Hot Best Seller

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction September/October 2015

Availability: Ready to download

CONTENT: Novella "The Lord of Ragnarok" by Albert E. Cowdrey Novelets "We’re So Very Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss" by Nick Wolven "Monsieur" by David Gerrold "The Adventure of the Clockwork Men" by Ron Goulart "Rascal Saturday" by Richard Bowes Short Stories "The Stamps Viewed Under Water" by Marissa Lingen "A Hot Day’s Night" by Paolo Bacigalupi "A House of Her Own" by Bo Balde CONTENT: Novella "The Lord of Ragnarok" by Albert E. Cowdrey Novelets "We’re So Very Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss" by Nick Wolven "Monsieur" by David Gerrold "The Adventure of the Clockwork Men" by Ron Goulart "Rascal Saturday" by Richard Bowes Short Stories "The Stamps Viewed Under Water" by Marissa Lingen "A Hot Day’s Night" by Paolo Bacigalupi "A House of Her Own" by Bo Balder "Don’t Move" by Dennis Etchison "The Bone War" by Elizabeth Bear


Compare

CONTENT: Novella "The Lord of Ragnarok" by Albert E. Cowdrey Novelets "We’re So Very Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss" by Nick Wolven "Monsieur" by David Gerrold "The Adventure of the Clockwork Men" by Ron Goulart "Rascal Saturday" by Richard Bowes Short Stories "The Stamps Viewed Under Water" by Marissa Lingen "A Hot Day’s Night" by Paolo Bacigalupi "A House of Her Own" by Bo Balde CONTENT: Novella "The Lord of Ragnarok" by Albert E. Cowdrey Novelets "We’re So Very Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss" by Nick Wolven "Monsieur" by David Gerrold "The Adventure of the Clockwork Men" by Ron Goulart "Rascal Saturday" by Richard Bowes Short Stories "The Stamps Viewed Under Water" by Marissa Lingen "A Hot Day’s Night" by Paolo Bacigalupi "A House of Her Own" by Bo Balder "Don’t Move" by Dennis Etchison "The Bone War" by Elizabeth Bear

30 review for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction September/October 2015

  1. 4 out of 5

    G33z3r

    Albert E. Cowdrey's "The Lord of Ragnarok" is an occasionally brutal medieval fantasy of flexible loyalties and ambition. Smoothly written, pulls you into the story. ***1/2* "The Bone War" reprises Elizabeth Bear's Bijou the Artificer from Bone and Jewel Creatures, but dealing with matters of much less important. Bijou is commissioned to assemble and animate the newly-excavated skeleton of a dinosaur for a museum. A fun diversion into academic disputes ***1/2*. "We’re So Very Sorry for Your Recent Albert E. Cowdrey's "The Lord of Ragnarok" is an occasionally brutal medieval fantasy of flexible loyalties and ambition. Smoothly written, pulls you into the story. ***1/2* "The Bone War" reprises Elizabeth Bear's Bijou the Artificer from Bone and Jewel Creatures, but dealing with matters of much less important. Bijou is commissioned to assemble and animate the newly-excavated skeleton of a dinosaur for a museum. A fun diversion into academic disputes ***1/2*. "We’re So Very Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss" by Nick Wolven is a modern story of the Internet of things and expert system assistance running amok. Meg's appliances all think she's sad, and that's depressing. And amusing. Everyone's connected, and nobody's communicating. *** Ron Goulart's "The Adventure of the Clockwork Men" reprises his gaslight fantasy detective Harry Challenge in London on a murder/kidnapping case. Lightweight mystery procedural with very little fantasy, but very readable. *** "The Stamps Viewed Under Water" by Marissa Lingen seemed like an engaging alternate world fantasy, with two sisters, one a young sorceress, trying to quarantine themselves through a plague. An interesting story. *** Paolo Bacigalupi's "A Hot Day’s Night" is set in a post-global warming Phoenix (much like his recent The Water Knife), were scavengers are collecting (looting) solar panels from abandoned neighborhoods. Solid characters, but more message than substance. *** In Bo Balder's "A House of Her Own", women are living in symbiosis with "houses", which are living creatures that double as dwellings and caretakers. And then some astronauts arrived to liberate them... Or so they think. Definitely an odd SF setting. *** Dennis Etchison's "Don’t Move" is a sort of surreal tale beginning with a bus stop in a small town, a mysterious young woman, and the confused young man who seems to be on the run. Turns out, (view spoiler)[ it's a ghost story (hide spoiler)] . I found Richard Bowes's "Rascal Saturday" unreadable. Beginning with a visit to an art gallery and a pile of bullshit exposition about schools of art and artists, the distinction between the Illustrationists and the Hudson River School, Cardno's 1848 oil paintings and Nathaniel Hawthorne. I gave up after 10 pages. I guess this must be how liberal arts majors feel when forced to read hard SF by Kim Stanley Robinson or Greg Egan; They don't want to learn physics, and I don't want to learn art history. * Gerrold's "Monsieur" is actually some sample chapters from his upcoming novel, Jacob.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (Kalanadi)

