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Night Shade Message Boards » Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction » F&SF Issues - Tables of Contents, Discussion » June 2004 issue -- contents « Previous Next »

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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 03:02 pm:   

NOVELETS

A LITTLE LEARNING -5- Matthew Hughes
AFTER THE GAUD CHRYSALIS -122- Charles Coleman Finlay

SHORT STORIES

ZERO'S TWIN -44- A. A. Attanasio
FACES -62- Joe Haldeman
THE ZOMBIE PRINCE -75- Kit Reed
BY THE LIGHT OF DAY -95- Arthur Porges
GLINKY -98- Ray Vukcevich

DEPARTMENTS

BOOKS TO LOOK FOR -32- Charles de Lint
BOOKS -36- Robert K.J. Killheffer
PLUMAGE FROM PEGASUS: THE FINAL SHUSH! -90- Paul Di Filippo
COMING ATTRACTIONS -94-
F&SF COMPETITION -115-
FILMS: KING ME -116- Lucius Shepard
CURIOSITIES -162- Bud Webster

CARTOONS: Danny Shanahan (97), S. Harris (121).
COVER BY MAX BERTOLINI FOR "FACES"
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S. Hamm
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 08:50 pm:   

Whoa! The F&SF Competition is back?!?
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Sean T. M. Stiennon
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 06:38 am:   

What is it, precious? We'll just have to wait and see...

Also, is the Matthe Hughes story going to be a Henghis Hapthorn one, or will I have to wait for that too?
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 07:01 am:   

Yes, Sam, the contests are back.

Sean, sorry, the new Matt Hughes story isn't about Henghis Hapthorn. It's about an intrepid noosphere explorer by the name of Guth Bandar.
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M. Libling
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 08:51 am:   

Jeez! You're talking about the June issue, while it was only this morning I received the April issue. So much for USPS and Canada Post! These previews of upcoming issues are killing me, Gordon. I live with permanently bated breath. Ain't pretty.
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Mike Mearls
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 12:55 pm:   

Gordon wrote:
GLINKY -98- Ray Vukcevich
-------

There is joy in Mearlsville!
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John Thiel
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 12:23 pm:   

Dear Mr. Van Gelder:

They say "What is so rare as a day in June?" My answer is, a sirloin steak, which I intend to have with white wine this evening as I continue to peruse your June issue, which adds piquancy to the rarity of this June day.

The cover looks like the Pharoahs' Curse, which gives it a profundity that I was anxious to find in Haldeman's story. A good scenic and a bit of a parable which may be portraying itself. It seems to answer the question "What good would the Face On Mars do anyone? About as much good as the Man in the Moon!"

There is so much vulgarity in modern science fiction that I think the vulgarity of the culture must be the point that authors are trying to make. Haldeman's story says "Woogie" and "Whoopie," Attanasio's says "mug" and "donkey," Finlay's says "Lizard-scale," "stocky," "swagger," "nub," Vukcevich says "horse lips and dog ears," Porges says "famished weasel-lizard," Kit Reed says "cough in your sleep," this all seems to be a tendency against aristocracy in the arts, which is well-represented by the first story, having a similar viewpoint but using a different language.

I think only in Kit Reed's story is this really appropriate to the theme. And I hope there will be a tendency away from these pizza-pie-eating and -discussing characters.

I think you know there's plenty to comment on in the issue. It seems put together to invite LoCs. But I'm waiting till this evening to give the issue a more substantial reading.
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S. Hamm
Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 12:07 am:   

Was quite taken with the Haldeman "Faces" myself, although I thought the homo- to hetero- angle was a symptom of conceptual (or should I say demographic?) laziness. Hetero- to homo- would've brought the central "problem" into rather sharper focus, no?
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Thomas R
Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 12:30 am:   

I just got the issue today, but I never even started the May Issue!
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okiefolkie
Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 09:49 am:   

As of this past Monday the June issue hasn't reached bookstores in Tulsa.
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Rob Darnell
Posted on Saturday, May 01, 2004 - 10:49 pm:   

I just want to say that I'm quite impressed with the cover art of this issue.
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Michael Samerdyke
Posted on Monday, May 03, 2004 - 12:32 pm:   

I thought "A Little Learning" was the best story this issue. It was exciting and funny, and the "time travel" concept was interestingly handled. Very, very enjoyable.

