May/June Short Fiction

Jun 21, 05:07 by IROSF
A thread to discuss the special edition of Lois' reviews.

The article can be found here.
Jun 21, 15:38 by Nancy Beck
the Summer Country...named not for cowslip meadows or hazy warmth, but because it only appeared in summer

Is it possible Ms. Williams got the idea from the musical Brigadoon? In that one, a Scottish village reappears from the mists every 100 hundred years or so.

Anyway, it sounds like a lovely story.

Jun 21, 16:19 by Lois Tilton
Morelikely the other way around.

It's a term often used in Arthurian fantasy. eg, one of my very favorites, Gillian Bradshaw's trilogy, in which the middle volume was Kingdom of Summer.
Jun 27, 04:05 by twosheds
Concerning F&SF, I enjoyed the good old-fashioned action in "Daughters of Prime", but we had to wait until we were told how everything worked. Not just the implants, but all the history and science was told to us. I also felt the story died rather quickly- a flat ending. It was like "I got all the cool stuff in the story, now I'll bail out."

In "Stars Seen Through Stone" I have the odd feeling that the opening section was added after the story was completed. It was as if the author realized he didn't introduce the SF/F element until half way through the story and decided to sneak it in with an intro. The problem is, the intro is quickly forgotten. The characters, situations and settings are done quiet well, and it's easy to forget the enigmatic opening. The writing was sharp, witty. I laughed at several points. But several pages into it the reader is forced to ask, "Where is this all leading? Where's the Sci Fi?"

There are references to Star Trek, Tolkien etc. in this story. This seems somewhat incestuous. I've noticed this practice in this magazine before. I've even read stories that specifically mention the magazine itself. There's a hint of a lack of professionalism.

In the end, the hero instantly and inexplicably figures out how it all works and what exactly happened, and he's happy to share it with us so we all get it. It would've been better if we figured it out together--the whole "show, don't tell" thing--but the author's got a huge story already, and he obviously didn't feel like editing. In the end, what was on the line? What was at stake? Not much, if the hero is correct in his convenient analysis. That's a big story with very little on the line.

In "Car 17" I kept thinking "Car 54 meets Christine." It was interesting and kept me reading; however, the reader is one-step removed from the story. It's all a flashback; very little (the beginning and end) is real time. The POV character is just reminiscing. At one point I wrote "this is all back-story" in the margin, but THAT WAS the story. It was frustrating despite its coolness. (or it was cool despite the frustrationůsomething like that). Another rushed ending as if the author didn't know what to do.

As for "Powersuit" I agree with you: it was nice light reading that didn't go for a cheap laugh or (too) corny of an ending.
Jun 27, 13:25 by Lois Tilton
Interesting speculation about the Shepard story, twosheds. The prose in the opening section definitely seems apart from the rest.

I didn't mind the slow reveal of the SF element, but the B-movie climax did disappoint.

It's not just F&SF that does the self-referential thing, I've seen it in both A zines as well. Stories in the form of author letters to the editor, forex. I agree, it does seem kinda fannish. Maybe fans like it.


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