Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction: January/February 2010

A very good issues of the magazine, well worth the money.
Short Stories:



As far as fiction goes, even the comparative duds of this issues were better than many of the stories that get published elsewhere. I'm glad that the first issues of F&SF I reviewed here was a good one, it makes it easier to justify my unscientific favoritism.

Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance is easily my favorite of the issue, although Late Night Train, Songwood, and City of the Dog were also highlights. And despite it being lower rated, I appreciate Writers of the Future quite a bit. But I bought a second copy of this issue just so I could loan it out and make people read Ghosts.

As for the columns, no surprises here, these are my sort of standard opinions, but I figure I should state them for the 99.9999999999999% of the world who don't know my feelings on book review columns.

Charles de Lint's Books to Look For: 9 pages of space that I'd rather replace with another story. He pimps books I don't generally like (although sometimes I do, but not as enthusiastically), he wastes a lot of space not on the books and doesn't say anything to make that extra time worth my while.

Chris Moriarty's Books: These books aren't that recent, which strikes me as weird, but on the other hand, I have read 4/5 of them, and I agree with Moriarty almost completely. He stays pretty focused on the books, and gives good background on the authors and what the books are like. I think he pulls his punches a bit but he is a good source for picking books to read because he both writes good reviews, and agrees with me on the ones I've read, so I can assume he knows a thing or two about being right.

Films: A Pair of Nines by Lucius Shepard: My favorite curmudgeon. This month he reacts with enthusiasm about finding a film only mildly retarded, and even one good one. And makes some interesting points about South Africa and why some people "didn't get" District 9. Apparently Shepard receives a lot of hate mail, but none of it will be coming from me.

Curiosities by John Eggeling: Eggeling reviews a not terribly good book from back when setting a book in 1962 was the distant future. And, as usual, it sounds so strange that I really want to keep my eyes open and grab it at a yard sale, even though I don't expect it to be great, just weird. I always like his reviews, but the books are always impossible to find, maybe for the better.

Overall, besides the good stories, one of the draws is how many pages and words are devoted to reviewing things, and de Lint is the only one I don't like.

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