Friday, January 06, 2006

Fantasy and SciFi Magazine Review – February, 2006 Issue

Recently, I had a new idea for what I could do on this blog. How many of you subscribe, or consider subscribing, to the Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine? When you get this sizable volume, do you ever say to yourself, “Geez, I wish I knew which ones I must read and what are the ones I could skip, for my time is valuable and cannot be wasted on reading crappy novels”? Or, do you ever wish you had a record of things you liked, so that, when you read a certain number of stories by a particular author and enjoy them all, you can go out and, I don’t know, buy his book or something?

Or, are you still trying to decide if this is worth it to even subscribe to F&SF – again, is it worth spending your time on? Or do you ever want to know who the new rising stars are in the F&SF world, because you don’t care for Robert Jordan and you want to see what else is out there?

To answer these and many other of your questions, I bring you my new feature – the monthly F&SF review. From now on, each time I get a new issue, I promise to drop everything I’m doing, read it back to back in under a week, and post my humble opinions of each entry in the issue (rest assured, no spoilers). I will also rate the stories on a 5-point scale, as follows:

5 = This is a masterpiece. I want to bind it, put it on my nightstand, and re-read it every night before I go to sleep, instead of my Bible.
4 = Very good quality work. If this guy has a book out, I want to read it.
3 = Not bad, pretty decent in fact.
2 = I died inside a little from reading this stuff.
1 = Wow what a putrid piece of crap! You don’t want to read this, unless you’re masochistic.
0 = Ewww! I need to have my stomach pumped.

So, here we go – my first try. I have with me the February 2006 issue that I got right before New Year. I rate the stories/novels in this issue as follows:

Gary Shockley: The Cathedral of Universal Biodiversity – 3.0 Some seriously interesting concepts are being explored in this novel.
Terry Bisson: Planet of Mystery (Part II) – 4.0 Now we’re talking! Quality sci-fi with a side love story and completely unexpected ending, that kept me glued to the magazine until I was finished.
John Morressy: The Long and the Short of Tall – 3.5 I enjoy this author, but, in my opinion, this particular story kind of flops. It starts out highly entertaining, and then, just as the reader gets sucked in, it ends right there.
David Gerrold: Thirteen O’Clock - 2.5 I do not much like stories that attempt to cash in on a hot, controversial topic. Still, it has good literary style.
Madeleine E. Robbins: Boon – 3.5 A very nice, sweet story. Not exactly your LOTR kind of elves!
James L. Cambias: Parsifal (Prix Fixe) – 2.0 Mmmm, mmmm – tasty! This story made me eat a monstrous dinner and gain the two pounds I just lost. So, 2.0.

Not really fiction, but worth mentioning:

Paul Di Filippo: Plumage to Pegasus: Brother, Can You Spare a Hyperlink? – 3.5 How dare Paul Di Filippo make fun of us bloggers?... absolutely hilarious!

Lucuis Sheppard: Films: A Mound of Blunder – 4.0 I don’t normally read movie reviews, but this one is written so well, it borders on perfection. Way to blam a crappy (according to the author) picture! (“The Sound of Thunder”, in case you’re wondering.)

Well, this is it. Was it of any help? Let me know if I should keep doing this or not.

The Goldie has spoken at 9:56 AM

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