Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - August 2006
by Gordon Van Gelder (Ed.)
Spilogale, Inc. Zine ISBN/ITEM#: MAGF&SF060
Date: June 2006 /
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction August 2006, 57th Year of Publication
The August issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is another fine one. All but one of the stories got a "Very Good" from me and that one story was only a little disappointing.
"Penultima Thule" by Chris Willrich is another adventure featuring Persimmon Gaunt (a poet) and her lover, Imago Bone. They are in possession of a cursed book which is very dangerous and they must travel to the edge of the world to get rid of it. How this happens makes for a fascinating tale. "Okanoggan Falls" by Carolyn Ives Gilman tells us of a small town in Wisconsin on an Earth which has been taken over by aliens. The townspeople have been told that the town must be abandoned because the aliens must strip-mine the area. One woman attempts to communicate with the alien commander with interesting results. "Pleased to Meetcha" by Ken Altabef is an amusing tale about a budding author who meets a very successful writer that he admires. What happens gives an amusing answer to a question frequently asked of writers. "Immortal Forms" is another fine story by Albert E. Cowdrey, set again in New Orleans. Tommy Salvati inherits a house from an old woman that he knew but who had spent her last years in madness. One of the rooms is haunted by a malevolent spirit. The reason for this and how things are eventually resolved make for a chilling story.
"Jack B. Goode and the Neo-Modern Prometheus" by Robert Loy is a hilarious story about a detective trying to find the very unusual husband of a very unusual woman. This is also a great story for fans of puns. "Misjudgment Day" by Robert Reed is an interesting variant on the old idea that "in the kingdom of the blind, a one-eyed man is king". But in this case, it has to do with people's ability to judge their actions. Once again Reed gives us a story that no one else could have written. "Billy and the Spaceman" is another one of Terry Bisson funny little stories about a boy named Billy who encounters a strange creature. This time, it's a man from space.
The only story that I liked a little less than the others is "Another Word for Map is Faith" by Christopher Rowe. It gives us a glimpse of a strange future in which Christianity has somehow come to regard maps as holy writ. I am sure this is meant as some kind of metaphor for Fundamentalism but Rowe does not make me believe this world for a minute. It may just be me, but his stories do not impress me the way they apparently do others.
Nonetheless, this issue is well worth picking up for the Cowdrey story alone.
(Source: Spilogale, Inc.)