Sunday, February 03, 2008

F&SF JAN. 2008

I had planned on finished the Jan. 2008 issue of F&SF before January ended but I missed it by a couple of days. Oh well. Life before stories, right? Well, at least some of the time.

The issues open with "The Twilight Year" by Sean McMullen. It examines how legends are born by telling the tale of a bard who creates Arturian as a way to try and throw off Roman rule. It's a good story and you find yourself wishing for things to be true that aren't necessarily...but that's still okay.

Next up is a time travel tale from a different point of view, that of a janitor who has seen many attempts at changing history come and go without success. He has his own theories as to how those changes could be made and he gets his chance. He's also a movie buff, which provides some substance. It's title? "It's a Wonderful Life," of course, courtesy of Michaela Roessner.

Have you ever thought that the fictional worlds created by Jane Austen and Mary Shelley should collide? I haven't but even so, I greatly enjoyed John Kessel's "Pride and Prometheus." One of the Bennet girls meets Victor Frankenstein, which leads to romance and tragedy and a highly entertaining story.

After a minor "Plumage From Pegasus" by Paul Di Filippo, we get a rather interesting story by Ruth Nestvold. "Mars: A Traveler's Guide" consists of information and responses from a computer system on Mars. As those responses unfold, you realize just what is going on. It's very clever and doesn't go on too long either.

One man's search for unknown creatures is the center of "The Quest for Creeping Charlie" by James Powell. It's a short piece that ends in a pleasantly unexpected way (well, pleasantly for the reader, at least).

Finally, Alex Irvine brings the goods once again with "Mystery Hill," a story about tourist attractions, aliens, alternate dimensions, and an odd group of characters. I think Irvine doesn't get enough recognition for his work in the shorter forms.

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