Current Issue Highlights

 

ASF_SepOct2018_400x570

September/October 2018

Our annual slightly spooky September/October 2018 issue is rising out of the gloaming. It’s filled with chills and thrills! In our terrifying cover story, “3-adica,” you’ll find vampires and other evil monsters as well as all the math you might expect from Greg Egan. There are many secrets to decode in this frightening novella. Don’t miss it!

You’ll rendezvous with more alarming creatures in Carrie Vaughn’s tale of “The Huntsman and the Beast”; discover what it’s like to be under the control of a rigid democracy with alien influences in Robert Reed’s “Denali”; walk through an endless graveyard with Sheila Finch to meet some eerie “Survivors”; see the lighter side of humanity’s eventual doom in Suzanne Palmer’s “R.U.R.-8?”; and observe true bravery in Doug C. Souza’s “Callisto Stakes.” In her first Asimov’s tale, Stephanie Feldman reveals why it’s a good idea to beware “The Witch of Osborne Park”; new author Erin Roberts paints a perfect picture of horror in “The Grays of Cestus V”; Rick Wilber’s taut new novella about Moe Berg divulges the location of “The Secret City”; David Erik Nelson encounters excruciating horror “In the Sharing Place”; Leah Cypess tells a haunting tale about why Revenge is “Best Served Slow”; and in her unsettling first story for Asimov’s Jean Marie Ward invites us to jump into “The Wrong Refrigerator.”

“Iā€ˆInvent the Compact Disc in 1961,” says Robert Silverberg in his Reflections column, and he’s delighted to have done so; James Patrick Kelly’s On the Net considers the “X O”; Norman Spinrad’s On Books goes “Outside the Envelope” to review works by Jeff Noon, Michael Houellebecq, and Boualem Sansal; plus we’ll have an array of poetry and other features you’re sure to enjoy. 

Get your copy now!

Novella

3-adica

by Greg Egan

Sagreda strode briskly through the dank night air, hoping to reach her destination and return before the fog rolled in from the Thames. It was bad enough stumbling over the cobblestones when the ground vanished from sight, but once the pea soup thickened at eye level, any assailant lurking in the gloom would have her at a disadvantage.

Urchins and touts called out as she passed. “Shine yer shoes! Thruppence a pair!”

“Block yer hat! Like new for sixpence!”

“Fake yer death, guv’nor?” The last from a grime-faced child in a threadbare coat who looked about eight years old, his eyes almost hidden beneath his brown cloth cap. READ MORE

 
 

The Secret City

by Rick Wilber

Moe Berg had never ridden a horse before and wasn’t all that happy about the current circumstances of this first ride. An hour before, everything had been just fine. They’d been down on the valley floor of the box canyon and walking nicely along the river, shallow and clear. The sun had warmed things up after a cold start, so Moe and Enrico had both shed their jackets and draped them over the saddles as they talked in Italian about what life must have been like here in the gold rush days, the Wild West of New Mexico.

They’d headed up a trail that wound its way to a played-out goldmine that was cut into the side of the mountain. There, to Moe’s relief, they’d dismounted the horses for a few minutes to look around. It was fascinating: ore carts still sat on the rusted rails that led from the mine’s opening to the steam-powered grinder and beyond that the placer trough that angled down the slope, letting the miners sift out the gold.  READ MORE

Poetry

Avocation

by F.J. Bergmann

In later life, I retired from poetry
to take up the study of magic. After all,
there are only so many ways to use words...

READ MORE

Departments

Editorial: Thirty-Second Annual Readers' Awards' Results

by Sheila Williams

2017 was a major year for Asimov’s. It was our exciting fortieth anniversary year and it marked our transition to bi-monthly double issues. In addition to parties and book fairs, our thirty-second Annual Readers’ Award Poll gave us an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the year and the magazine. As always, my favorite part of the award was reading through the comments that subscribers submitted with their ballots. Some of these comments are assembled below. READ MORE

 
 

Reflections: I Invent the Compact Disc in 1961

by Robert Silverberg

Those who read this column regularly, or are familiar with my science fiction, will be aware that I am not a particularly high-tech sort of person. My education was in the liberal arts, not in the sciences, and my innate proficiencies run more to the verbal than to the technical. I’ve made it clear in these essays that in my daily life I claim only the most modest mechanical expertise aside from knowing how to drive and the ability to operate a computer with the sort of skill that any twelve-year-old of today possesses. When plumbing or electrical work needs to be done around the house, I call a plumber or an electrician. Nor do I make mysterious adjustments beneath the hood of my car every Saturday, as my neighbor does. READ MORE

 
 
 

On the Net: X O

by James Patrick Kelly

hi there
In October of last year, a group of scientists and artists took it upon themselves to make a grand gesture in your name and that of all humankind. They beamed a message directly to Luyten’s Star http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luyten%27s_Star, also known as GJ 273, some twelve light-years away. As it happens, this red dwarf star has at least two planets—exoworlds—and one of them, GJ 273b www.openexoplanetcatalogue.com/planet/GJ%20273%20b, has the potential to be habitable, at least given our current understanding of habitability. READ MORE

 
 

On Books: Outside the Envelope

by Norman Spinrad

Aircraft test pilots talk about flying at the edge of the envelope, knowing just how fast and how high a plane they are test flying has previously gone, its currently known flight envelope, and then trying to see if they can push it a little over the edge without losing control or crashing it out. Ball players talk about playing within themselves, but trying to push the edge.

What does this have to do with speculative fiction in general and what is called science fiction in particular? Think of the SF genre. What makes it a genre? It’s a literary envelope, a set of requirements and limitations. READ MORE

 
 

The SF Conventional Calendar

by Erwin S. Strauss

Now that this year’s World Science Fiction Convention is over, here’s a look ahead at the WorldCon picture over the next several years. Closer at hand, my picks are BuboniCon, AlbaCon, FenCon and CapClave. Plan now for social weekends with your favorite SF authors, editors, artists, and fellow fans. For an explanation of our con(vention)s, a sample of SF folksongs, and info on fanzines and clubs, send me an SASE ..  READ MORE