The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November-December 2016
I purchased a subscription to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction back in Sept. 2016 due to one short story. While the subscription only cost me $5, I decided that if I was going to justify this, I was going to actually read each issue…unlike every other time I’ve had a fiction magazine subscription.
My reviewing of issues might get better as the year goes on, but for Nov/Dec 2016 I’m just going to highlight what I found to be the outstanding stories. All of these authors were new to me.
“The Rhythm Man” by James Beamon – Would you make a deal with the devil? If could, what would you ask for? What is that thing in your heart of hearts that you’d sell your soul for? All that bluesman Horace wants from the Rhythm Man is a song… Great mythology and a marvelous sense of place in the setting.
“Lord Elgin at the Acropolis” by Minsoo Kang – The director of a museum is certain that paintings and sculptures are being replaced by forgeries. Except, there’s no evidence. The art is re-certified as original; the security tapes show no tampering. Is he going insane? Or is technology beyond current comprehension to blame? This is half story, half thought experiment, and all good.
“Special Collections” by Kurt Fawver –
We only have two rules at the library. The first is that you don’t go into Special Collections without a partner.
I’m lying when I say I don’t like cosmic horror. My problem, I think, is one of scale. To abruptly see some grand transdimentional horror and claim that it is so incomprehensible that it inspires insanity—that doesn’t work for me. But show me the little things that get under a character’s skin, show me the creeping obsessions that lead to questionable moral choices. Then, I’m all in. “Special Collections” is a deliciously spooky tale.
Publishing info, my copy: Kindle (the navigation is really nice!), Spilogale, Inc., Nov. 2016
Acquired: Sept. 2016
Genre: science fiction, fantasy, horror
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