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Disease Collectors, Sea Worms, and Alien Ghost Ships: November-December 2023 Print SF Magazines

Disease Collectors, Sea Worms, and Alien Ghost Ships: November-December 2023 Print SF Magazines


November-December 2023 issues of Analog Science Fiction & Fact,
Asimov’s Science Fiction, and
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
Cover art by 123RF, Shutterstock, and Alan M. Clark

This is another great batch of print magazines, with a tale of a failing space colony by Jeff Reynolds (in Analog), an exciting new Quiet War novella by Paul McAuley (in Asimov’s), and a tale of mysterious AIs on a moon of Saturn by Geoff Ryman and David Jeffrey (in F&SF).

The November-December SF magazines are packed with brand new fiction from Gregory Benford, James Patrick Kelly, Ray Nayler, Robert R. Chase, Christopher Rowe, Michael Cassutt, James Sallis, Geoffrey A. Landis, Wendy N. Wagner, Bruce McAllister, Rajnar Vajra, Dominica Phetteplace, Kevin J. Anderson & Rick Wilber, R. K. Duncan, and lots more. See all the details below.

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NEW EDGE SWORD & SORCERY MAGAZINE First Two Issues Released

NEW EDGE SWORD & SORCERY MAGAZINE First Two Issues Released

New Edge Sword & Sorcery Magazine, Vol. I Issues #1 and #2. Cover art by Caterina Gerbasi (Fall 2023); and Gilead (Winter 2023)

October 2022, Michael Harrington hosted an interview with Oliver Brackenbury on Black Gate; Brackenbury is the editor and champion of New Edge Sword & Sorcery Magazine. That post coincided with the release of the teaser Issue #0 including short fiction & non-fiction (free in digital format, or priced at cost on Amazon Print-on-Demand, through the New Edge Website). In Feb. 2023 Black Gate announced the magazine’s Kickstarter which succeeded and spurred the creation of the illustrated Issues 1 & 2 that are being released now (Nov 2023).  This post shares the official press release of these issues and adds the Table of Contents for both.  New Edge is setting a strong foundation with these, with illustrations and heavy-hitting authors.

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A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Cass Blue

A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Cass Blue

I’ve got another introduction out for Steeger Books. I got to jump in for Volume Two of John Lawrence’s tough PI, Cass Blue. Here’s that intro, to whet your appetite. If you like what you read, check out the two books. I hadn’t read Blue before writing this intro, and I enjoyed discovering these stories.

Cass Blue presented an unusual combination to the readers of Dime Detective when he arrived in November of 1932 in “The Bloodstone.” The settings of the first three stories were more akin to an Agatha Christie novel than to the pages of a hardboiled pulp magazine. The country manor; the island only reachable by boat; a houseful of suspects – and potential victims. But there were also those elements of the Weird Menace pulps. What’s a country house without a seance? Need a masked assailant? – Check. Murder by mad bomber? Of course!

In addition to the Christie-esque setting and the Weird Menace tone, Blue himself is a tough guy that Roger Torrey or Frederick Nebel might have written. It’s a different type of Pulp Stew than readers were used to in Dime Detective when Blue became a regular in 1934.

Story four – “Calling All Cars” – involved a big heist caper and a serial killer. It was different from the first three, but still not the usual private eye yarn. It had a pretty big scope. You can find those first four stories in Volume One, also from Steeger Books. It also includes an excellent intro by Ed Hulse, looking at the history of Dime Detective.

This second volume starts a little more traditionally with “Guilty Party” from the August 15, 1935 issue of Dime Detective. “Calling All Cars” had been in the prior issue, only two weeks before. Blue is walking home, pleased that his private detective business has lasted for eight years – with Blue still alive to enjoy it. A harmless-looking fellow is following him through a snowstorm, and Blue figures it’s a stool pigeon looking to sell some info.

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OLD MOON QUARTERLY Issue V Review plus a Kickstarter for VII and VIII

OLD MOON QUARTERLY Issue V Review plus a Kickstarter for VII and VIII

Old Moon Quarterly magazine, Issue #5 (138p). Cover art by Derek Moore

Old Moon Quarterly is a magazine of dark fantasy and weird sword-and-sorcery. In the tradition of Clark Ashton Smith, Tanith Lee and Karl Edward Wagner, it contains stories of strange vistas, eldritch beings, and the bloody dispute thereof by both swordsmen and swordswomen. Old Moon Quarterly emerged in 2022 led by Editor-in-Chief Julian Barona, flanked by Assistant Editors Caitlyn Emily Wilcox and Graham Thomas Wilcox. This May 2023, Black Gate reviewed Issue #3 (with an overview of #1 and #2).  True to what the editors promise, the magazine consistently delivers strong doses of weird Sword & Sorcery.

This post reviews Old Moon Quarterly Issue V; shared below is the table of contents with summaries of each story and excerpts (these were selected to avoid spoilers while conveying the feel of each).  As with previous issues, expect stories that push the boundaries of uniqueness, blending poetic writing with horror and adventure. If you read tropes they’ll lean toward the twisted or bizarre.

But first a quick call out to the ongoing Kickstarter for Issues VII & VIII;  This campaign runs now through Nov 31st, 2023 and, if successful, would fund two more issues paying contributors professional rates!

