Leading off the magazine is its only pure SF story, “In a Wide Sky, Hidden” by William Ledbetter. Human beings have explored many worlds throughout the galaxy by transmitting their minds into artificial bodies created at the point of arrival. The protagonist is one such explorer. As a child, his older sister, who designed vast, technologically sophisticated works of art, disappeared with a promise that she was going to create her masterpiece, and a request that her brother find her. Many years later, after journeying to multiple planets, he discovers what became of her. This a fine story, written with grace, clarity, and imagination. It balances sense of wonder with empathy for its characters.
Readers familiar with classic science fiction will recognize a tribute to Robert A. Heinlein’s 1941 story “—And He Built a Crooked House—” in “There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House” by David Erik Nelson. Not only are the title and the theme of the story similar, but a minor character, mentioned only in passing, has the same name as a major character in Heinlein’s story. In modern Detroit two men who work for a fellow who buys abandoned properties in order to sell them at a vast profit are sent to examine his latest acquisition. It turns out to be a beautiful old mansion in immaculate condition, despite the fact that it is located in one of the worst places in the city. The moment the narrator enters the front door he winds up in the back yard. Other dimensional paradoxes abound. Once a way into the house is discovered, things take a darker turn…
Read Victoria’s complete review here.
Here’s the complete Table of Contents.
- “There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House” – David Erik Nelson
- “The Masochist’s Assistant” – Auston Habershaw
- “The Bride in Sea-Green Velvet” – Robin Furth
- “I Am Not I” – G.V. Anderson
- “Afiya’s Song” – Justin C. Key
- “In a Wide Sky, Hidden” – William Ledbetter
- “A Dog’s Story” – Gardner Dozois
- “An Obstruction to Delivery” – Sean Adams
- “An Unearned Death” – Marissa Lingen
- Northwest Cruise – Sophie M. White
- Books to Look For – Charles de Lint
- Musing on Books – Michelle West
- Science: With the Best of Intentions – Pat Murphy and Paul Doherty
- Films: Ghoulies Ghosties, Beasties – David J. Skal
- Coming Attractions
- Curiosities – Paul Di Filippo
- Nick Downes
The cover this issue is by Nicholas Grunas For “There Was A Crooked Man, He Flipped A Crooked House.”
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 September 4. We last covered F&SF with the May/June issue.