    Really enjoyed most of the shorts like "The Bone War" by Elizabeth Bear and "Ten Stamps Viewed Under Water" by Marissa Lingen. "A Hot Day's Night" by Paolo Bacigalupi was good, better because I remember the story reference from The Water Knife.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Frankie

    It's rare that I love every story in an issue, but I have to give this issue more than just 3 stars as the standouts for me went above and beyond. I expected to love Albert Cowdrey's "The Lord of Ragnarok," and did, but was also introduced to Nick Wolven ("We're so very sorry for your recent tragic loss"), and Bo Balder in her first professional English short fiction ("A House of Her Own"). Well, I'd say more that I was blown away by the last one, and hope she publishes some more in English or I It's rare that I love every story in an issue, but I have to give this issue more than just 3 stars as the standouts for me went above and beyond. I expected to love Albert Cowdrey's "The Lord of Ragnarok," and did, but was also introduced to Nick Wolven ("We're so very sorry for your recent tragic loss"), and Bo Balder in her first professional English short fiction ("A House of Her Own"). Well, I'd say more that I was blown away by the last one, and hope she publishes some more in English or I'd better learn Dutch. Marissa Lingen's "Ten Stamps Viewed Under Water" also has me wanting to look for more works by her and wondering how I've managed to miss her before this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    George Heintzelman

    Mostly good. Particularly enjoyed Nick Wolven's "We're so Very Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss", "A House of Her Own", by Bo Balder, and Alfred E. Cowdrey's novella "Lord of Ragnarok". I felt like there was something deep I missed In Richard Bowes "Rascal Saturday", but not being able to see past the surface meant I didn't really enjoy it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Lubell

    This was the issue discussed at Capclave in front of the publisher Gordon Van Gelder. I said I thought it an above average issue with no stories I strongly disliked. "We're So Very Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss" by Nick Wolven was an interesting gimmick story. In the near future everything is wired and interconnected. Some technological fluke (explained in the story) has everyone thinking something tragic keeps happening to Meg and Meg can't figure out why everyone keeps getting messages that This was the issue discussed at Capclave in front of the publisher Gordon Van Gelder. I said I thought it an above average issue with no stories I strongly disliked. "We're So Very Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss" by Nick Wolven was an interesting gimmick story. In the near future everything is wired and interconnected. Some technological fluke (explained in the story) has everyone thinking something tragic keeps happening to Meg and Meg can't figure out why everyone keeps getting messages that she's had a tragic loss. It's an emotional story, even though Meg is really the only character. "Ten Stamps Viewed Under Water" has a stamp collector in a magical plague world. Like many stories in this issue, there's a high level of ambiguity as the narrator's sister may have gone crazy or may not. "A Hot Day's Night" by Paolo Bacigalupi is another post-disaster story (this time drought) as a journalist wrestles with her objectivity when a junk thief challenges her to help. It's a good story but I expect more from Bacigalupi. "The Lord of Ragnarok" by Albert E. Cowdrey. This novella essentially is a stripped down novel as Richard goes from peasant to soldier, to traitor, to knight, to being betrayed, and finally lord. It is an interesting character study. My favorite in the issue. "A House of Her Own" by BBo Balder. On a planet where humans have been long isolated from Earth, they have formed their own culture in symbiosis with alien houses. When Earthmen return, they are horrified and the planet people strike back. This is a rare example of anthropological science fiction. This is my second favorite. Don't Move by Dennis Etchison is another ambiguous story. It seems to be set in a police state where those captured by the secret police have their possessions given away. But another person in my discussion group made a good case for this really being about death. Monsieur by David Gerrold. This is an excellent story about writers in a workshop with one either telling his life story about being a vampire or telling the listener how to write a convincing vampire story. The Bone War by Elizabeth Bear was a bit disappointing. It was a good story about reconstructing a dinosaur from bones using magic and dealing with scholarly disputes by experts. But it would have worked just as well without the magic. The Adventure of the Clockwork Men by Ron Goulart. This was a Victorian mystery solved with the help of an illusionist who gets visions. This was a fun adventure with a heroine who does more than just wait for a hero to rescue her. Rascal Saturday by Richard Bowes. This was an interesting story of a family who can jump to a parallel world and how the younger generation disrupts the system by participating in a revolution. It reminded me of Charlie Stross' Merchant Princes series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    John Loyd