I also enjoyed Arthur Porges' "By the Light of Day."
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Monday, May 03, 2004 - 04:15 pm:   

Thank you, Michael.

Matt Hughes
http://mars.ark.com/~mhughes/
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RobRoyH
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 12:15 pm:   

My favorite issue of the year so far! Suberb cover, and I loved "A Little Learning", "Faces", and "After the Gaud Chrysalis".

But "A Little Learning" in particular was most memorable. For some reason it reminded me of the De Camp & Pratt Harold Shea adventures... which is high praise indeed from me.

If I have a criticism it is with the movie review. As always, it seems, I agree with the bottom line... a great movie and a great trilogy. I guess a critic feels that he must find a flaw. In this case I think Mr. Shepard's review is a bit schizoid... conflicted.

I think that in many ways Peter Jackson was in a no win situation... and he navigated the edge of a razor with unbeleivable skill. On the one hand he had to remain faithful to the source... hence the relationship between Frodo and Sam which Mr. Shepard objected to. On the other hand he needed to compress the action and hit the high points of an epic scale conflict/war.. hence their couldn't be too many of those "small Moments" which Mr. Shepard liked so much... as did I. When he did throw out a plot detail... like the razing of the shire for example which would have put Saruman back in the 3rd film for a bit (as second-guessed/wished for by Shepard)... Jackson opens himself to criticism no matter which way he goes.

Ah well, Mr. Shepard's review was very well -thought out... or at least made me think about the movie in a lot greater detail. I also look forward to release of the collectors expanded edition to see, as I did for the first installments, where Jackson made his decisions between faithfullness to source/strengths & weaknesses of a movie over a novel/and brevity.
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Charlie Finlay
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 09:50 pm:   

Thanks, RobRoyH. "After the Gaud Chrysalis" was a lot of fun to write. Gordon has just bought a third Vertir and Kuikin story, so you can expect to see more of them down the road.
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John Thiel
Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 07:24 am:   

Seems we have authors lurking here. I don't suppose Haldeman is one of them, so I'll point out that his story had the transcendance theme (and indeed he was named as an author of transcendent sf under the topic of that title); here it includes the burial services of the trancendence motif in a proto-archaeological climate, and I think the author might be just a little bit shy about having that element pointed out in his stories.
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Charlie Finlay
Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 07:35 am:   

John, I don't think either Matt or I can be classified as "lurkers." We post with some regularity of a variety of topics. Joe Haldeman posts regular on sff.net and dm. If you want to comment on his stories, you might look for his newsgroups there.
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Michael Samerdyke
Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 10:35 am:   

I have to agree with Rob that "A Little Learning" made me think of L. S. DeCamp in the nice mix of humor and adventure. Maybe it was the fact that the hero had to think his way out of the danger he was in.

I also have to agree that the movie review left me a bit vexed. Even when I agree with stuff Shepard says (like not having Christopher Lee in the third films throws things off balance and that Kobyashi's "The Human Condition" is a great film), he makes me grit my teeth anyway.
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RobRoyH
Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 11:11 am:   

Absolutely... the way the Guth Brandar character had to figure out how to exercise power over his environment... causing humorous problems for himself in the process. Harold Shea had to stumble his way through the same kind of plot developments.

The relationship occurred to me in the "Paradise Lost" part of the story, (don't want to give anything away).

I look forward to the further adventures promised in the intro blurb!
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Gregory Bernard Banks
Posted on Thursday, May 06, 2004 - 11:19 am:   

I just received my copy of the June issue, and I think it's cover is one of the best ever! Can't wait to read it.

