Current Issue Highlights

 

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September/October 2022 

We’ll feature Part I of Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s excellent new short novel, The Court Martial of the Renegat Renegades in Asimov’s September/October 2022 issue. This spellbinding SF/mystery considers the enigma within the puzzle that shrouds all that occurred aboard the Renegat. Greg Egan brings us a long novelette about “Solidity” that is both heart breaking and empowering.

Our annual “Slightly Spooky” issue is packed with eerie tales. Alastair Reynolds proves there are “Things to Do in Deimos When You’re Dead”; Eileen‚ÄąGunn haunts us with a horrifying “One Night Stand”; Jendayi Brooks-Flemister chills and consoles with “Bakehafu OK”; Eleanor Arnason introduces us to “Grandmother Troll”; Geoffrey A. Landis untangles “The Rules of Unbinding”; Rich Larson chronicles “The Rise of Alpha Gal”;  Marissa Lingen provides some “Bonus Footage”; Lia Swope Mitchell explores an “Island Mystery”; Susan Palwick sets the tragedy of “Sparrows” on a different island; but “The Extra­terrestrials Are Coming! The Extraterrestrials Are Coming!” by Peter Wood breaks the tension.

Robert Silverberg’s Reflections asks if we should “Bring Back the Wooly Mammoth?”; we meet “Unknowable Somethings” in James Patrick Kelly’s On the Net; Norman Spinrad’s On Books explores “The Future of Humanity, The Humanity of the Future”; Kelly Lagor’s Thought Experiment discusses “The Science Fiction and Horror of Frankenstein.” Plus we’ll have an array of poetry you’re sure to enjoy. 

Get your copy now!

Novel

The Court Martial of the Renegat Renegades, Part I

by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

A hand slapped the side of her desk, jarring Lucinda Arias awake. She had drool on her left cheek, which she wiped off with a knuckle that wasn’t entirely clean. She couldn’t remember the last time she took a shower.

“Hey, Arias,” a male voice said near her. “Snap to.”

God, she hated that old phrase. And the fact that someone had used it meant she was dealing with the Old Man. READ MORE

 

Novelette

Things to Do When You're Dead

by Alastair Reynolds

Per Ludecus woke with his face pressed to black marble.

He remembered almost nothing. He had no idea where he was or how he had got there.

He was laid out too artfully to have just stumbled and blacked out. It was more as if he had stretched out to sleep, letting go of a spray of cut flowers that he must have been holding. Their pastel-colored bulbs formed a frozen firework-burst around his head and upper body. READ MORE

Poetry

A Necromancer Collects 

by Lesley Hart Gunn

Rusted pennies she found in
the pocket of a man drowned at sea,

READ MORE

Departments

Editorial: Resilience

by Sheila Williams

The story of a person or people who face a dire situation with grace and fortitude can be irresistible. These individuals may capture our imaginations even if they don’t survive the peril. We see it in the retelling of historical battles like Thermopylae where seven thousand Greek soldiers held off at least a hundred thousand invading Persian soldiers for seven days. The story of the rear guard that fought to their death has been retold in novels, comics, and movies like 300READ MORE

 

Reflections: Bring Back the Woolly Mammoth?

by Robert Silverberg

About fifteen years ago one of these columns was devoted to a project for bringing back from extinction the zebra-like South African animal known as the quagga, which ceased to exist in the late nineteenth century. It had stripes only on its head, neck, shoulders, and part of its trunk; the rest of its body was a light chestnut brown in color, or sometimes yellowish-red, and its legs were white. Its mane was dark brown with pale stripes, and a broad dark line ran down the middle of its back. It was as though nature had intended the quagga to be a zebra, but had given up the job halfway through. READ MORE

 
 
 

On the Net: Unknowable Somethings

by James Patrick Kelly

causality
In the thirteenth century, a Dominican friar and philosopher published a treatise called “On the truth of the Catholic faith against the errors of the unbelievers.” In it Thomas Aquinas https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aquinas/ presented his “Five Ways,” arguments that he had developed over time to prove the existence of God. While not strictly logical, they are what we might now call logic adjacent. He believed that, although we can’t know what God is, we can nevertheless glimpse the Divine substance by knowing what it is not. Three of the Ways deal with Aquinas’s complicated ideas of causation, most famously the Second Way, which presents his case for a First Cause.  READ MORE

 
 
 
 

Thought Experiment: The Science Fiction and Horror of Frankenstein

by Kelly Lagor

It is a dark and stormy night. As lightning crashes outside the castle, the lab’s equipment flares to life, and sparks cast stark, dancing shadows on the bare stone walls. Dr. Henry Frankenstein stalks between the instruments, examining their dials, as his hunched assistant, Fritz, trails closely behind. Amid the contraptions is an examining table, a lifeless body strapped upon it, draped in a white sheet. Soon, the table and its morbid cargo are raised through an opening in the roof into the raging storm above.

Lightning strikes, and electricity surges through the equipment. As the table is lowered, Frankenstein rushes to its side. READ MORE

 
 

On Books

by Norman Spinrad

What do I mean by humanity?

In more or less scientifically simple terms, I mean Homo sapiens, as defined by the mating of male and female being capable of producing offspring capable of doing likewise and displaying Homo sapiens’ DNA.

Okay, so as we really know now, not so simple. It seems to be that in the past, Homo sapiens mated with Neanderthals, and some of us carry some of their DNA. And we know that there were quite a few other hominids down there below us in the Homo tree who may have been mating with each other before there even was a Homo sapiens or a Homo neanderthalensis. So that in fact the DNA of Homo sapiens, like that of more current mammals, is a mixture of the DNA of species further down the evolutionary tree. READ MORE

 
 
 

The SF Conventional Calendar

by Erwin S. Strauss

Here’s a look at the conventions in the late summer and fall. And of course the Chicago World Science Fiction Convention coming right up. I plan to be there. Will I see you? Also good are BuboniCon and CapClave. Plan now for social weekends with your favorite SF authors, editors, artists, and fellow fans. READ MORE