Powerful novelettes bookend Asimov’s September/October 2017 issue. Sarah Pinsker’s lyrical tale set aboard a generation ship shows us that humanity may have the strength to adapt and evolve as long as “Wind Will Rove.” All that lies between civilization and brutal marauders is an outcast and a library in Suzanne Palmer’s thrilling “Books of the Risen Sea.”
Fall is here, which means the September/October issue has its share of slightly spooky tales: Kit Reed investigates the “Disturbance in the Produce Aisle”; Carrie Vaughn introduces us to “Dead Men in Central City”; Sandra McDonald demonstrates the peril of “Riding the Blue Line With Jack Kerouac”; and William Preston unlocks “The Cabinet.” We learn that it may not be wise to open Michael Swanwick’s “Universe Box”; discover why “Squamous and Eldritch Get a Yard Sale Bargain” in Tim McDaniel’s short story; and climb “The Fourth Hill’ with new author Dennis E. Staples; On the nonspooky side, “Arriving at Terminal: Xi’s Story” and “The Ganymede Gambit: Jan’s Story” reveal the secrets of two more pilgrims in James Gunn’s intriguing series; Harry Turtledove brings us the deeply disturbing tale of the “Zigeuner”; Allen M. Steele returns with a cryptic account of “An Incident in the Literary Life of Nathan Arkwright”; and far flung action continues in R. Garcia y Robertson’s “Grand Theft Spaceship.”
Robert Silverberg’s Reflections column examines the end of empires and the plight of “The Last Hittite”; James Patrick Kelly’s On the Net spends time “Remembering Bertie”; Norman Spinrad’s On Books considers locations “Outside America” as he traverses works by Bruce Sterling, Nnedi Okarafor, Lavie Tidhar, and Indra Das; plus we’ll have an array of poetry and other features you’re sure to enjoy.
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by Sarah Pinsker
There’s a story about my grandmother Windy, one I never asked her to confirm or deny, in which she took her fiddle on a spacewalk. There are a lot of stories about her. Fewer of my parents’ generation, fewer still of my own, though we’re in our fifties now and old enough that if there were stories to tell they would probably have been told. READ MORE
by Suzanne Palmer
The dark green band along the horizon had grown thicker and more ominous since the last time Caer had glanced over the roofline, past the jagged teeth of the shattered seawall. He set the page in his hands down gently on the drying bed and closed the lid, flattening the wrinkled and blotched paper. He’d already lost a third of it to the mold, but the words he’d salvaged were irreplaceable. READ MORE
by Bethany Powell
Carlisle had avoided this road, mainly,
since the fall-turned woods on each side
once had been littered with deer legs, black trash bags.
by Sheila Williams
We held the 31st Annual Readers’ Award breakfast celebration on May 20, 2017, at the Steelhead Brasserie and Wine Bar in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although he couldn’t attend in person, our best novelette winner, Dale Bailey, sent along the bones of an acceptance speech: “1) Thank yourself for giving the story a chance (weird thanking yourself, but it’s really me!) and 2.) acknowledge the other finalists, among whom it is an honor to stand and 3.) thank the readers most of all, first for reading the story and second for finding it worthy of their notice. READ MORE
by Robert Silverberg
General John Vessey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Reagan presidency, was born in Minnesota, and, like many Minnesotans, liked to tell Swedish jokes, the Minnesotan equivalent of Polish jokes. Vessey, who died in the summer of 2016, lived on into the era of political correctness, when any sort of joke was likely to give offense to someone, and jokes aimed at any specific ethnic or political group became inappropriate, improper, and certain to stir up a fuss not only... READ MORE
by James Patrick Kelly
I can’t imagine any science fiction writer not being fascinated—or at least tempted—by the idea of time travel. However, although I’ve had a couple of time travel stories in these pages, I must admit that it’s been years since I’ve thought seriously about the subject. But recently I’ve been experiencing something of a time travel moment. READ MORE
by Norman Spinrad
It is generally recognized that modern or at least pre-modern literary science fiction—as opposed to post Gernsbackian pulp science fiction, which was born in 1926 with Amazing Stories—originated toward the end of the nineteenth century. It started with the key works of an Englishman writing in English, H.G. Wells, and a Frenchman, Jules Verne, writing in French. READ MORE
by Erwin S. Strauss
Now that each SF Conventional Calendar has to cover two months instead of one, space to make recommendations is limited. A good guide for Asimovians is to look for cons described as “general” or “literary.” Plan now for social weekends with your favorite SF authors, editors, artists, and fellow fans. READ MORE