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Alien Devil Trees, Deadly Cargo, and the Blob: September-October 2023 Print SF Magazines

Alien Devil Trees, Deadly Cargo, and the Blob: September-October 2023 Print SF Magazines


September-October 2023 issues of Analog Science Fiction & Fact,
Asimov’s Science Fiction, and
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
Cover art by Shutterstock, Tomislav Tikulin, and Marianne Plumridge

There’s plenty of great stuff in this month’s print magazines, including a new Diving Universe novella by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, an homage to the 1958 classic The Blob by Eric Choi, a chilling story of the Dead Letter Office by David Erik Nelson, the gruesome secret of the alien Deviltree by Monalisa Foster, a truck driver who discovers the dreadful truth of his unknown cargo during the “Night Haul” by Andrew Crowley, and the twelfth and final installment of Gregory Feeley’s distributed novel Neptune’s Reach.

The big SF magazines are packed with brand new fiction from Lavie Tidhar, Lisa Goldstein, Derek Künsken, Dean Whitlock, Howard V. Hendrix, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Phoebe Wood, Christopher Mark Rose, Tessa Yang, and lots more. See all the details below.

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Vintage Treasures: Lin Carter’s Weird Tales, Part II

Vintage Treasures: Lin Carter’s Weird Tales, Part II

Table of Contents for Weird Tales 1, edited by Lin Carter (Zebra Books, December 1980)

For yesterday’s Vintage Treasures post, I finally had the chance to discuss Lin Carter’s early-80s attempt to resuscitate the Magazine that Never Dies, the long-running weird fiction pulp Weird Tales.

Since I examined all four paperbacks, there wasn’t room in that article to look back at some of the fascinating discussions they’ve triggered over the last four decades, including lengthy commentary from Carter himself — especially his (largely unfulfilled) plans for the future volumes — or reviews of the stories within from modern readers. So I took the time to do that today.

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Vintage Treasures: Lin Carter’s Weird Tales

Vintage Treasures: Lin Carter’s Weird Tales


Weird Tales , Volumes 1 -4 (Zebra Books, December 1980
– August 1983). Covers by Tom Barber (#1-3) and Doug Beekman (#4)

Lin Carter was one of the finest genre editors of the 20th Century, and Weird Tales magazine was the most important fantasy magazine of the last century, publishing the career-defining work of Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and hundreds of other writers. In December 1980 Zebra Books published the equivalent of a genre superhero Team-Up, the first two volumes of a paperback relaunch of Weird Tales helmed by Lin Carter.

The ambitious effort had several things in common with the original pulp incarnation. Namely, it was criminally underfunded, published sporadically, and doomed.

But it also had a hugely talented and hardworking editor, and in three short years it published a total of four volumes containing ‘lost’ stories by Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft, an original John the Balladeer story by Manly Wade Wellman, reprints of classic tales from the pages of Weird Tales, and original fiction by Ramsey Campbell, Carl Jacobi, Tanith Lee, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, Steve Rasnic Tem, Hannes Bok, Joseph Payne Brennan, Evangeline Walton, Charles Sheffield, Frank Belknap Long, Lin Carter, and a lot more.

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Science Fiction History Considered As a Series of Images of Newsstand Displays

Science Fiction History Considered As a Series of Images of Newsstand Displays

Science Fiction magazines likely displayed on the stands at ten year intervals, 1933 to 2013

Many readers here no doubt lack the experience of having personally cruised news stands, tobacco shops and underground hole-in-the-wall used book stores, through no fault of their own. Unless you can fault someone for not having been born in a particular year, which I think would be a silly thing to do.

I, on the other hand, managed to arrive on this planet at a time conducive to such things. Following a brief orientation period lasting a handful of years, during which I learned how to navigate within a 1G gravitational field and picked up a few useful tips, such as becoming proficient in one of the native languages and where food came from, not to mention the necessity of wearing clothing when out and about, I was introduced to a small, yet extremely powerful concept called “Science Fiction”.

In short order I became enraptured and the rest, as they say, is personal history.

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Kickstarter for The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Volume IV Launched!

Kickstarter for The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Volume IV Launched!

HFQ powered through the pandemic and stuck to our regular publishing schedule; but we fell behind on getting our best-of anthologies put together — a situation we aimed to correct with the August 19th launch of our Kickstarter to fund Best-of 4.

As of this writing, we are 85% to our goal of $1,500.  Check out our campaign and help us out if you can!

— Adrian Simmons and the HFQ crew.

P.S. On the fence?  Head over to issue #57 and see what we’re all about.

Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1955: A Retro-Review

Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1955: A Retro-Review


Galaxy Science Fiction
, January 1955. Cover by Ed Emshwiller

It’s been a while since my last Galaxy review, but the best things come to those who wait. This one is for the January, 1955 issue. The cover is by Ed Emshwiller and is titled “Scene: Milady’s Boudoir.” It’s an eye-catching visual of a futuristic bedroom with devices that could replace services from a salon, and the artwork contains interesting colors and shapes for the furniture and electronics. But I’m not really here to get into the artwork, of course, so let’s move on to the fiction.

“The Tunnel Under the World” by Frederik Pohl — Guy Burckhardt wakes up on June 15th, screaming from a dream. In the dream, he felt an explosion that killed him. He continues through his day as best he can. And the next morning awakes on June 15th again, and once again awakes in terror from a nightmare of dying in an explosion. The horrors of the nightmare are alarming, but the deeper issue is the recurring date.

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