Aloha from America’s prettiest territory.
Kaua’i is particularly pretty, and one of the less-developed islands. Just last year, the hit musical South Pacific was filmed here, and I’ve gotten to see its location, the lovely town of Hanalei.
Yet such is my devotion to all five of my fans (up 25% over last month!) that I have flashed in my latest column to ensure you know what stories in this month’s Fantasy and Science Fiction are worth reading.
It’s a bit of a grab bag, really, after that amazing first one, but not a stinker in the bunch thus far:
Following Asimov’s science article is Graveyard Shift by Idris Seabright (the F&SF pen name of feminism and witchcraft enthusiast, Margaret St. Clair). It’s an exciting, atmospheric piece about a young man working the night shift at a haunted sundries store. One might label it “modern fantasy,” where beneath the banalities of technological life lie a malestrom of magical undercurrent.
No Matter Where You Go, by Joel Townsley Rogers (of long-time pulp fame), is a strange novelet. It features a space traveler with the ability to zip between real and counter-Earths. The two worlds have much in common, but there are also striking differences. When our hero’s wife falls for the resident of one of the worlds and is subsequently exiled to the other, and the courting Cassanova comes a-calling at the hero’s residence… well, it gets interesting. Like most F&SF stuff, it is written with pizazz, though I’m not sure I exactly liked it overmuch.
Eleazar Lipsky’s Snitkin’s Law is a satirical look at a future in which justice is meted out perfectly by computer, much to the misery of everyone—that is, until a shyster lawyer, the eponymous Snitkin, is brought from the past to reprogram it. It’s short and unremarkable. I suspect Snitkin is a parody of the author, a deputy district attorney (who also wrote the manuscript behind the famous movie, Kiss of Death).
Finaly, for today, is Death Cannot Wither by Judith Merril. I am always excited to see Ms. Merril’s work, though I’m not quite sure how I feel about this novelette. It is, first and foremost, a ghost story. It is dark and a bit disturbing. The ending is gruesome though perhaps not entirely unhappy. It is not my cup of tea, but it might well be yours.
I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much, so I’ll save the wrap-up for the 27th. And then I have a bit of a departure for you… but we’ll have to wait until the 29th for that, won’t we?
Aloha (a double-service word) and Mahalo for reading!
(Confused? Click here for an explanation as to what’s really going on)