Current Issue Highlights

 

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July/August 2018

Forget the Avengers meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy; the biggest crossover of the summer isn’t in theaters, it’s in next month’s issue—black-ops agent extraordinaire Draiken comes face to face with infamous lawyer/killer Andrea Cort, and when they go toe-to-toe, who will come out on top? Why, the readers, of course. Find out more next month in “A Stab of the Knife,” from Adam-Troy Castro.

Then our fact article is a Science Behind the Story piece that takes a look at all the genetics and quantum physics that went into Derek Künsken’s serial, The Quantum Magician, which wrapped up in this very issue.

Then we have a host of novelettes and short stories, including a look at some very alien yet suspiciously familiar creatures in “Until We Are Utterly Destroyed,” by Frank Wu; an adventure among the asteroids with lethal stakes in “Potosi” from Joe Pitkin; a unique take on exploration in “Open Source Space,” by C. Stuart Hardwick; a treasure hunter in the far future with a valuable relic of forgotten technology in Auston Habershaw’s “A Crystal Dipped in Dreams”; a tale of how sometimes our hypotheses don’t pan out, even when you’re an icon of SF, in “New Frontiers of the Mind,” by Andy Duncan; an unusual way of remembering those close to us, in “Eulogy for an Immortal,” by Robert James Herndon; and more, from Marissa Lingen, Evan Dicken, Mary Soon Lee, Alex Shvartsman & Alvaro Zimos-Amaro, Mary E. Lowd, Kris Dikeman, M. Bennardo, Stephen L. Burns, Jacob A. Boyd, Eduardo Vaquerizo, and Daniel Peterson, as well as all our regular columns . . . plus maybe even a special feature or two!

Get your copy now!

Novella 

A Stab of the Knife

by Adam-Troy Castro

The takedown defines the phrase coming out of nowhere.

Draiken, who was trained not to enter any space without first accessing it for potential angles of attack, doesn’t see it coming at all.

On this trip, he is supposed to be a businessman seeking government contracts, and so he is doing what business people do when traveling in support of their enterprises: staying at a hotel. His room is at the midpoint of a long straight corridor, lined by doors.  READ MORE

Novelettes 

Left to Take the Lead

by Marissa Lingen

The day I found out my uncle Will was still alive, I had been out spraying the crops in a full crinkly hazmat suit. The Earthers I was working for were nice people, but they always whined about the suits. To me they seemed light and airy, hardly even an annoyance compared to a vacuum suit, so I was the one who would get sent out first with the sprayer when the blight warnings came in from the provincial capital in Edmonton. READ MORE

Special Features

The Campbell Machine

by Alec Nevala-Lee

“Joe Kearney was sacrificed; we’re exploring the relationship between the present human mental mechanism and the operation of high-energy, high-performance, extreme-endurance machines. Joe summoned a demon too powerful to handle; it destroyed him.”

—John W. Campbell, in a letter to

    Isaac Asimov, January 20, 1956  READ MORE

Poetry 

The Long Night Watch

by Robert Frazier

Defrosted for my turn at helm
For the millennium of a ship’s year
The blood factory in my flesh... 

READ MORE

Reader's Departments

Guest Editorial: Gender Parity in Space 

by Marianne J. Dyson

Science fiction enthusiasts recognize that as long as we have “all our eggs in one basket” on Earth, even if there are no evil aliens out there, we remain vulnerable to destruction by human and natural causes including war, terminators, pollution, nearby supernovas, wayward asteroids, and eventually, total annihilation via the sun’s menopausal hot flashes.

Thus, to insure survival of our species, humans must learn to live in a sustainable manner independent of Earth’s resources. To do so requires knowledge of how the space environment (variable gravity, radiation, pressure, air/water/soil quality, microbial ecosystems, etc.) affects the health of both men and women since both are needed to propagate the species. READ MORE

 
 

The Alternate View: Cryptocurrency and Quantum Computing

by John G. Cramer

In 2017 the cryptocurrency Bitcoin repeatedly made headlines by starting the year valued at about $1,000 per unit, climbing to over $19,000 in December, and then precipitously dropping below $8,000, where it has since remained. In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that last year I invested about $11,000 in three cryptocurrencies. At this writing in mid-March, my investment, which had been up in value by more than a factor of two, has declined and is now barely breaking even. READ MORE

 
 

The Guest Alternate View: Eclipse Unity

by Richard A. Lovett

At a scientific meeting in late 2016, I went to a press conference about the Great American Eclipse of 2017. At the time, I didn’t even know there was going to be an eclipse, so imagine my surprise when I learned that on August 21, my home was going to experience 99% partiality. Totality was going to be so close I could, in theory, bicycle to it.

There was just one problem. I had an arthritic hip bad enough that I was having trouble walking around the science meeting, let alone pedaling a bicycle. And I was a Johnny-come-lately on the eclipse-awareness scene. READ MORE

 
 

The Reference Library

by Don Sakers

One of the most interesting tropes of science fiction doesn’t have a name. Or rather, it has too many names, which makes it hard to talk about as a distinct thing. We’ve used such terms as applied psychometrics, Archmorph, mathematical modeling, mathematical sociology, machine prediction, predictive analysis, psychodynamics, psychohistory, statistical analysis, statistical prediction, universal actuary, and Visualization of the Cosmic All. READ MORE

 
 

Upcoming Events

by Anthony Lewis

Check here for the latest conventions upcoming in July and August. READ MORE