Tangent Online continues to provide very timely and thoughtful reviews of the latest SF magazines while they’re still on the stands. Here’s a fine example: Michelle Ristuccia’s insightful commentary on James Alan Gardner’s cover story in the August Asimov’s, “The Mutants Men Don’t See.”
Ellie Lee fears that her son will accidentally kill himself in an attempt to activate a mutant gene that he might not even have in “The Mutants Men Don’t See” by James Alan Gardner. Gardner’s engaging urban fantasy inverts a trope or two to focus on an often invisible segment of the population, menopausal women. The title is an homage to the James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) novelette “The Women Men Don’t See” from the December 1973 issue of F&SF. Gardner’s story, because of its subject matter (menopause, and its being the end of the menstrual cycle), also recalls — though in a very different fashion — Connie Willis’s Hugo winning short story “Even the Queen” from the April 1992 issue of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, which dealt with menstruation in a future where one young woman opted not to have the procedure that would eliminate her cycle, as most others of her age and part of a feminist movement have. “Even the Queen” and “The Mutants Men Don’t See” make interesting bookends, for both address issues surrounding a woman’s child-bearing years, the former at the beginning, the latter at the end. All three stories, though wildly different, also deal with the empowerment of women.
Read Michelle’s complete review here.
The August issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction contains novelettes from Jason Sanford, Matthew Claxton, and Sandra McDonald, and short stories by Sean Monaghan, James Alan Gardner, Kathe Koja & Carler Scholz, and Sieren Damsgaard Ernst.Here’s the full description from the website:
In Sean Monaghan’s tense August 2016 novelette, unforeseen dangers have disrupted an interstellar journey. Although the work of self-sacrificing astronauts has kept the spaceship running for hundreds of years, the voyage may soon be permanently altered by fresh “Wakers.”
Asimov’s Readers’ Award winner Sandra McDonald’s“President John F. Kennedy, Astronaut” celebrates the spirit that motivates the brave men and women who are propelled to the stars in a wistful secret history of the space program; fellow Asimov’s Readers’ Award winner James Alan Gardnercunningly reveals “The Mutants Men Don’t See”; brand-new author Sieren Damsgaard Ernst looks deep into the past to explain the truth about “Kairos”; new to Asimov’s authorMatthew Claxton examines the steep cost of bionic implants on the shores of “Patience Lake”; New York City is transformed beyond recognition in Jason Sanford’s“Toppers”; and renowned authors Kathe Koja & Carter Sholzskillfully introduce us to “KIT: Some Assembly Required.”
In his August Reflections column, Robert Silverberg delves into ancient texts to crack “The Software of Magic”; James Patrick Kelly’s On the Net shows that he’s “Thinking about Dinosaurs”; Paul Di Filippo reviews works by Judith Merril, Allen M. Steele, China Miéville, and others; plus we’ll have an array of poetry and other features you’re sure to enjoy.
In his July Reflections column, Robert Silverberg muses on the mystery surrounding certain “Persons from Porlock”; works reviewed by Paul Di Filippo include books by Gene Wolfe, Nancy Kress, and Christopher Fowler; plus we’ll have an array of poetry and other features you’re sure to enjoy.
Here’s the complete Table of Contents.
“Toppers,” Jason Sanford
“Patience Lake,” Matthew Claxton
“President John F. Kennedy, Astronaut,” Sandra McDonald
“Wakers,” Sean Monaghan
“The Mutants Men Don’t See,” James Alan Gardner
“Kit: Some Assembly Required,” Kathe Koja & Carler Scholz
Kairos Sieren Damsgaard Ernst
On the Death of Classical Physics,” Michael Meyerhofer
Your Clone Excels at You,” Robert Frazier
SETI,” Andrew Paul Wood
The Martian Air Merchants,” Ken Poyner
Editorial: Discovering Women of Wonder, Sheila Williams
Reflections: The Software of Magic, Robert Silverberg
On the Net: Thinking About Dinosaurs, James Patrick Kelly
On Books, Paul Di Filippo
The SF Conventional Calendar, Erwin S. Strauss
See the current issue, with story excerpts and links to free online content, here.
The August issue went on sale July 19. It will be on sale until August 30.
Asimov’s Science Fiction is edited by Sheila Williams and published by Dell Magazines. The cover price is $4.99 for 112 pages; a one-year subscription is $34.97 (US) or $49.97 (International). It is also available in a variety of digital formats.
We last covered Asimov’s SF with the July 2016 issue.