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Night Shade Message Boards » Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction » F&SF Issues - Tables of Contents, Discussion » October/November Issue « Previous Next »

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MarcL
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 11:20 am:   

I'm making my way through the anniversary issue, and it's especially strong. So far I have especially enjoyed the Wolfe (I'm in awe of his ability to create completely believable modern dialog, and then to further my awe, the end of the story depends on this exact detail) and the wonderfully understated Utley. Ford, Hand and Beagle dead ahead!
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 11:21 am:   

Wolf(e), Ford, Hand and Beagle...these sound like tokens in a game of Weird Monopoly.
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Nick
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 01:29 pm:   

Jeffrey Ford's story is fantastic. Has this guy written a bad story? He's quickly becoming my favorite writer and I haven't even read any of his novels yet!
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 02:24 pm:   

I loved Two Hearts.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, September 17, 2005 - 11:59 am:   

"The Boatman's Holiday" is brilliant and beautiful; amazing images. It's like the Gene Wolfe story that Wolfe forgot to write. I wouldn't have thought anyone could write a fresh story of Hell. Bravo, Jeff!
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Sarah L. Edwards
Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2005 - 12:33 pm:   

Having just finished "Two Hearts," the last in the book, I'd have to say my favorites were the Wolfe story and "The Calorie Man," by Paolo Bacigalupi (did I spell that right?).

"The Gunner's Mate" was not at all what I expected when I heard that there was going to be a Wolfe story about pirates, but it worked very well for me. And I do love the last paragraph, and the last bit of spoken dialogue.

"The Calorie Man" had some fantastic world-building, in my opinion, a completely believable picture a world without fossil fuels. All the little details were great - the cheshires, the elephant-related things (can't remember the name). And the whole underlying subplot of sterility was very interesting. I didn't find the human characters to be as compelling as the backdrop, but they were still pretty interesting, and there was a nice echo between the calorie man's final actions and the ones that haunt the protagonist's past.

I wasn't as excited about all the stuff based on Greco-Roman myth. I was basically unenthused by the Hand and the Friesner. The Lawrence fit its length well - short with some punch. By far the best of the bunch was "Boatman's Holiday," as others have mentioned, though I have definite philosophical reservations about it. But as a story, it's enthralling.

And the Hughes was my favorite of anything I've read of his. I enjoyed the whole idea of the noosphere, and am curious to see where that goes.
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Sue
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 06:44 pm:   

Got my issue in the mailbox today -- pretty good, except that it was out on the shelves for several weeks. :-)
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John Thiel
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 08:26 am:   

Somebody ought to do an essay on the Greco-Roman element in fantasy and science fiction.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 02:02 pm:   

Got mine the other day. Read the article on Titan. So, how likely do you think that life could be swiming in those methane oceans?
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Lois Tilton
Posted on Friday, September 30, 2005 - 11:56 am:   

"Somebody ought to do an essay on the Greco-Roman element in fantasy and science fiction."


Whobody?

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James M. Pfundstein
Posted on Friday, September 30, 2005 - 09:02 pm:   

John Thiel wrote: Somebody ought to do an essay on the Greco-Roman element in fantasy and science fiction.

This could even be a booklength project, if the whobody cast his/her net wide enough. It might be pretty interesting, too-- as long as it didn't degenerate into a mere catalogue of examples.

The reverse is also true: someone should look at sf/f elements in Greco-Latin literature. Although I saw a press release (yes, really) that someone was doing research along these lines at the University of Liverpool.

JMP
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John Thiel
Posted on Saturday, October 01, 2005 - 07:54 am:   

Well, somebody who recognizes it exists is a good start.
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Jill Elaine Hughes
Posted on Sunday, October 09, 2005 - 01:11 pm:   

TWO HEARTS is one of the best stories I've ever read in F&SF. Also enjoyed THE CALORIE MAN. Keep up the great work, Gordon & co.
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 08:19 am:   

A sort of review:

http://notesfromcoodestreet.blogspot.com/2005/10/end-of-year-part-1.html

Jonathan sez:

"Were I forced to pick, I'd suggest that the best anthology of 2005 was actually a magazine. With outstanding stories by Paolo Bacigalupi, Peter S. Beagle, Esther M. Friesner, Elizabeth Hand, and Jeffrey Ford (amongst others), the October/November issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction was the best anniversary issue in some years, and as good a gathering of stories as were published anywhere during 2005."
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SL PEN
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 05:59 am:   

If anybody is unaware, Jeff's story 'Boatman's Holiday' originally appears in Book of Voices: a short story anthology for Sierra Leone PEN.

If anyone is interested in buying a copy, you can order it directly from the publisher, Flame Books:

www.flamebooks.com

This is the table of contents for the collection:

Foreword, Caryl Phillips
Introduction, Mike Butscher

The Psalm of the Second Body, Catherynne M Valente
The Soul Surgeons, Gregory Norminton
Electric Fence, Gary Quinn
Polenta, Marc Paoletti
Dasi, Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
Shining the Light, Neil Grimmett
Sally Moore, Yolande Sorores
Home, Moshe Benarroch
Beyond Each Blue Horizon, Andrew Hook
The Universal Age of Deceit, Patrick Neate
No Story At All, Scott Kelly
Boatman’s Holiday, Jeffrey Ford
On the Road to Godiva, Brian James
The Flame, Tanith Lee

A portion of profits from the book go directly to the Sierra Leonean PEN centre. An interview with Mike Butscher, the executive secretary of SL PEN has just been posted online, here:

www.laurahird.com

There are also several reviews of the Book of Voices online, including the latest on Inifinity Plus and Reverb:

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/bookofvoices.htm

http://www.nightshadebooks.com/discus/messages/6/4717.html?1127894553

Gordon is kindly running an advert for Book of Voices in the recent issue of F&SF.
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Liz
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 11:31 am:   

This was an amazing issue. Usually there's one or two stories that don't grab me, but everything here was beautiful.
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 05:27 pm:   

Great issue. There really wasn't a story that I didn't like, but some which I didn't like as much as the rest.

"The Calorie Man" is the best near future dystopia to come out of the mag this year, and perhaps the best of the year. I agree with whoever said that the setting was what really stood out and came alive.

"Help Wonted" is the best Guth Bandar story yet.

Some of my favourites are the Wolfe and Ford stories.

Love this sentence from the first paragraph of "The Gunners Mate": Dark, and black hair with waves in it, hair like the sea on a quiet night when the moon is hid, as an example. It's not like the story has the most original premise, but Gene does it so well.

Of the Greek myth themed stories, it's mixed for me. I liked "The Boatman's Holiday" the best and I'm clearly not alone there.

I also liked Friesner's "Helen Remembers the Stork Club". I found it entertaining and witty, and I think it has something to say about beauty and ageing.

"Echo" by Elizabeth Hand, I didn't like as much as the others. There's nice writing in there, but it didn't really engage me, and I didn't feel it offered up much of anything new, to the Echo myth table. It may be partly the mood I was in, when I read it...

The short shorts were all enjoyable, but clearly not the standouts.

Steven Utley's "Silv'ry Moon" I rather enjoyed. Up there with, "Calorie Man" as the better science fiction story. The idea involved is interesting and the different characters were well done. The story flowed nicely and ended well, I thought, but I guess it does leave you curious as to how the experiment could pan out.

Then there's "Two Hearts", which was of course, a sweet fantasy tale. I think it would hold more sentimental appeal for those who remember reading the novel in the late sixties, but I still enjoyed it, even though after a point you know exactly where it was going.

With my sub renewal, I'm looking forward to the next couple years. Let's see if Gordon can top this year's double, next year...:-)




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