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The Magazine of Fantasy & Science fiction May/June 2022 (Vol 142, No 5 & 6)

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Fiction 10 • The Voice of a Thousand Years • 14 pages by Fawaz Al-Matrouk 24 • Cold Trade • 13 pages by Aliya Whiteley 37 • Give Me English • 12 pages by Ai Jiang 49 • The Canopy • 24 pages by Norman Spinrad 73 • Green Street... • 11 pages by S. R. Mandel 84 • Breathless in the Green • 7 pages by Octavia Cade 110 • Ninety-Five Percent of the Ocean • 3 pages by Jennifer Hudak 113 • Fiction 10 • The Voice of a Thousand Years • 14 pages by Fawaz Al-Matrouk 24 • Cold Trade • 13 pages by Aliya Whiteley 37 • Give Me English • 12 pages by Ai Jiang 49 • The Canopy • 24 pages by Norman Spinrad 73 • Green Street... • 11 pages by S. R. Mandel 84 • Breathless in the Green • 7 pages by Octavia Cade 110 • Ninety-Five Percent of the Ocean • 3 pages by Jennifer Hudak 113 • The Hunger • 10 pages by James Enge 123 • The Mechanic • 12 pages by Julie Le Blanc 135 • Modern Cassandra • 2 pages by Julia August 137 • An Ill-Fated Girl Happens to Meet and Ill-Fated Man • 6 pages by P. H. Lee 143 • Nightmares Come From Stolen Dreams • 16 pages by Taemumu Richardson 162 • The Angel's Call • 12 pages by Jae Steinbacher 174 • Mother, Mother • 13 pages by Shreya Ila Anasuya 187 • L'enfant Terrible • 13 pages by Mark H. Huston 200 • The Big Many • 39 pages by Albert E. Cowdrey 254 • The True Meaning of Father's Day • 4 pages by John Wiswell


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Fiction 10 • The Voice of a Thousand Years • 14 pages by Fawaz Al-Matrouk 24 • Cold Trade • 13 pages by Aliya Whiteley 37 • Give Me English • 12 pages by Ai Jiang 49 • The Canopy • 24 pages by Norman Spinrad 73 • Green Street... • 11 pages by S. R. Mandel 84 • Breathless in the Green • 7 pages by Octavia Cade 110 • Ninety-Five Percent of the Ocean • 3 pages by Jennifer Hudak 113 • Fiction 10 • The Voice of a Thousand Years • 14 pages by Fawaz Al-Matrouk 24 • Cold Trade • 13 pages by Aliya Whiteley 37 • Give Me English • 12 pages by Ai Jiang 49 • The Canopy • 24 pages by Norman Spinrad 73 • Green Street... • 11 pages by S. R. Mandel 84 • Breathless in the Green • 7 pages by Octavia Cade 110 • Ninety-Five Percent of the Ocean • 3 pages by Jennifer Hudak 113 • The Hunger • 10 pages by James Enge 123 • The Mechanic • 12 pages by Julie Le Blanc 135 • Modern Cassandra • 2 pages by Julia August 137 • An Ill-Fated Girl Happens to Meet and Ill-Fated Man • 6 pages by P. H. Lee 143 • Nightmares Come From Stolen Dreams • 16 pages by Taemumu Richardson 162 • The Angel's Call • 12 pages by Jae Steinbacher 174 • Mother, Mother • 13 pages by Shreya Ila Anasuya 187 • L'enfant Terrible • 13 pages by Mark H. Huston 200 • The Big Many • 39 pages by Albert E. Cowdrey 254 • The True Meaning of Father's Day • 4 pages by John Wiswell

36 review for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science fiction May/June 2022 (Vol 142, No 5 & 6)

