The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (July/August 2019) and Black Gate 8 (Summer 2005). Covers by Mondolithic Studios
One of the great pleasures of publishing a print magazine like Black Gate — which we did for fifteen awesome issues, from 2000 until 2011 — is discovering new writers, like James Enge, Derek Kunsken, Sarah Avery, Todd McAulty, Harry Connolly, and many others. Of course, writers aren’t the only things you discover. We published a lot of artists in the early stages of their careers as well, folks like Charles Keegan, Jim Pavelec, Chuck Lukacs, Chris Pepper, and others.
In the years since we retired the print mag, it’s been marvelous to see those authors and artists go on to scale greater and greater heights. So I was delighted to open an email from publisher Gordon Van Gelder last month, with a sneak peek of the cover of the July/August cover of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (above left), and immediately recognize the brilliant work of Kenn Brown and Chris Wren, who together are Mondolithic Studios.
Kenn and Mondolithic did the cover for Black Gate 8 way back in the summer of 2005 (above right). It was one of the most creative and popular of our early covers, and I was thrilled to be able to feature it. The cover of July/August F&SF is ever more awesome, with its wonderfully retro-robots rampaging across a grisly post-apocalyptic cityscape. Fittingly, this is the “Robots Invade” issue, with Robot War tales by Alex Irvine and Cassandra Khaw, plus stories by Dominica Phetteplace, Molly Gloss, Albert E. Cowdrey, Eliza Rose, and many more.
Here’s the highlights of Kevin P Hallett’s review at Tangent Online.
[Click the images for robot-sized versions.]
“Mighty are the Meek and the Myriad” by Cassandra Khaw
Khaw’s SF short is set in a future recovering from a robotic war. Harold represents the American interests and Henrietta the British as they begin negotiating a lasting peace between the surviving countries. The British try to ‘rehabilitate’ the war robots, giving them new roles. But it’s all window dressing, the people don’t like them much and have no empathy for their fate. And the robots realize this, making their own plans…
“Girls Who Never Stood a Chance” by Deborah Coates
This compelling fantasy novelette tells the story of several girls, who are downtrodden, unappreciated, and abused. Their lives change when dragons suddenly arrive to terrorize their state… things get worse when a group of misogynist boys come back into town to hunt the dragons, and maybe have some fun on the side. What a wonderful plot this was. One that grabbed from the start and never let the reader relax or put down the story until it was over.
“A Strange Uncertain Light” by G. V. Anderson
Anne has just married Merrit in this fantasy novelette. He married to recapture the youth he lost in the First World War, she married to escape the ghosts she sees in her southern hometown. She is a chime baby, born during the ringing of the church bells and imbued with a special talent for seeing spirits. But when they arrive for their honeymoon in Yorkshire, Anne finds many more ghosts and harrowing sights…
“The Legacy” by Albert E. Cowdrey
This horror fantasy novelette tells the story of a young head-strong woman, Maggie, who inherits an ill-gotten fortune from a criminal father she never met. The one provision is that she must live in her father’s massive isolated ‘cabin,’ in West Virginia, that may be haunted. Maggie leaves her ever-angry Cajun boyfriend in New Orleans and goes to live in West Virginia. Her search of the huge house reveals an attic where her father, Magnus Liard, kept original paintings of himself, dressed in a variety of period costumes she finds…strange…
“The Legend of Wolfgang Robotkiller” by Alex Irvine
This SF short is set in a near future after giant robots have killed most of humanity and pushed the rest back into survival mode. No one knows where the hundred-foot-high robots came from, but legend has it that Wolfgang can kill them when everyone else is limited to hiding from them. Justin lives with a pod of four others trying to scavenge for food. The legend of Wolfgang keeps the pod going. But what if you meet the legend? … An interesting throw-back plot to the SF of the fifties and sixties, with a different, more modern, perspective.
Here’s the complete Table of Contents of the issue.
“Girls Who Never Stood a Chance” – Deborah Coates
“A Strange Uncertain Light” – G.V. Anderson
“The Legacy” – Albert E. Cowdrey
“The Slave” – Andrej Kokoulin
“Mighty Are the Meek and the Myriad” – Cassandra Khaw
“Lacuna Heights” – Theodore McCombs
“Nice For What” – Dominica Phetteplace
“Planet Doykeit” – Eliza Rose
“The Everlasting Humming of the Earth” – Molly Gloss
“The Legend of Wolfgang Robotkiller” – Alex Irvine
To Skeptics – Mary Soon Lee
My Ghost Will Know the Way – Beth Cato
Books to Look For – Charles de Lint
Musing On Books – Michelle West
Films: Sequel, Califragilistic – David J. Skal
Science: How Vaccines Work – Jerry Oltion
Plumage From Pegasus – Paul Di Filippo
Curiosities – David Langford
Nick Downes, Nick Downes, Arthur Masear, Arthur Masear
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is edited by C.C. Finlay, and published by Gordon van Gelder. The cover price is $8.99, 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 2. We last covered F&SF with the May/June issue.
See all of our recent magazine coverage here.