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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 08:18 am:   

NOVELETS

INNER HUFF -6- Matthew Hughes
QUEEN OF THE BALTS -70- R. Garcia y Robertson
PROBOSCIS -116- Laird Barron

SHORT STORIES

FROM ABOVE -50- Robert Reed
DUTCH -144- Richard Mueller

DEPARTMENTS

BOOKS TO LOOK FOR -39- Charles de Lint
MUSING ON BOOKS -44- Michelle West
FILMS: SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW -110- David J. Skal
PLUMAGE FROM PEGASUS: THE MARCHING MODELS -140 Paul Di Filippo
COMING ATTRACTIONS -160-
CURIOSITIES -162- Connie Braton Meek

CARTOONS: Arthur Masear (139).

COVER BY KENT BASH FOR "DUTCH"
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 10:27 am:   

Glad I renewed! Great stuff. I keep thinking about how my sub ended in February, and that it was months away, and then looked and saw the January issue on my shelf and said, uh oh. Off to the computer and renewed!

JK
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John Thiel
Posted on Friday, December 24, 2004 - 10:06 am:   

Well, you sent the issue! I got a little worried this time around.

An electrifying cover; one gets the idea it's the tripping lad in an old news item who tried to stop a train with his hands. The only thing in SF that's like it is when Starman Jones tried to run through a train route and nearly got wasted, but that was a futuristic train going through hoops. I see it illustrates "Dutch." Well, now I know what kind of title to give a story, for starters.

I'll tell you what, it's Christmas coming up, I'll have to look at the issue a bit later. I'll bet the cover will get some further comments from other readers or viewers of it.
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Jill Elaine Hughes
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 11:12 am:   

Loved INNER HUFF! Reading QUEEN OF THE BALTS right now!!
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 01:17 pm:   

Thank you, Jill.

Matt Hughes
http://www.archonate.com/

Current book: Black Brillion (Tor)
Next Book: The Gist Hunter & Other Stories (Night Shade, 2005)
Next story: "Inner Huff" F&SF, (Feb 2005)
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Tanith
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 04:48 pm:   

Mine got here today. I'm going to have to delay reading it a little bit (Santa brought me Stephen King's final "Dark Tower" book, and I can't wait to tear into it), but I'm looking forward to it.

Tanith :-)
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John Thiel
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 05:27 pm:   

I'd like to see him going down the chimney with a book like that.
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Michael Samerdyke
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 12:03 pm:   

I really liked David Skal's movie column. It was fun to read, and struck a balanced tone about the film.

On a personal note, I liked the references to Ohio University, Port Columbus airport and Lancaster. That brought back memories.
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Jill Elaine Hughes
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 02:24 pm:   

You're welcome, Matt. I really love the Guth Bandar stories.

For Gordon: in this issue, I also enjoyed FROM ABOVE, QUEEN OF THE BALTS, and DUTCH. Didn't get into PROBOSCIS at all, though. But a great issue overall, made for great in-the-car reading on the holiday trip.
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Tanith
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 03:00 pm:   

Well, John, you could watch me going back and forth to work with SK's latest. It'll probably be good exercise for me.

Tanith :-D
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Dave
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 07:01 pm:   

I enjoyed reading DUTCH by Richard Mueller. I like the way he explored the connection between redemption and forgiveness.
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kundor
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 09:22 am:   

This is the first issue I've received of F&SF (from my Christmas subscription,) and it's been an excellent introduction! I thought "Inner Huff" was brilliant. It had a great concept, but though this wasn't central in the story, I got a sense of navel-gazing: that humanity had turned so much to inner exploration that exploration of the physical universe had stalled, and that discovery outside the study of humanity itself had faltered. This was a disturbing undertone, because it seems all too likely to actually come to pass.

Thanks for the excellent reading.
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:12 am:   

Kundor:

I'm glad you liked the story. You're right about the subtext. It's set in my "Archonate" milieu, on an Earth that is millions of years older than ours and where the prevailing ethos is that "everything that can be done has been done, redone, forgotten entirely, rediscovered, done all over again, redone for the umpteenth time and now there is truly 'nothing new under the (aging) sun.'"

Matt Hughes
http://www.archonate.com/

Current Book: Black Brillion (Tor)
Next Book: The Gist Hunter and Other Stories (Night Shade, July)
Current Story: "Inner Huff" (F&SF, February)
Next Story: "The Devil You Don't" (Asimov's, March)
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BlaineTog
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 12:52 pm:   

One question from a n00b F&SF subscriber: about when can I expect to receive the February issue? Is it haphazard and random, or more predictable? I live in California, if that helps.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 03:13 pm:   

It's always somewhat haphazard, given the vagaries of the US Postal System (especially at this time of year), but most California subscribers should receive their Feb. issue by the end of this month.

However, if you're a new subscriber, you might want to check to see with which issue your subscription starts. I just checked our system and didn't see anyone with the name Blaine Tog (the only Blaine listed is in Nebraska) subscribed yet. Send us an email via the Website if you want us to check up on your subscription status.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 03:14 pm:   

Oh, thanks for the kind words, Kundor. Makes me feel like those ballplayers who say they always give 100% 'cause you never know when there's a kid in the stands seeing his first game.
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BlaineTog
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 04:01 pm:   

Gordon,

"Blaine Tog" is just a screen name I use. I'm far too paranoid to ever use my real name on the web. ;-)

I've already gotten the January edition, though, so my subscription /has/ started. I did, in fact, recieve it at just about the end of November/beginning of December. I was really just wondering if it tends to be consistent or not (Scientific American, for example, is all over the place. I once got three different issues in two weeks, and I know of similar happenings amonst my friends).