  1. 4 out of 5

    John Loyd

    10 • The Voice of a Thousand Years • 13 pages by Fawaz Al-Matrouk Good/VG. A shopkeeper hears a voice. It's from an instrument. David was once part of a tree before it was shaped into a qanan. David wants to move, ibn Hashem makes every attempt he can to make an automaton. 24 • Cold Trade • 13 pages by Aliya Whiteley Fair. Filli, Zeal and Tav are trying to find something to trade with the inhabitants of an as yet unnamed planet. The giants they find at great depths seem to ignore their presence. 10 • The Voice of a Thousand Years • 13 pages by Fawaz Al-Matrouk Good/VG. A shopkeeper hears a voice. It's from an instrument. David was once part of a tree before it was shaped into a qanan. David wants to move, ibn Hashem makes every attempt he can to make an automaton. 24 • Cold Trade • 13 pages by Aliya Whiteley Fair. Filli, Zeal and Tav are trying to find something to trade with the inhabitants of an as yet unnamed planet. The giants they find at great depths seem to ignore their presence. To me the mission seems pointless. 37 • Give Me English • 12 pages by Ai Jiang Good/OK. The currency in this world is language. When you spend a word it’s no longer in your langbase. You won’t be able speak, write, or understand it. Gillian is losing ground. Not sure how this could be implemented, but nice characters. 49 • The Canopy • 24 pages by Norman Spinrad Good/OK. The elevator at the Royal Roost is out of order. Christine is stuck in the lobby until it's fixed. Or walk up to the 59th floor. The lobby is getting too full so she goes outside. They see a cop, he can't do anything as a cop, but offers to lead six people to the roof of his building and on over to the Roost. It's not easy, they have to go through multiple crossings and their could be gangs. Inventive, but it does make me wonder what the Canos do in the winter and I wonder about the Royal Roost, just one elevator? 73 • Green Street... • 11 pages by S. R. Mandel OK/Good. Mapmakers try to find Green Street, which isn't in some set physical location. The people that have gotten there have felt trapped and needed open space. 84 • Breathless in the Green • 7 pages by Octavia Cade OK. Ginny likes to drown children who get close to her pond, but would dislike the attention it would draw. She tells the child to go away, but she doesn't. Instead they start having a conversation. The child telling Ginny that yes some people need drowning, in her case it's the people who are causing havoc to the environment. 110 • Ninety-Five Percent of the Ocean • 3 pages by Jennifer Hudak Fair. Narrator meets a being in the ocean who looks like her. The aquatic girl says she is her. 113 • The Hunger • 10 pages by James Enge Good. Tilsyni runs away, even the probability of death in skeleton park is better than living out her life as a slave. 123 • The Mechanic • 12 pages by Julie Le Blanc Good/OK. Bell needs to trade for parts, but pirates rob her on the way to the shop. Even with a hopeful ending the setting is so bleak it just feels like staving off the inevitable. 135 • Modern Cassandra • 2 pages by Julia August Meh. Had to Google Cassandra, she was given the gift of prophecy, but was also cursed by the god Apollo so that her true prophecies would not be believed. Even if I'd known that going in, meh. 137 • An Ill-Fated Girl Happens to Meet and Ill-Fated Man • 6 pages by P. H. Lee Good. A romance that never was causes grief not just for the two would be lovers but the entire kingdom. 143 • Nightmares Come From Stolen Dreams • 16 pages by Taemumu Richardson Fair. A snake charmer and Snake are kidnapped from a fair where they were doing their act. The nabbers want something the Snake produces. Limbed Serpent is bonded with her Snake, some unearthly creature. She wants to be free, but when attacked wants nothing to happen to Snake. 162 • The Angel's Call • 12 pages by Jae Steinbacher OK/Good. Bron and Kayla are hiking away from the city. People have been turning into angels and the transformation has started in Bron. When they are stopped by a person with a rifle they don't know what to expect. 174 • Mother, Mother • 13 pages by Shreya Ila Anasuya Fair/Poor. Sabah's mother dies. The first page has her dealing with it well, but then she isn't? She dreams of a mother of all creatures. She gets comfort from the Lady. Her aunt, who never approved of her sister's marriage, comes to visit. It took me three quarters of the story to figure out the point of view was switching between Sabah and the Lady. There is a section with Dukhe and Champa and I have no idea how they are related to anyone else. The story lost me. 187 • L'enfant Terrible • 13 pages by Mark H. Huston Good+. A creature from another dimension is in our world. It fell through a hole created by a wizard’s apprentice. Told from the perspective of the beast. 200 • The Big Many • 39 pages by Albert E. Cowdrey Good. When disaster strikes it's not just one thing it's several. Like when the little ice age, hundred years war, and plague all came at the same time. It's happening again, and this is how one family is coping with them. 254 • The True Meaning of Father's Day • 3 pages by John Wiswell OK+. Four time travelers one-up each other for paying the check at the restaurant.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kam Yung Soh

