F&SF: FEBRUARY 2007
Another writer impressed me with their debut story, this time in F&SF. S.L. Gilbow's "Red Card" is a look at a future where random citizens are issued red cards that allow them to kill someone without any punishment from the law. The card is good for one kill; the town in the story has 4 cards out in the population at one time. It's a cool idea and it's well done. I'd like to see another Gilbow story in the near future.
The issue also featured the last story by John Morressy, "Fool." It's sad to think we won't get any more Morressy tales; while I loved his Kedrigern stories, I also liked his one-off fantasies like this story. It's the story of an ugly child who grows up to be a Fool for royalty but it so much more.
There were also good stories from Alexander Jablokov ("Brain Raid," about a squad of AI hunters trying to make money) and William Browning Spencer ("Stone and the Librarian," an odd tale about a delusional man who grows tired of literature that has no adventure). Matthew Hughes turned in the first part of his two-part, "The Helper and His Hero," which shows events from his novel Black Brillion from Guth Bandar's point of view. Having read that novel, this story is not as compelling as his original tales but is definitely worth reading. Add a short "Plumage From Pegasus" by Paul Di Filippo and you've got another solid issue.