Current Issue Highlights

 

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May/June 2018

The May/June issue brings The Quantum Magician from Derek Künsken to a close. The heist of the millennium has only just begun, but the wheels have already started to come off: betrayed and hunted, things are about to become very dangerous for Bel and his crew. But is everything what it seems?

When a hidden vault filled with inexplicable artifacts is discovered in the Network, David, Nashira, and Rynyan must race a band of treasure hunters to claim its contents in the fast-paced story, “Hubpoint of No Return,” from Christopher L. Bennett.

Time marches on, and we either find ways to march along or be trampled over, and perhaps not all of us are well suited to both options, as we see in Wil McCarthy’s “The Last Biker Gang.”

Our fact article is on “Seeing Alien Tech,” from James and Dominic Benford, and then we turn our sensors inward, in “Monitoring Diseases From Space,” a guest Alternate View from Richard A. Lovett (in addition to our regular column from John Cramer).

We also have an array of great stories from Sam J. Miller, Buzz Dixon, Ian Creasey, Alison Wilgus, Tim McDaniel, Marissa Lingen, William Ledbetter, Kate MacLeod, Robert Reed, Marie Vibbert, Evan Dicken, Stephen L. Burns, as well as all of our regular columns and departments.

Get your copy now!

Novella 

The Last Biker Gang

by Wil McCarthy

Alan Szcyltz—aged eighty-four years, zero months, zero days—rolled on the ancient Harley’s throttle and gunned it to one mile per hour for every miserable year he’d been alive on this miserable planet. Eighty-four mph fast! It wasn’t easy to do; I-25 was clogged with colorful trains of robot cars and trucks, “platooning” ten to a group almost bumper-to-bumper at 65.00 miles per hour. Navigating through them was a matter of spotting the gaps well before he got to them, of plotting his moves in advance, of weaving sharply in and out and back, ignoring the astonished faces of passive “motorists” in their mobile living rooms. READ MORE

Novelettes 

Hubpoint of No Return

by Christopher L. Bennett

David LaMacchia strode with purpose through the bustling communications center. To either side of him was a long row of cryogenic tanks containing quantelopes, the engineered creatures whose unique entanglement properties made them a vital lifeline for the thousands of worlds of the Hub Network. Each tank had its own interface station, and the diverse sophonts who operated these were vital in their own right, for quantelopes would only reproduce the speech of living beings. And David had earned the right to count himself among their number. READ MORE

Poetry 

Telegraph

by William Shunn

The telegraph was not invented in 1836
but three thousand years before Christ,
when the first writer took up a pointed stick... 

READ MORE

Reader's Departments

Editorial: Thank-You Notes 

by Trevor Quachri

Far be it from me to tell anyone that they should refrain from criticism—being critical, professionally, is how I keep the lights on. However, I am often struck by how easy it is for many people to confuse plain old negativity for constructive criticism.

I noticed a particularly counter-productive example recently:

I was reading some coverage of “The Big Two” comic book companies1 and on several separate occasions, the various websites I was reading bemoaned the cancelation of a title or titles that had flown under the radar of the wider readership. READ MORE

 
 

The Alternate View: Can We Cure Aging?

by John G. Cramer

When I was an impressionable teenager I recall reading a very impressive editorial in the old Astounding Science Fiction, the predecessor of this magazine. The editorial was written by then-editor John W. Campbell, Jr., and in it he speculated about the possibility that medical science might find a cure for aging in his lifetime. Campbell suggested that some near-future medical discovery might extend his life long enough to allow him to make it to the next discovery and life extension, and so on, culminating in a life span that was numbered in centuries rather than decades. Campbell, a heavy smoker, actually died in late middle age of heart failure, a month after celebrating his sixty-first birthday.  READ MORE

 
 

The Reference Library

by Don Sakers

Science fiction, as a field, has been shaped by its publishers. Now, this is self-evidently true for all fields of literature. In SF, where there’s always been an unusual degree of overlap between fans and professionals, the role of publishers is particularly visible. Let’s talk about that.

To begin with, what is a publisher, anyway? Essentially, a publisher performs the same role in literature that a producer does in film: coordinating all the people and resources necessary to put books or magazines in the hands of readers. READ MORE

 
 

Upcoming Events

by Anthony Lewis

Check here for the latest conventions upcoming in May and June. READ MORE