    An average issue, with lots of shorter pieces of fiction and only a few longer ones. The stories that I found more interesting are those by Fawaz Al-Matrouk, Ai Jiang, Julie Le Blanc, Taemumu Richardson, Shreya Ila Anasuya and John Wiswell. - "The Voice of a Thousand Years" by Fawaz Al-Matrouk: an interesting story of an old man who discovers a voice coming from a musical instrument in his workshop that turns out to be a 'spirit' that desires to see the world. The old man tries to fulfill it by c An average issue, with lots of shorter pieces of fiction and only a few longer ones. The stories that I found more interesting are those by Fawaz Al-Matrouk, Ai Jiang, Julie Le Blanc, Taemumu Richardson, Shreya Ila Anasuya and John Wiswell. - "The Voice of a Thousand Years" by Fawaz Al-Matrouk: an interesting story of an old man who discovers a voice coming from a musical instrument in his workshop that turns out to be a 'spirit' that desires to see the world. The old man tries to fulfill it by creating automations for the spirit to inhabit, but fails each time. Until he, and the spirit, decides to make one final attempt that may yet be their final act. - "Cold Trade" by Aliya Whiteley: traders from space travel under the ocean of a world to try to trade with large, deep ocean dwellers who only appear interested in moving around a large formation on the bottom. The traders are desperate to make a trade to save their reputation (the result of a disaster from their previous trade). But the resulting trade option would be born out of desperation and the strained relationship between the traders themselves. - "Give Me English" by Ai Jiang: an interesting story of a world where words in various languages is currency, and you lose the ability to hear or speak the word once you've sold it away. In this world, a girl in the US from China is trying to make a living in a world where words are hoarded or flaunted by the rich, and the poorest are silent. - "The Canopy" by Norman Spinrad: after the elevator breaks down in a high rise apartment, one person goes on a rooftop adventure to get to her apartment, in a city where the homeless have to occupy the rooftops. The journey would lead to a new way of viewing the people who live there. - "Green Street: Or A Recapitulation in Reverse. A Report From the Map Cell of Turret 15, Compiled By S. R. Mandel, Chief Cartographer. Excerpted from The Knowledge Project: An A-to-Zed is that City We Adjust Know" by S. R. Mandel: a story about a report of people who unexpectedly find themselves in a street full of greenery, and a department head that despairs when his department (tasked with documenting and finding the street) is shut down. But the head still has hopes of finding it. - "Breathless in the Green" by Octavia Cade: a being who inhabits a lake and drowns children over the ages sees the latest victim. But the girl would prove to have a different opinion about being drowned, and go on to challenge it to change is ways about what kind of people to drown. - "Ninety-Five Percent of the Ocean" by Jennifer Hudak: a girl sees her other side, which resides in the ocean. Both would be incomplete until they decide to meet and face the world together. - "The Hunger" by James Enge: a girl has had enough and run off to meet her fate in the Skeleton Garden. But along the way, she meets an unexpected traveller who shows her that even skeletons hunger for more than just life. - "The Mechanic" by Julie Le Blanc: on a dusty world, an old woman goes to town to get spare parts. It would need kindness for her to recover from a robbery and to finally finish the work she has begun in her home on something she loves. - "Modern Cassandra" by Julia August: a funny story short about a girl who meets Apollo and gets prophecies that she emails to those involved. Now, if only we responded to her. - "An Ill-Fated Girl Happens to Meet an Ill-Fated Man" by P. H. Lee: boy meets girl, they fall in love, boy losses girl, and tears fall from heaven in sympathy, to the anguish of an Empire. - "Nightmares Come From Stolen Dreams" by Taemumu Richardson: in a strange future, a 'snake charmer' and her giant many headed snake survive by making customers' dreams seem real. But then a company tries to use them to make its own dream drug, and the nightmares begin. - "The Angel's Call" by Jae Steinbacher: in a future where 'angels' walk the Earth, created by an alien ship, one girl still to transform in an angel struggles with her destiny, while trying to save her lover from a cult group. - "Mother, Mother" by Shreya Ila Anasuya: the story of the anguish a grill feels for the kids is her mother and how a spiritual mother goddess tries to comfort her. But the goddess is also mother to all the creatures of the jungle, and she cannot answer their cries while she comforts the girl, unless the girl decides to release her. - "L'enfant Terrible" by Mark H. Huston: a small creature lost in our world is captured by a wizard. As we learn its origins in the story, the world learn to fear where it came from. - "The Big Many" by Albert E. Cowdrey: as disasters hit the world, all one man can do is to save his daughter before saving the others that could be saved. - "The True Meaning of Father's Day" by John Wiswell: a humorous tale of time travellers meeting up for Father's Day in a restaurant. They try to one up each other with exploits into the past that set up the current gathering, only for one to finally declare why they are all gathered there in the first place.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Frasca

