Evidence of Love in the new F&SF

If you haven’t got around to reading the October/November issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction yet, you should go out and get a copy, or subscribe or at least order the issue (it’s the best issue of almost any genre magazine each year, if you ask me, something about the season maybe?). M. Rickert’s short story, “Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment: One Daughter’s Personal Account” steals the show (and it is quite a show, featuring stories by Stephen King, Geoff Ryman, Carol Emshwiller, Michael Swanwick, Terry Bisson, and other excellent writers). I don’t think I have come across another story in recent months (years?) that seems so utterly to be perfect for both the James Tiptree Jr. Award (for fiction that expands our understanding of gender) and the new Shirley Jackson Award (because this story is a near future version of “The Lottery” if you ask me).

That one story is worth the price of the issue alone. But you do indeed get all those other stories by the authors I mentioned, and more, so do yourself a favor and get this issue, even if you don’t normally read this magazine. I highly recommend it.



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7 responses to “Evidence of Love in the new F&SF”

  1. Mallory Avatar

    is that Geoff Ryman or someone I have yet to read?

  2. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    Nope, Ryman. Thank for spotting the typo, Mallory!

  3. Mike Prelee Avatar

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll be out and about tonight so I’ll look for it. Have you read Warren Ellis’ take on the future of sci-fi magazines?


  4. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    Thanks for the link, Mike. I hadn’t read that take of Ellis’ before, though I do recall the hubbub surrounding his post about them last year. It does indeed seem as if the print sf and f magazines are dying. I do hope something can change those circumstances, but I think a new model for how the print sf and f magazines are produced needs to be considered for that to happen. They’re a bit like Youngstown in that way, running on older templates that most of the rest of print readership has left behind. I think what may be considered successful print magazines of any sort are all suffering blows from electronic readership, but the speculative fiction magazines have both the older looks and vibes they send out, a sort of disconnect with younger readers there, and along with that, they are mostly fiction and fiction-oriented magazines, so that they don’t draw largely on readers of other sorts of materials. Realms of Fantasy has done itself some good, I think, by including a lot of gaming and role playing and film oriented material in their magazine to draw on that population as well as those who read it purely for the short stories and essays about fantasy literature. But that’s just one example. And oddly enough, using that same magazine as an example, it isn’t read as often by readers who want almost nothing but fiction in their sf magazines. It’s a complicated thing. I do hope print magazines can not only survive but succeed in the future. I do really love print magazines they way I love books, because you get to hold them. They’re tokens of a sort. I don’t feel like I can have the same relationship with the ethereal internet magazines, as much as I do reap the benefits of reading all of the stuff they publish as well.

  5. […] One Daughter’s Personal Account” and, while I’m not as completely bowled over as Chris Barzak, it’s definitely a powerful […]

  6. Graham Avatar

    Huh. I’m a subscriber and my copy still hasn’t arrived. I shall just have to mug someone for a copy.

  7. […] pursues the same goal. (This view of the story means that, for example, I find Chris Barzak’s comparison of the story to “The Lottery” somewhat odd; Shirley Jackson’s story is third-person, and much […]

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