Thank you!
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JJA
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 05:44 pm:   

Gordon --

Wouldn't most ballplayers consider giving 100% to be not trying hard enough? I think all the best ones give 110%. It's that extra 10% that really makes you special. Like the amplifiers with the knobs that go up to 11 instead of 10.
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Liz
Posted on Thursday, January 06, 2005 - 03:09 am:   

Or maybe the ones with God on their side get the extra 10%.
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Charles Pearson
Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2005 - 10:05 am:   

Sounds like a good issue. I'd like to read it but I haven't received it yet. Any chance it was lost in the mail?
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 08:55 pm:   

David Roy has a review of this issue on epinions at http://www.epinions.com/content_4216168580

Matt Hughes
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Dave Roy
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 03:59 pm:   

Thanks for the plug, Matt! I hope that's not "payment" for the positive review. :-)

Seriously, though, when are you going to write that Luff Imbrey story?

Dave
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 07:10 pm:   

Dave:

I've just finished the rough draft of my new novel. I have to outline a Henghis Hapthorn novel for Tor, on the off chance they'll be interested, then I'll see about reviving Luff. I have a story twist idea in mind.

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Michael Samerdyke
Posted on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 10:41 am:   

The best story this issue was "Inner Huff." It was funny but had strong suspense. I think I like Hughes' adventure stories (this and "Little Learning") better than his mystery ones (the Henghis Hapthorn ones).

The other story I liked from this issue was "Dutch" by Richard Mueller. The characterizations held me for this one.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 01:37 pm:   

My first issue arrived today.
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 02:18 pm:   

I finished the feb issue, here's what I think about it:

The first story, Inner Huff, is my favorite. This is the first story I've read by Matt (other than the short-short, Hat Thing, in Movs) and I'm impressed. I love the premise. This series really has endless potential, with Guth exploring the noosphere. But it's not just the world and Matt's ability to tell a story in it that makes this story so good. It's also the quality of Matt's writing. I'm looking forward to his next story.

I also liked Robert Reed's From Above. It's one of the best Reed stories I've read in awhile. Once the story gets going, and once the extra-dimensional traveler was introduced, I was hooked. Although I was slightly let down by the ending. The story seemed to be building up to an encounter between Jonah and the extra-dimensional being, and it seemed anti-climactic when their conversation is passed over.

Queen of the Balts, by Garcia Robertson, wasn't bad but it's not one of my favorites. I didn't read this one in one sitting because I just couldn't get into it right away. By the time I really started getting into it, the story was past half-way. This fantasy world is almost what I;d call bland, or typical, but I don't think that's entirely fair, because it seems to be somewhat historical. It revolves around two factions, the Christian Knights and the Pagan forest people. The Christian's seem to be portrayed as the more villainous of factions, which is cool, and gives a historical sense of the power and puritanical imperialism the Christian empire imposed on non-Christian people; although the story is told from a Pagan princess' point of view. Definitely a setting in which interesting stories can be told, with relevance to our modern times as well as history, but this world still doesn't feel all that new to me.

I liked Laird Barron's Proboscis. What made it enjoyable for me is the style of narration and the voice of the narrator. I actually found some of the narrator's commentary pretty funny. I don't really see this as a horror story, but rather a dark comedy. The plot is not the strength of this story, and I found the ending somewhat confusing, although I did read this right after smoking a joint, but I think they complimented each other. Despite its flaws, this is one of the standout stories for me, because of the voice and style of narration.

Dutch is a well told story of redemption by Richard Mueller. I liked this one too, but it didn't stand out to me. Using riding the rails as metaphor for running away from ones personal demons has been done before, and I think this story is almost overly sentimental. As soon as we find out about Dutch's curse and his lost love, we can make some conclusions about the where this story is heading. Maybe because the ending is predictable and safe, without enough time to really develop the characters enough to draw that kind of emotion, I found it overly sentimental. It's still a good story regardless, and I think at some level everyone wants to indentify with the idea that love can heal all.

Overall I really liked this issue and I can't say I didn't like any of the stories. The March issue looks even better.
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A Time To Be So Small
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 09:59 pm:   

But it's not just the world and Matt's ability to tell a story in it that makes this story so good. It's also the quality of Matt's writing.

Here, here. Hughes, in my opinion is one of the greatest writers living today. But...

Ok. I just finished reading this "Inner Huff", and I feel so inadequate! LOL Am I unworthy to understand and appreciate what happened at the end here? Why didn't the wolf dig a tunnel under the wall to get in? I don't expect Mr. Hughes to explicate what happened here, so could some one PLEASE tell me what the heck happened! Now I am almost CERTAIN it has something to do with the conversation between Chundlemars and the fact that the noosphere only replies "through indirection and coincidence," but can the resolve of this story really be so simple? And if it is, WHY CAN'T I SEE IT! Some one, throw me a life preserver! I've been studying this story all night! Been thinking about every waking moment I've been away from it! UGH!

Reading this hasn't been as confusing as Joanna Russ's, AND CHAOS DIED, but #*%&@!
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 09:12 am:   

Well, it might be because storms can't dig very well. But I think it's because the story works better if the disharmony that Bandar injected into the Three Little Pigs Location is discharged by having the Event work its way through to its proper ending.

But it's not really fair to ask me. I just do the typing and polishing. The stories get written by the guy in the back of my head who's tapped directly into the collective unconscious.

Matt Hughes
http://www.archonate.com/
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John Thiel
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 07:16 pm:   

Well, here's another author letting us know where he gets his inspiration. Keep with it, Matt, you know we're all for you!
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A Time To Be So Small
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 05:31 pm:   

Oh. Ok. Thank you.

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