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Current Issue Highlights



January/February 2017

We’re celebrating our fortieth anniversary all year long. The party starts with the super-stuffed double January/February 2017 issue! Two dramatic stories frame the issue. Allen M. Steele’s famous frontier planet, Coyote, has been settled for some time, but terrifying dangers still lurk around the bend of an unexplored river. Members of a scientific expedition soon learn that it takes more than bravado to survive “Tagging Bruno.” In Robert Reed’s new novella, crewmembers from the Big Ship encounter a very strange and very intelligent alien who puts their own spin on “The Speed of Belief.”  

Octavia Cade escorts us to the Siberia of Stalinist Russia for “The Meiosis of Cells and Exile”; Jack Skillingstead arrives at a chilling “Destination”; Jim Grimsley paints a “Still Life With Abyss”; denizens of Fire Island will “Blow Winds, and Crack Your Cheeks” in John Alfred Taylor’s new story; Tom Purdom reveals the powerful strength of a “Fatherbond”; Robert R. Chase helps pick up the “Pieces of Ourselves”; Lisa Goldstein exposes us to “The Catastrophe of Cities”; Ray Nayler imbues a hazardous  “Winter Timeshare” with new meaning; young people attempt a first contact with the help of Stephen Baxter’s mysterious “Starphone”; while beauty and sorrow are stunningly portrayed in Sean Monaghan’s evocative depiction of “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles.”

Robert Silverberg’s Reflections column gives “Two Cheers for Piltdown Man”; during an intriguing On the Net discussion, each participant lets James Patrick Kelly know he can “Ask Me Anything”; Paul Di Filippo’s On Books critiques works by Betsy James, Harry Turtledove, Will McIntosh, Ken Liu, Lavie Tidhar, and others; plus we’ll have an array of poetry and other features you’re sure to enjoy. 

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Tagging Bruno

by Allen M. Steele

The arrival of the Bridgeton ferry was heralded by the ringing of an iron bell down at the wharf. Sawyer Lee was having coffee at the Captain’s Lady a few blocks away when he heard it. He listened for the number of bells: four, a long pause, then four more. Familiarity with the dock master’s signals told him that this was the boat he’d been expecting. READ MORE

Short Stories

Crimson Birds of Small Miracles

by Sean Monaghan

C.J. Penn listened to his daughters sleep, Matilda’s breath regular and assured, Jessie’s labored and fluttery, like a fallen dying fledgling, gasping on the edge of a cold concrete walk. He wondered if he would ever get used to it.

Cool steely light from Ariosto’s single big silver moon stole through the gap in the hotel room’s thick black curtains. READ MORE


Hubble's Constant

by Marion Moore

At midnight, Edwin lights
his eyes on Mount Wilson and admits
that Grace is receding from him.



Editorial: Forty Years!

by Sheila Williams

Welcome to Asimov’s fortieth anniversary year! This monumental milestone will be celebrated all throughout 2017. Our current issue is filled with excellent stories by long-time favorites like Robert Reed, Allen M. Steele, Robert R. Chase, and Jack Skillingstead; writers who have been away for a while like Tom Purdom, Lisa Goldstein, Jim Grimsley, John Alfred Taylor, and Stephen Baxter; as well as up-and-coming new stars like Ray Nayler and Octavia Cade. We’re already forming an impressive lineup for the rest of the year. READ MORE


Reflections: Two Cheers for Piltdown Man

by Robert Silverberg

Science used to be a lot simpler when I was a boy, back in the days when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. The atom was made up of just three particles—the proton, the electron, and the neutron—plus the neutron was a ghostly particle that existed in theory but which nobody seemed able to find. READ MORE


On the Net: Ask Me Anything

by James Patrick Kelly

Longtime readers of this column will recall that from time to time, I’ve interviewed distinguished experts who have offered unique perspectives on important topics. In this installment I’ve gathered four—count ‘em, four—specialists to help us explore the brave new world of digital assistants. READ MORE


On Books

by Paul Di Filippo

The debut adult fantasy novel by Betsy James, Roadsouls (Aqueduct Press, trade paper, $20.00, 400 pages, ISBN 978-1-61976-091-2), is a stellar performance, very touching in its intimate otherworldliness. Deeply conceived and fleshed out, exhibiting a primal simplicity of emotion and drama and language, yet not naïve nor unsophisticated, the tale will certainly appeal to any fans of Nicola Griffith or Morgan Llywelyn, Samuel Delany or Daniel Abraham (in his fantasist garb). READ MORE


The SF Conventional Calendar

by Erwin S. Strauss

We’ve got a newly selected NASFiC in San Juan PR, and a WorldCon in San Jose CA. My picks are MarsCon, RustyCon, Arisia (where I’ll be), ConFusion, ChattaCon, COSine, Foolscap, ConDFW, CapriCon—and WorldCons. Plan now for social weekends with your favorite SF authors, editors, artists, and fellow fans. READ MORE

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