    A superlative issue. I very much enjoy discovering new writers, so this issue was a real treat--two novelettes and 15 short stories, most by up-and-coming authors. Editor Sheree Renée Thomas meticulously arranged the sequence of the stories. It was like a well-crafted setlist with one song segueing into the next; riffs from the upcoming tune subtly intertwined into coda of the present. In her editorial, Thomas mentioned listening to the music of Sun Ra while assembling the issue. This was clearly A superlative issue. I very much enjoy discovering new writers, so this issue was a real treat--two novelettes and 15 short stories, most by up-and-coming authors. Editor Sheree Renée Thomas meticulously arranged the sequence of the stories. It was like a well-crafted setlist with one song segueing into the next; riffs from the upcoming tune subtly intertwined into coda of the present. In her editorial, Thomas mentioned listening to the music of Sun Ra while assembling the issue. This was clearly evident to me! These were my favorite tunes...er...stories: - The Canopy by Norman Spinrad The rent is too damn high! NYC real estate moguls evict the homeless from the streets, so they migrate to high-rise rooftops where they form their own unique econo-ecology. - The Big Many by Albert E. Cowdrey They always come in threes, so all you can do is try to survive the next minute, hour or day. - The Voice of a Thousand Years by Fawaz Al-Matrouk Two old souls in communion—a moving tale about celebrating life, the eternal quest for knowledge, and the struggle against fundamentalism. - Cold Trade by Aliya Whiteley Their starship is in good shape. The traders, not so much. Following a disastrous deal, a once tight group is slowly spinning apart. Will a trade deal with the enigmatic entities save their business AND their relationships? - Give Me English by Ai Jiang Cash, bitcoin, and NFTs have given way to an economy that trades in the very thing that makes us human—the words in our head. And the rich get richer; the poor get poorer. A disturbing dystopia. - Green Street... by S. R. Mandel Feeling down, confused and hopeless? Take a stroll and perhaps an errant gust, some uneven pavement or maybe a broken heel will cause you to stumble…and you’ll find yourself on Green Street, where What You Need is within Walking Distance. - Breathless in the Green by Octavia Cade “Some people just need drowning, don’t you think” An angry child, the fouling of the environment, and a most unique form of duckweed. We've got your back, Greta! - Ninety-Five Percent of the Ocean by Jennifer Hudak … is unknown and dangerous; what you find there will change you. A metaphor for the agony of adolescence. - The Hunger by James Enge East is west and west is east—where is the drinkin’ gourd? A drum circle and dancing skeletons will show you the way, so keep on truckin’. - The Mechanic by Julie Le Blanc It’s no fun growing old, but having someone at your side helps…even for androids! A real treat for fans of the Borderlands video game series. - Modern Cassandra by Julia August Pity the Pythia—instead of Delphi, she does her thing over wires and fiber optics. But even in this modern day, no one listens. - An Ill-Fated Girl Happens to Meet and Ill-Fated Man by P. H. Lee What is the bigger tragedy; that of the two or that of the millions? Impossible love, magic, and inevitability. - Nightmares Come From Stolen Dreams by Taemumu Richardson A strange, intoxicating and captivating dance between the charmer and the charmed. Mango and musk. Dreams and nightmares. - Mother, Mother by Shreya Ila Anasuya A cautionary tale about pouring trying to comfort someone whose need is a bottomless abyss. You need to have something left for others in your world; family and friends. - L’enfant Terrible by Mark H. Huston What if Lovecraft and von Goethe had collaborated on the screenplay for E.T.? And the ‘terrible infant’ depends on your point of view. - The True Meaning of Father's Day by John Wiswell Picking up the check and the origin of Father’s Day. With time travel. - Plumage from Pegasus by Paul Di Filippo When IPs go astray. “Bond. Monsignor James Bond.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leroy Erickson