And that contest looks like fun too!
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okiefolkie
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 11:24 am:   

I just picked up a copy in Tulsa yesterday. I've been digging on the cover and immediately read the Haldeman story. I really like the opening sentence and enjoy hearing the "voice" of the narrator: "Cranked it up to about fifty, sixty kays, bumpety bump." "So there you go." "They always make me sweat, go figure." "Maybe a job offer, dream on." Also, the little bit about Mount Rushmore was hilarious. I've also read the film review. I'll get to the rest before long.
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okiefolkie
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 01:23 pm:   

Wow! Matt Hughes' A Little Learning is really a cool story. I came close to skipping it after reading the first two paragraphs, but am sure glad I stuck with it. The experience with the three females was delightfully told and I'll likely never forget what happened to Bandar's words when he lied before "the archfiend." It is very perceptive of people to draw comparisons with L. Sprague de Camp. The last time I actually chuckled as much as I did at the end of this story was when I got to the end of de Camp's classic "The Galton Whistle."
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Thomas R
Posted on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 04:47 pm:   

Okay I'm caught up, I don't have July's yet but few I think do so I've read the following

ZERO'S TWIN -44- A. A. Attanasio: It's odd that I've only read two stories by him as I loved them both. When I was a teen I read An Ink from the New Moon in that "What Might Have Been" antho. This one was just as beautiful for the most part, although the middle part near the end lost a bit. The actual end was quite good. I think he writes mostly Fantasy & I rarely like Fantasy even when I otherwise like the author. Ah well, neat mix of romance and far future.

FACES -62- Joe Haldeman: I'm not a big Haldeman fan, but this was pretty good. As this aspect was mentioned I'll discuss it. To be honest I didn't quite get that the man was homosexual until near the end. In fact from the beginning I figured he was bi as finding a woman attractive didn't seem exactly noteworthy to him. However I imagine his relationships were mostly with men, and he was an artist, so she just assumed he was purely homosexual. So his "conversion" seemed like a pretty small part of the story to me and bigger to her than him. Living happily every after with a woman I think was just an amusing surprise to him that may or may not have deeper meaning to his orientation. (I say "may not" as I think she was in the small group of women he could love and if she dies he'll go back mostly with men) Stories of men or women realizing they can fall in love with their gender have become a tad cliche. For example it's been in lawyer shows from La Law toAlly McBeal. Although I admit this reversal was a tad corny too. Anyway the rest of the Haldeman story was a gritty effective story about alien-human contact with a certain mystery. Not the best in the issue for me, but pretty good.

BY THE LIGHT OF DAY -95- Arthur Porges: Nicely dark little fable. Effective, but not much to say.

GLINKY -98- Ray Vukcevich: This is a very odd story I don't think I get at all. Yet it was pretty darn funny.

Overall I've liked what I've read thus far.
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T Andrews
Posted on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 01:18 pm:   

A LITTLE LEARNING was a great read. The racy bits were well-balanced with hilarity. Picturing the various transformations of the hero was a riot.

I enjoyed FACES,too. The ending took me by surprise, but I liked the way it worked out.

GLINKY was bizarre, and like Thomas R, I suspect I didn't quite 'get it'...but with Vukcevich's stories, for me getting it doesn't matter...reading his stuff is always entertaining. Loved the Glinky spot in the ads.

AFTER THE GAUD CHRYSALIS left me wanting more of the mysterious Renn. Great adventure.

I liked Shepard's review, but I had expected him to go harder on Jackson.

Great issue!

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Sean T. M. Stiennon
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 08:30 am:   

This is a little late, but I really liked "After the Gaud Chrysalis"...I'll be eagerly awaiting the next Vertir and Kuikin story, and will perhaps buy the upcoming collection for want of "For Want of a Nail".

One note: Are all the stories going to be narrated by Kuikin? Since I found Vertir to be the much more interesting character...or maybe it works better the way you did it. Yes, it probably does--but I'd like to see Vertir developed a bit more. This story really focused on Kuikin and Renn.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 09:10 am:   

We have a new Kuikin and Vertir story in inventory and I can assure you that it is _not_ narrated by Kuikin. Vertir does almost all the talking in this one.

I don't know yet when it will run---probably early in 2005.

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