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Current Issue Highlights

September/October 2023

In our first story next issue, “The Apotheosis of Krysalice Wilson” by Howard V. Hendrix, cutting-edge training techniques take a young ice-skater to the peak of her ability . . . and beyond.

Then our fact article looks at how ancient fish fossils are providing new insight into the mass extinction of the dinosaurs in “Fishkill on the Tanis,” from Richard A. Lovett.

Plus we’ll have a plethora of other excellent stories, including: Academic infighting reaches new levels over dueling theories of time-travel in Andrew Sullivan’s “Peer Review”; a little space piracy results in some rapidly-growing problems with jungle flora in “The Quickener,” from J.T. Sharrah; a creative take on First Contact, in Monalisa Foster’s “The Deviltree”; a grandfather must make a heavy sacrifice for his loved ones in “Second Sight,” by Grey Rinehart; an updated riff on a drive-in horror classic, in Eric Choi’s “Beware the Glob”; a catastrophe for an orbital debris cleanup crew requires a big leap of faith in “Trust Fall,” from Zack Be; a team on Titan follows in the footsteps of earlier explorers who have gone missing, and finds more than they bargained for in “Boojum,” by Angus McIntyre; a musician with a prosthesis fights to make music on her own terms, in Aleksandra Hill’s “Secondhand Music”; