint
- Musing on Books –Michelle West
- Films: The Potato Farmer Who Worked the Problem –Kathi Maio
- Plumage From Pegasus: The Prince and the Pulpster –Paul Di Filippo
- Coming Attractions
- Curiosities –Douglas A. Anderson
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.
This issue is on sale until May 2. We last covered F&SF with the January/February issue.