Skip to main content

Return to F&SF

I reached a point earlier this year where I just couldn't contemplate reading all the issues of F&SF and Asimov's I had crammed into a drawer and on top of my nightstand. I wanted to but I was well over a year behind on both magazines and my quest to read 52 books last year meant I wouldn't have much time to catch up. So, I gave the whole lot to a friend and knew they were going to a good home. After that point, I got some more issues while my subscriptions were still active and just kept them...for no particular reason. When I finished that 52nd book a few weeks back, however, I wanted something a little different and decided to pick up the oldest issue of F&SF I had on the shelf. I enjoyed diving back in so much that I went out and bought the latest issue off the stands. Anyway, here are some brief thoughts on the May/June 2012 issue...

It starts with "Liberty's Daughter" by Naomi Kritzer, who is not a writer I was familiar with. The story takes place in a future where people have left the U.S. for man-made islands in the Pacific and goods are sometimes scarce. Beck Garrison is a teenager and takes a job where she searches for things that people might have and would be willing to trade for things others have that they might want - a barter system of sorts. She ends up looking for a bonded laborer (basically an indentured servant) and gets a look at the underbelly of the economy. Kritzer gives a satisfying end of the story, a bit of background of this future, and a compelling character in the form of Beck. Luckily, the issue I just bought has a second story in this series and I'm eager to read it.

Albert E. Cowdrey gives another solid story in "Asylum" and Fred Chappell a longer story set in his world of Shadows with "Maze of Shadows." I enjoyed Pat McEwew's exploration of a woman traveling through a wormhole to try to find her identity in "Taking the Low Road" and Dale Bailey's short horror story "Necrosis." Paul Di Filippo had some nice satire about copyright law with this installment of "Plumage From Pegasus" and Matthew Corradi's look at the unreliability of memory and the father/son bond in "City League."

I really enjoyed "Typhoid Jack" by Andy Stewart. It's set in a world where the city turned control over to AIs in order to save itself but the citizens don't always like the decisions being made. The hook is that sickness has been eliminated, which leaves an underground for viruses. It's a good hook and the story deals with personal responsibility and the idea of choice.

Chris Willrich's "Grand Tour" is a solid look at that age-old idea of a person needing to go out and have their own experience in the wider world as they become an adult. I wouldn't mind another story set in the world.

The final story is also quite interesting. Michael Alexander uses a lot of vernacular in "The Children's Crusade," a vernacular that is completely part of the world he has constructed. The reader is left to begin to piece it together, which echoes that state that the boy Will finds himself in when a stranger comes into town. Peter knows more than anyone in the town, which ends up ruffling feathers. The story builds to revelations about just what is happening and it all works quite well.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sunday Shuffle #413

Summer is here and I'm happy that it is. Jill finished school this week, but Grant and I have to go through Friday. I have the week off from my TTT course, so I'm going to catch up on some reading and TV. There was baseball I could watch yesterday and I can watch some again today, so you can bet I'll be doing that. Few things bring me joy more than baseball and a book in my lap for between innings.

Here's today's ten...

1. I 4 U & U 4 Me (Home Demo)/The Decemberists (15) - last played on 8/19/15
2. Part One/Band of Horses (6) - last played on 5/7/16
3. Shame Chamber/Kurt Vile (5) - last played on 7/23/15
4. In the Eyes of My Friends/Sugar (2) - last played on 10/5/14
5. I Could Have Done This Myself/Lightspeed Champion (4) - last played on 9/1/14
6. Nonstop Disco Powerpack/The Beastie Boys (10) - 5/15/16
7. Mountain/Lucero (7) - last played on 4/29/12
8. Evergreen/Matthew Sweet (1) - played countless times on CD
9. The Sleeping Beauty/American Music Club (4) - …

Sunday Shuffle #468

I have a busy day ahead, so I'm just going to get right to today's ten...

1. AT&T/Pavement (14) - last played on 7/24/16
2. Streetlights/Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (11) - last played on 3/15/17
3. The Government Darling/Spoon (12) - last played on 3/11/17
4. See My Way/Nude Beach (27) - last played on 9/27/17
5. Beach Baby/Bon Iver (4) - last played on 3/13/15
6. Radio/Teenage Fanclub (10) - last played on 10/15/16
7. With Or Without You/U2 (9) - last played on 12/18/16
8. Keep On Running/The Smithereens (11) - last played on 11/2/14
9. St. Apollonia/Beirut (5) - last played on 2/21/16
10. Got To Get You Into My Life/The Beatles (11) - last played on 1/29/17

Sunday Shuffle #469

It's the middle of October and the middle of a 3-day weekend. I was trying to think of a way to have today's shuffle be the middle of the songs somehow, but decided it was more work than I wanted to do. So instead, let's just get to today's ten...

1. Saint John/Cold War Kids (3) - last played on 6/19/11
2. Last Night In Town/The Twilight Singers (10) - last played on 2/12/17
3. Cobra Tattoo/The Mountain Goats (4) - last played on 2/21/16
4. Stick Together/Eels (17) - last played on 8/20/17
5. They Killed John Henry/Justin Townes Earle (3) - last played on 1/27/13
6. The Ambassador/The Hold Steady (8) - last played on 9/24/17
7. Ghosts of Syllables/Admiral Radley (8) - last played on 8/7/16
8. Feud/Band Of Horses (16) - last played on 6/9/16
9. Flowing/Teenage Fanclub (16) - last played on 10/1/17
10. Two Of Us/The Beatles (4) - last played on 5/12/13