The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Nov/Dec 2017 - Volume 133, Nos. 5 & 6 Whole No.734
Edited by C.C. Finlay
Cover Artist: Kent Bash for Attachments
Review by Sam Tomaino
Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine (print/digital) ISBN/ITEM#: 1095-8258
Date: 30 October 2017
Links: Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction / How to Purchase / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The Nov/Dec 2017 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction(#734) ends 2017 on a high note.
The fiction in the issue starts with "Attachments" by Kate Wilhelm. -+- What's better than seeing Kate Wilhelm's name in the Table of Contents of the magazine you'll be reviewing? Absolutely nothing! On a visit to an old English ruin, Drew Chernov suddenly feels very cold and it's August. It turns out that she has picked up two ghosts, American like herself and who had been of the many haunting the place. They want her to help them. Both had died on the premises of the ruin and are cursed to stay there along with twenty-five other ghosts. One of the ghosts is major Timothy Fitzpatrick who died in 1901. He wants her to dig up gold he had buried near his house in New York State and use it to buy enough explosives to blow the ruin up and free the other ghosts. The other ghost is Robert Moleno who died in 1955, a biker who wants revenge on a woman he thinks betrayed him. She helps them in a positive way in this delightful tale.
"Carbo" by Nick Wolven -+- Jim named his smart car Untermeyer Carbombulus III, Carbo for short. It does just about everything. But after a trip to Mexico when a jerk friend of his messes with the car's programming, it has become a living hell. It's obsessed with beautiful women and doing everything to find them and act in a sexist manner: taking pictures, making lewd noises, following women around, etc. He's tried everything until finally, he gets help from his mother who is CEO of one of the leading companies in automotive intelligence. He goes to work on it. Amusing, cautionary tale about how things might go.
"Big Girl" by Meg Elison -+- One day, fifteen-year-old Bianca Martinez wakes up in San Francisco Bay some 350 feet tall and becomes a sensation. The authorities don't know what to do with her. Eventually, things get better in this wonderfully bizarre tale.
"Stillborne" by Marc Laidlaw -+- This novella is the latest story in Laidlaw's saga of the bard Gorlen Vizenfirthe, cursed with the stone paw of the gargoyle Spar who, in return, has his flesh hand. They join a caravan traveling to a site for a great event that takes place every seven years, the swarming nuptials of the creatures known as the Philosopher Moths. In the caravan is Plenth, whom Gorlen had met and made love with twelve years ago--resulting in the curse. He had left her but now they meet again and she is pregnant. Will they find the priest who cursed them and get him to lift it? Who is the father of Plenth's child? What are these Philosopher Moths? These questions and more are dealt with in this story. Not just an unimportant part of a long series, it is rich in detail and complexity.
"By the Red Giant's Light" by Larry Niven -+- Millions of years in the future, Dardry is stationed on Pluto and the now-red-giant sun is engulfing Mercury. A robotic creature has come to observe but Dardry needs his help with a more urgent matter. Great hard SF from a master.
"Marley and Marley" by J.R. Dawson -+- When twelve-year-old Marley becomes an orphan, the Time Law Department brings her twenty-eight-year-old self to take care of her for six years. Old Marley doesn't tell her about the future. When the younger Marley is eighteen, the older one leaves and the younger lives her life. When she has to go back in time, will she do things differently? Great story.
"Water God's Dog" by R.S. Benedict -+- Ur-Ena has faithfully served his god, Lord Ganba. But Ganba does not speak to him anymore. And who is this boy, the son of a man executed for siphoning water? Has Ganba found another to be his servant? Interesting look at Sumerian culture
"Racing the Rings of Saturn" by Ingrid Garcia -+- Tsariki has won every race in the solar system: The Io Erupting Pothole Spectacle, the Fractal Maze on Venus, the U-Turn Around Uranus, the Mercurial Day/Night Scorcher, the Four Classic Formula Ones on Earth, and the Lap of the Godson Olympus Mons. But she has not won Racing the Rings of Saturn. Her chief competition is Douglas Smouck who might be cheating, aided by the ruling junta of Charles "Chuck" Bendig. What will happen this year? Exciting, cool story.
The fiction concludes with "Whatever Comes After Calcutta" by David Erik Nelson. -+- Attorney Lyle Morimoto returns home in the middle of the day to find his wife in bed with another man. She winds up shooting him but just winging him while she and her lover escape. He had heard them talking about going to her cabin in Calcutta, in rural Ohio. He goes to look for them and finds a group of people hanging a woman as a witch. Things get really bizarre from there. Pretty good.