Julie Frost, SFF writer (agilebrit) wrote,
Julie Frost, SFF writer

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I promised I would blog about this...

and so I am. What is "this," you ask?

The September 2007 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

I read all the stories and most of the articles. Some of the stories were "meh," one was hysterically funny, and a couple were really, really good.

Of course, the "Books to Look For" article jumped out at me, because it mentioned the Buffy comics! And in a positive light. Charles de Lint is a Buffy fan, and he likes them, says they "feel right," unlike Nancy Holder's Queen of the Slayers, which he felt fell flat. I know that a lot of people will disagree with his assessment that the comics feel right, but a mention like this in a magazine like this is a good, right? At least, I think it is.

Episode Seven: Last Stand Against the Pack in the Kingdom of the Purple Flowers, by John Langan, is a fabulous look at a post-apocalyptic world. The storytelling device is non-traditional, very stream-of-consciousness and surreal, but it's all too real to these two characters, who find themselves on the run from a pack of alien hyena-like predators with no other living humans around. Excellent story, really top-notch.

The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate, by Ted Chiang, is another really good story about a man who has been haunted all his life by the fact that his wife died in an accident, after they had an argument. He's been tearing himself up for twenty years because he was afraid that she didn't know how much he loved her, and that she was still angry with him. He discovers a man who has a time gate which can send him back twenty years to the past, but first he's told a couple of cautionary tales about using it wisely.

He goes ahead and uses the gate, but he's too late to reach his wife. However, he intercepts a message meant for his younger self that his wife wanted him to know that her life, while short, was made happier by his presence in it.

Of course, the irony is that if his older self hadn't been there to get the message, it might have reached his younger self, and he wouldn't have been tearing himself up for twenty years about the incident, but whether the irony was intentional or not, I don't know.

Requirements for the Mythology Merit Badge, by Kevin N. Haw, is a list-fic of an apparent future Boy Scout merit badge. One of them is:

What is a god? What is a hero? What is a Hero? Why is capitalization so important to your personal safety in making these distinctions?

And it goes on in similar vein for the rest of the story. Funny stuff.

One thing that strikes me about this magazine is: NO ADS. At least, no ads in the interior. It's all story, man. And the ads they do have (inside the front cover, first end page, inside and outside the back covers) are for books. SF/F books. A couple of which I'm intrigued enough about to add to my "I should get these out of the library" list. They also have a page of classified ads--but that's it for ads. I just find this terribly cool.
Tags: reading
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