    A couple of pretty good stories, but primarily middle-of-the-road with nothing really special. Fawaz Al-Matrouk - The Voice of a Thousand Years - 4 stars - An ancient life form which has taken up residence in a musical instrument is able to communicate with a man, who then spends years attempting to build a new body for it to occupy. A nice story. Aliya Whiteley - Cold Trade - 3 stars - In the far future, a human culture is based on the ability to profit in some way by trading with alien cultures; t A couple of pretty good stories, but primarily middle-of-the-road with nothing really special. Fawaz Al-Matrouk - The Voice of a Thousand Years - 4 stars - An ancient life form which has taken up residence in a musical instrument is able to communicate with a man, who then spends years attempting to build a new body for it to occupy. A nice story. Aliya Whiteley - Cold Trade - 3 stars - In the far future, a human culture is based on the ability to profit in some way by trading with alien cultures; trinkets, knowledge, emotions, lives. Actually, a quite depressing story. Ai Jiang - Give Me English - 3 stars - Another depressing story of the future, where the advancement of science has given society the capability to monetize the ability to speak, to know words. People trade their knowledge of words for food and shelter. Well written, but too depressing. Norman Spinrad - The Canopy - 4 stars - In the cities of the future, the homeless are granted the rights to camp out on the tops of high rise apartment complexes. In exchange, they are banned from traveling down to street level. An odd culture develops. S. R. Mandel - Green Street... - 3 stars - A little bit hard to follow. Nirvana, Shangri-la, exists but you might or might not find it if you follow odd paths through cities. Some people find it and send back postcards. Other people find it and lose it, and so continue trying to find it again. Octavia Cade - Breathless in the Green - 3 stars - An aquatic creature enjoys drowning people. She meets a land based girl who appears to be her duplicate. A conversation ensues, which results in ? Jennifer Hudak - Ninety-Five Percent of the Ocean - 3 stars - Another doppleganger story. An ocean based creature start killing people. She meets a land based girl and they decide that they are bonded. So? James Enge - The Hunger - 3 stars - A slave girl escapes and runs away. While traveling down the road, she meets another odd traveler and stays with him. A bandit attacks, skeletons attack, they survive. Nebulous. Julie Le Blanc - The Mechanic - 4 stars - An old woman is attempting to repair some equipment. She breaks one of the parts. When she goes to get a replacement, she is attacked by bandits and barely survives. She is helped to return home where she completes the repair of her robot companion. A nice story. Julia August - Modern Cassandra - 3 stars - A woman is given the ability to make valid predictions of the future over modern social media. Nobody believes her. Odd. P. H. Lee - An Ill-Fated Girl Happens to Meet an Ill-Fated Man - 2 stars - A woman and a magician just barely meet and fall in love. They cannot be together. She dies, he dies, they never meet again. ??? Taemumu Richardson - Nightmares Come From Stolen Dreams - 4 stars - A snake charmer (?) visits a market town with her snake. The snake arranges events where it creates enjoyable hallucinations for all of the people who attend, in exchange for just one small child to feed it. Pirates kidnap the snake and charmer to try to use them for their own profit, with predictable bad results. Another odd story. Jae Steinbacher - The Angel's Call - 3 stars - Some dramatic event happens (aliens?) which causes some people to be converted into 'angels', wings and all. Not really too much of a story. Shreya Ila Anasuya - Mother, Mother - 2 stars - A god (?) is called on continuously by many people (and other animals) to see to their needs, which are sometimes conflicting. Mark H. Huston - L'enfant Terrible - 4 stars - A trainee wizard pulls a creature from another dimension into his world. The results aren't good. Albert E. Cowdrey - The Big Many - 4 stars - A major earthquake strikes California. Then another earthquake hits. Then the while ring-of-fire becomes active. Then a couple of asteroids hit the Earth. During all of this, people just try to survive. A pretty good story. John Wiswell - The True Meaning of Father's Day - 4 stars - A case of one-upmanship carried to the absolute limit.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeppe Larsen

