Thursday, August 16, 2007

F&SF JULY 2007

Only 5 stories this time around because almost half of the issue is taken up with a Lucius Shepard novella, "Stars Seen Through Stone." It's about people in the town of Black William, PA, many of whom seem to gain in intelligence after an unexplained event takes place. We see all these events through the eyes of Vernon, a music producer. He brings a talented (and worthless) musician to live with him and the story plays out during the course of their interaction. You know, I'm not explaining it very well. It's about how people interact with each other and the ties between creativity and what kind of person someone is. It's about love. Really, it's a Lucius Shepard story and that's all you need to know in the end. He's one of the best writers we have, genre or no genre.

The other stories in the issue all have their pleasures as well. My favorite of those is "Car 17" by P.E. Cunningham, in which we hear the tale of a sentient police car and a feral car that terrorizes a town. Ray Vukcevich is back after a long absence with "Cold Comfort," which is an odd and chilling tale about machines and/or humans interacting by passing the Turing Test. Lawrence C. Connolly has a classic SF tale of observers of an alien species ending up getting directly involved in "Daughters of Prime" and M.K. Hobson's "PowerSuit" is the tale of how personal AIgents make the business world of the future into something different and the same all at once.

On top of all that, we get a Lucius Shepard film column and the usual book columns (Charles DeLint and Elizabeth Hand, who covers that final book of John Crowley's Aegypt series and gives the good news that the books will be reprinted starting in the near future. Since I only ever read the second book in the series - without knowing it was a series - this is good news). And that all means another good issue of F&SF.

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