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stories from



Stories published November 1997
reviewed by Mark R. Kelly

"A Cold Dry Cradle", a novella by Gregory Benford and Elisabeth Malartez (SF Age, Nov 97), depicts a Martian expedition inspired by the ideas--revolutionary and influential--of Robert Zubrin, who advocates a keep-it-simple-and-cheap, "live off the land" approach to getting to Mars. Discoveries inside a thermal vent suggest how biological evolution might work on a planet with static climate and geology. Hard sf employing the latest in technological speculation.

''Doctor Dodge'', Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff (Interzone Nov 97) Parable of a man who tries to avoid Death by repeatedly changing his name, his career, his residence -- until caught up by loneliness.

"Everything's Eventual", Stephen King (F&SF Oct/Nov 97) A high school dropout named Dinky Earnshaw has it made: his own house and $70 a week through the mail slot. All he has to do is use his special powers to eliminate the bullies of the world.

"God Is Thus", Walter M. Miller, Jr. (F&SF Oct/Nov 97) An excerpt from Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, the posthumous sequel to one of the undisputed classics of SF, Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz.

''The Happy Valley at the End of the World'', Paul Di Filippo (Interzone Nov 97) In a 1939 in which most of the world's non-Africans have died of plague, Antoine de Saint-Exupery tries to enlist the help of a band of decadent Brits in Kenya to help him rebuild the world, in the manner of Wells' Things to Come. Special appearance by Jimmy Ballard.

"Paul and Me", Michael Blumlein (F&SF Oct/Nov 97) A survivor of the 70s recalls meeting a giant in the woods--and their subsequent affair over 20 years. Sly, subversive, and touching.

"The Player", Terry Bisson (F&SF Oct/Nov 97) Vignette of far future humans who discover a device that keeps the universe running. An evocative take on the anthropic principle.

"Space Opera", by Michael Kandel -- available at Omni Online -- presents programs notes of a five act opera set in spaceports and DNA laboratories of the far future. The opera's plot is characteristically absurd, the notes pretentiously speculative. It's a hoot.

"The Truest Chill", Gregory Feeley (SF Age Nov 97) For several years Feeley has been writing a series of stories depicting a decades-long generation-ship voyage to colonize Neptune. In this story a security agent aboard the ship deals with the malcontents who inevitably arise in such an enclosed society -- including her own daughter -- and a roman a clef depicting the ship's officers. Even among the stars, human nature in inescapable.

© 1998 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.