    Not really a standout issue. A couple of the following stories that I found worth reviewing are probably three stars but as a whole I can only give this issue two stars as being “okay”. I can recommend the fantasy short story “L’Enfant Terrible” by Mark H. Huston in this issue. Told from the point of view of a strange birdlike creature that is being pulled into a world with linear time by a young wizard apprentice. Quite fun to follow the "pulling creatures from other dimensions with old magic s Not really a standout issue. A couple of the following stories that I found worth reviewing are probably three stars but as a whole I can only give this issue two stars as being “okay”. I can recommend the fantasy short story “L’Enfant Terrible” by Mark H. Huston in this issue. Told from the point of view of a strange birdlike creature that is being pulled into a world with linear time by a young wizard apprentice. Quite fun to follow the "pulling creatures from other dimensions with old magic spells" thing being told from another perspective. Really not sure what to think about “The Big Many” by Albert E. Cowdrey. The premise is sort of out there by turning it to 11 with natural disasters. It is 2084 and first the big earthquake destroys the west coast of the US. Then an asteroid is on a collisions course and the impact makes the volcano in Yellowstone erupt. It is hard not to laugh a little at disaster on such a scale but I don't think the story is meant to be funny in that kind of way. But it isn't very tragic or serious either. Just sort of flat and neutral. "The Canopy" by Norman Spinrad is a story that mostly work on a symbolic level. In a future New York the middle class is living in apartments in the sky scrapers and the poor people are living on the roofs. The roofs are connected with a network of bridges but not every building are allowing the people to use the elevators to get down. Thus restricting them in having proper jobs. The story follows a woman living in an apartment but the elevator is out of order so no one can return to their apartments. She and a few others pays a cop to escort them up another building and across the bridge network to get to the roof of their own building. A long the way they learn a few lessons about what it is like to live on the roofs as poor people and they a forced to make a deal with them to get down again. The symbolism is a bit thick and it doesn't really make sense that no one in this world seem to be able to use the stairs, but Spinrad tells the story well and I was partly able to drop my need for a logical premise. And finally a funny little piece of flash fiction with the humorous time-travel story “The True Meaning of Father's Day” by John Wiswell.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David Agranoff

    Really dug the Norman Spinrad cover story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elihu

  9. 4 out of 5

    David

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  11. 4 out of 5

    John A.

  12. 4 out of 5

    William

  13. 5 out of 5

    Karl Kendall

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul Tunis

  15. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Hurley

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

  17. 4 out of 5

    Louis Sylvester

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jorgon

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nora

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tamatha Hargett

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Dant

  24. 4 out of 5

    Fred

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chloe S

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mark Wilson

  27. 4 out of 5

    Deedee

  28. 4 out of 5

    Steven Lawrie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kathrin Weilenmann

  30. 5 out of 5

    Savannah

  31. 4 out of 5

    Christopher D. Burge

  32. 5 out of 5

    Katy

  33. 4 out of 5

    Richelle

  34. 5 out of 5

    Sjoerd

  35. 5 out of 5

    Joy Wilson

  36. 4 out of 5

    Schroeder rocks

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