    8 • We're So Very Sorry For Your Recent Tragic Loss • 28 pages by Nick Wolven Good/Fair. A variation on the computer glitch ruining your life. Megan is overwhelmed by sympathy for her non existent but tragic loss. 36 • Ten Stamps Viewed Under Water • 12 pages by Marissa Lingen OK/Good. A deadly plague has taken over the world and there is little or no interaction. A pair of sisters live alone, once in a while talking to the neighbors over the fence. One is a magician and longs to help, but being 8 • We're So Very Sorry For Your Recent Tragic Loss • 28 pages by Nick Wolven Good/Fair. A variation on the computer glitch ruining your life. Megan is overwhelmed by sympathy for her non existent but tragic loss. 36 • Ten Stamps Viewed Under Water • 12 pages by Marissa Lingen OK/Good. A deadly plague has taken over the world and there is little or no interaction. A pair of sisters live alone, once in a while talking to the neighbors over the fence. One is a magician and longs to help, but being only an apprentice she wasn't asked so has gone into stamp collecting to pass the time. 48 • A Hot Day's Night • 9 pages by Paolo Bacigalupi OK/good. A journalist accompanies a scavenger/thief in a Phoenix even hotter presumably because of global warming. 78 • The Lord of Ragnarok • 42 pages by Albert E. Cowdrey Very Good. In feudalistic times Richard was born a poor serf, was drafted into the Matilda's service, was captured during an invasion, but ended up being a hero and was promoted to knight. It took until the last page or two to catch up to the opening scene. 120 • A House of Her Own • 14 pages by Bo Balder Good. A lost human colony has a symbiotic relationship with their hice. A party of humans arrives on the planet and sees aliens. 134 • Don't Move • 13 pages by Dennis Etchison Good/OK. A man gets off a bus and individuals start warning him about stuff. TZ-ish. 147 • Monsieur • 37 pages by David Gerrold Good/VG. Murray is part of a writers' workshop. A new guy stays late. Jacob and Murray start discussing vampires. After Murray makes his case about how vampires could be integrated into society, Jacob tells the story of his childhood. 189 • The Bone War • 15 pages by Elizabeth Bear Good/VG. Wizard Bijou is commissioned by the University to animate some dinosaur bones. Two paleontologists are giving her 'helpful' but contradictory advice. 204 • The Adventure of the Clockwork Men • 26 pages by Ron Goulart OK. Private investigator Harry Challenge wants to find the murderer of his client and rescue his kidnapped girlfriend, and foil whatever Doctor Grimshaw is planning with the clockwork men. 230 • Rascal Saturday • 26 pages by Richard Bowes Poor/Fair. Our world is getting harsher. The cities are decaying, fertile lands becoming desert. On the other hand there have been technological advances. Sandy whose family died in a natural disaster is alive do to medical advances. Jasina Dineen's grandfather discovered a new world and became wealthy in ours and godlike in the other. I found it hard to follow. Present versus flashbacks. Whether the two worlds Jasina spoke of were this one and an alternate or this one and the rich world. It was the former, but I didn't know that until chapter four.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Beaudette

    I'm not a big science fiction or fantasy buff but I've been hungry for good short stories, and two in this issue blew me away. 1. Bo Balder's "A House of Her Own," 4,800 words: set on a different planet with an incredibly original human/alien symbiosis, feminist slant, expert child's P.O.V, not awkward, written spunkily. Spellbinding. It's so hard to build a world in 4,800 words. To do it effortlessly, to essentially not build a world at all, but only to tell a pitch perfect story that happens t I'm not a big science fiction or fantasy buff but I've been hungry for good short stories, and two in this issue blew me away. 1. Bo Balder's "A House of Her Own," 4,800 words: set on a different planet with an incredibly original human/alien symbiosis, feminist slant, expert child's P.O.V, not awkward, written spunkily. Spellbinding. It's so hard to build a world in 4,800 words. To do it effortlessly, to essentially not build a world at all, but only to tell a pitch perfect story that happens to take place on an alien planet you can easily picture, is masterful. I'd be the first to buy a book set in this world. 2. Nick Wolven's "We're So Very Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss" ~10k words. What happens when a glitch causes one of your social channels to think someone close to you has died, and then the glitch propagates to every other channel, and all your friends and family start getting notifications that you've just suffered a tragic loss, and the internet of things keeps offering depressing pseudo-empathy? Hilarity and prescient social commentary, that's what happens. "On the walk to the bus, store displays and ads and hawkers all fall somber as Meg goes by. The mannequins in department store windows drop their sexy poses and hang their heads. The sidewalk tiles flash ads for insta-therapy, funeral services, chocolate laced with metaqualone 'for when you just need to forget.' A promotional drone shaped like a Basset hound comes waddling out of an alley with a box of sample facial tissues hanging around its neck, slobbering, 'Need a good cry, Megal DeWal? When I get dow-wow-sown, I do my boo-hoo-holing with a Wintex tissue!'" 3. The short "Hot Day's Night" (2700 words) was a nice dry sliver of a look at the possible future of drought in the Southwest, with a very memorable character in the form of a solar panel pirate. The rest of the stories were hard for me to get through this time. I'm not a die hard fantasy fan--when I thought the world-building was awkward, the premise unoriginal, or the action unforthcoming, I skipped it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Esther

