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November/December 2017

This month’s November/December issue closes out the year in style:

We open with a return to Bill Johnson’s Martin and his AI companion, Artie, in “Hybrid Blue by Firelight.” In a world where everyone is jockeying to protect his or her own time line, any given quid pro quo can get very complicated, very abstract . . . and very dangerous.

Then our fact article is a deep dive into the dangerous effects of supernovae on Earthlike planets, in “Fatal Starlight,” by Paul Fisher.

We also have a novella that looks at one group’s survival after everything else is gone, in Catherine Wells’ “Native Seeds”; uploaded imprints that may not see things in entirely the same way as the original, in “Keepsakes” by Kenneth Schneyer; a bit of sinister silliness in “Laminated Moose Zombies” by Dennis M. Flynn and Michael F. Flynn; a look at the economics of uploading knowledge, in “Quirks” by Marie Vibbert; the human cost of technological solutions in “Time Travel is Only for the Poor” by S.L. Huang; one possible solution to the famous paradox in “Fermi’s Slime” by Tom Jolly; a brutal bit of justice in Jay O’Connell’s “Weaponized”; some possible ramifications of making your currency a bit too smart, in “Luscina” from Robert Reed; and a touching (maybe?) Probability Zero from Edward M. Lerner.

We also have pieces from James Sallis, Scott Edelman, Brenta Blevins, Ian Creasey, Bud Sparhawk, Igor Teper, Stephen R. Loftus-Mercer, Richard A. Lovett, Brendan DoBois, and Sean McMullen, as well as—of course—all our regular fine features.

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Novelettes 

Hybrid, Blue, by Firelight

by Bill Johnson

What do you get when a Neanderthal, a Denisovan, and a Red Deer Cave sit down around a table together? Artie asked.

Shut up, Martin replied impatiently, in private, ignoring the joke. Are my eyes right?

White sclera, blue eyes. Their blood pressure and pulse goes up every time they look at you. Even Turlli’s numbers are up. You’re too damned alien looking. You’re freaking them out.  READ MORE

 
 

Keepsakes

by Kenneth Schneyer

As usual, the simulation shows Doru’s Keepsake sitting on the scuffed leather couch in his apartment on Medway Street, barefoot, wearing those wonderful soft jeans and the pink shirt that eventually fell apart. Doru sits across from it, in the real wicker chair in his current condo. The Keepsake’s unlined face, really rather good-looking even with the hint of residual baby fat, gazes at Doru with calm tolerance. READ MORE

Poetry 

Quantum Entanglement

by Fred D. White

In the quantum cosmos, particles entangle
regardless of their distances apart;... 
READ MORE

Reader's Departments

Editorial: The Devil's Advocates or This Magazine Kills Fascists 

by Trevor Quachri

A contrarian, in common usage,1 is simply someone who goes against popular opinion, but there’s also a subtle implication that they do so only because they’re obstinate or because they take some perverse pleasure in it. There’s no rhyme or reason to their counter-argument, the term suggests, so one certainly needn’t really listen to them; they’d tell you the Sun is filled with ice and the sky was never blue2 if you say that it’s lovely weather we’re having. It’s a dismissive term, in my opinion: a way to avoid having to deal with an argument on its merits. READ MORE

 
 

The Alternate View: Dark Matter Gets Darker: Wimps or Axions?

by John G. Cramer

The Dark Matter Problem remains one of the major unsolved mysteries of contemporary astrophysics and cosmology. Many decades ago, astronomers concluded that the amount of visible matter present in galaxies was not nearly large enough to account for the gravitational pull exerted on stars at the outer edges of the galaxies. This unexpectedly strong gravitational pull caused the observed orbital rotation speeds of such stars to be much higher than would have been expected. READ MORE

 
 

The Reference Library

by Don Sakers

It’s the November-December issue, the time when many of us start thinking about year-end holidays—and specifically, holiday gifts. Now, it should go without saying that books are among the very best gifts to give. The gift of a book shows that you’ve given a lot of thought to the recipient’s tastes—and after all, it’s the thought that counts. READ MORE

 
 

Upcoming Events

by Anthony Lewis

Check here for the latest conventions upcoming in November and December 2017! READ MORE