Friday, December 28, 2007

F&SF DEC. 2007

The highlight of the Dec. 2007 issue of F&SF is definitely M. Rickert's "Don't Ask." No surprise there, as Rickert is one of the best writers working today. This story is about a town that had boys stolen by wolves years ago and what happens after their return. It's creepy and sad and wise, plus it's told in the third person. One of the best stories I've read all year.

That's not to say there weren't other worthy stories in this issue. No, no. I was particularly taken with the cover story, "Finisterra" by David Moles. Its narrative is told within the framework of a truly alien world that is all air (it's called Sky) and it's landmasses are islands that float through the sky. Highly original. David Marusek's "Osama Phone Home" tells the tale of capable people who decided to do something about tracking down Osama bin Laden through the use of crazy technology...and how it ultimately backfires on them. And "Stray" by Benjamin Rosenbaum and David Ackert is about an immortal who falls in love with a black woman and has to learn to give up his ways.

"Who Brought Tulips to the Moon?" by S.L. Gilbow had its moments and some interesting ideas but it stayed on the surface of things and didn't quite earn the surprise ending. Frederic S. Durbin's "The Bone Man" had some nice atmosphere and writing about an amoral man learning about a local legend but I didn't care for the ending so much either.

Books columns, Lucius Shepard on films, and some Plumage From Pegasus by Paul Di Filippo round out the issue. Overall, another solid issue with the Rickert leading the way.

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