    Good edition. Lots of stories that I enjoyed to varying extents and very few that didn't work for me at all. Perfect for me "A House of Her Own" by Bo Balder - Gorgeous story of a child growing up in a future colony in a life interwoven with aliens and what happens when this world gets interrupted by humans from the originating planet. Enjoyable, worked for me (*) "The Lord of Ragnarök" by Albert E. Cowdrey [novella] - A story set in medieval times with islands, ladies, revenge, forsworn earths and Good edition. Lots of stories that I enjoyed to varying extents and very few that didn't work for me at all. Perfect for me "A House of Her Own" by Bo Balder - Gorgeous story of a child growing up in a future colony in a life interwoven with aliens and what happens when this world gets interrupted by humans from the originating planet. Enjoyable, worked for me (*) "The Lord of Ragnarök" by Albert E. Cowdrey [novella] - A story set in medieval times with islands, ladies, revenge, forsworn earths and mysterious beasties. "We're So Very Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss" by Nick Wolven [novelet] - In a more automated world, and a world where we're more dependent on that automation, the strangest of errors can occur. "Monsieur" by David Gerrold [novelet] - A creepier take on vampires (and writer's groups). (*) "Ten Stamps Viewed Under Water" by Marissa Lingen - Two sisters in a world struck by plague. Loved the structure and I'm always drawn to sister-stories. "A Hot Day's Night" by Paolo Bacigalupi - A fun, quick piece about a journalist chasing an unusual story with water running out. (*)"Bijou the Artificer" by Elizabeth Bear - Delightful tale about magic, art, academics and discovery. Fine, but didn't resonate "The Adventure of the Clockwork Men" by Ron Goulart [novelet] - I think I've enjoyed other episodes in the Harry Challenge stories more. This one just held no mystery or suspense for me. "Rascal Saturday" by Richard Bowes [novelet] - A story of entrances to other worlds when ours is dying. This had some interesting aspects but didn't quite come together for me. Not my cup of tea "Don't Move" by Dennis Etchison - This sailed right over my head.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Milloy

    Short, mostly personal notes. Maybe more in-depth reviews in the future. So far, generally high quality. We're so very sorry... - Really enjoyed this one, a lot of fun, light and thought provoking at the same time. Ten stamps viewed under water - Never really pulled me in. Hot Day's Night - Enjoyable, great pacing. Lord of Ragnarok - n/r House of Her Own - Really enjoyed this one, too. It was compelling, even though it felt a bit unfinished. Don't Move - A bit dizzying? In a good way. Monsieur - I agree Short, mostly personal notes. Maybe more in-depth reviews in the future. So far, generally high quality. We're so very sorry... - Really enjoyed this one, a lot of fun, light and thought provoking at the same time. Ten stamps viewed under water - Never really pulled me in. Hot Day's Night - Enjoyable, great pacing. Lord of Ragnarok - n/r House of Her Own - Really enjoyed this one, too. It was compelling, even though it felt a bit unfinished. Don't Move - A bit dizzying? In a good way. Monsieur - I agree; that's how to tell it. Surprised to love this one. Would read a full length. The Bone War - n/r Adventure of the Clockwork Men - n/r Rascal Saturday - n/r

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    My favorite stories were "Ten Stamps Viewed Under Water" by Marissa Lingen, "A Hot Day's Night" by Paolo Bacigalupi, "A House of Her Own" by Bo Balder, and David Gerrold's novel excerpt, "Monsieur."

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Hurley

    Some good stories in there and only one, "Rascal Saturday," that I found lacking quality.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meran

    3.5 stars. Review later.

  13. 4 out of 5

    John Briggs

    If you liked The Water Knife, you'll enjoy this short story prequel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kron

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael Frasca

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steve Austin

  17. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl Proc

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brian Stein

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adriene

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  23. 4 out of 5

    Scott Klobas

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mord

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eco Imp

  27. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  28. 5 out of 5

    An-chan

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ray

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adam Lackie

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.