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Current Issue Highlights



July/August 2022

Our July/August 2022 issue features Rick Wilber’s blockbuster alternate-history novella about “The Goose.” This story includes Nazi spies enmeshed in the movie industry, Hollywood personalities, high school sophomore and brilliant shortstop Billie the Kid, and even the Spruce Goose.

Revolution seems to be coming for Will McIntosh’s frozen Bridesicles in “Work Minus Eighty”; Jack McDevitt treats us to some “Cosmic Harmony”; Octavia Cade takes us to the beach to investigate “Pollen and Salt”; Jonathan Sherwood spins a complex tale of “Retrocausality”; in K.A. Teryna’s “Tin Pilot,” augmented veterans are hunted by their government; a desperate rescue mission on a distant planet rivets from beginning to end in Michèle Laframboise’s “Screaming Fire”; when a group of teenagers wake up early on “The Big Deep,” Annika Barranti Klein scrutinizes some suspicious behavior; Robert R. Chase explains why we should be cautious when exchanging fruit or much else on the “Goblin Market”; new author Megha Spinel’s non time-travel tale transports us to 92 a.d. to reveal “The Secret of Silphium”; Paul Melko transforms humanity in “Ugly”; and Michael Swanwick examines romance and the origins of time travel in “Reservoir Ice.”

Robert Silverberg’s Reflections column spends some time “Looking Backward”; we get a viewing of “Scream Dreams, the Sequel” in James Patrick Kelly’s latest On the Net; Peter Heck’s On Books reviews works by Charles Stross, Naomi Novik, Rebecca Roanhorse, Matthew Hughes, and others; plus we’ll have an array of poetry and additional features you’re sure to enjoy. 

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The Goose

by Rick Wilber

APRIL 23, 2041

Eddie Bennett wasn’t Eddie Bennett in this timeline but, instead, a professor named Elizabeth Stern, who was getting in a brisk dawn walk for some much-needed exercise before teaching her graduate seminar, “Applications for Personal Finance,” at Niagara University. The campus was north of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. A private university with a few thousand undergrads and half again as many grad students, NU was perfect cover for someone smart enough to hold a doctorate and publish some papers and get her tenure even as she lived the double life the real job required of her. READ MORE



Work Minus Eighty

by Will mcIntosh

The frosted glass plate was semi-opaque, meant to create a sense of mystery for the client as he set eyes on his potential bride for the first time. As the plate slid down, revealing Helen Carson’s stiff blue-white skin, her frosted eyelashes, my training immediately kicked, even though it was a face I knew well. A bit too round (clients preferred classic beauties to cherubic cuties), eyes on the small side. The red hair and freckles weren’t necessarily a flaw, but they shifted her into a fetish category—either clients specifically wanted a ginger, or they didn’t. READ MORE


Going Up to Hanford 

by Ursula Whitcher

I am trying to trust rainbows, though I know
they lie three ways. The easy lie,
five markers and a popcorn-puff, saying, You have to smile.



Editorial: The 2022 Dell Magazines Awards

by Sheila Williams

After two years of Zoom ceremonies, It was a delight and a relief that the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing could once again be presented in sunny Orlando, Florida, at the annual International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA). The award, which is co-sponsored by Dell Magazines and the International Association for Fantastic in the Arts, and supported by Western Colorado University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, was bestowed on March 19, 2022. The winner received a plaque and five hundred dollars. READ MORE


Reflections: Looking Backward

by Robert Silverberg

Looking Backward is the name of Edward Bellamy’s classic 1888 novel about the future as it looked to a man of the late nineteenth century. It had a powerful effect on my youthful mind when I read it in the middle years of the twentieth century, and it is still very much worth reading. But this column is not about the Bellamy book. READ MORE


On the Net: Screen Dreams, the Sequel

by James Patrick Kelly

adapt me
One of my favorite science fiction list sites is Classics of Science Fiction. I often recommend it because of the way it finesses the problem of subjectivity in ranked lists. The editors do not claim that they are presenting the best works of science fiction, but rather the most remembered “based on how often they are cited by awards, best-of lists, polls, editors, scholars, and other sources of recognition.” Here’s their take on the top ten classic science fiction novels in order. READ MORE


On Books

by Peter Heck

Stross’s latest novel brings his “Empire Games” trilogy—itself a sequel to the “Merchant Princes” trilogy—to a conclusion.
The series is set in a universe where some people—the worldwalkers—are capable of moving between alternate timelines. They can start from any spot on Earth—Manhattan, Berlin, the Arizona desert—and “walk” to the same geographical point in an alternate timeline, provided there is no obstacle at the destination point. The various timelines have had divergent histories, and are at different technological levels. And in some timelines, humans appear not to have developed at all. READ MORE


The SF Conventional Calendar

by Erwin S. Strauss

There’s a packed summer convention season coming up. Also, note that the 2023 World SF con will be in Chengdu, China, so start saving those pennies. This year’s WorldCon will be in Chicago. See you there? Plan now for social weekends with your favorite SF authors, editors, artists, and fellow fans. READ MORE

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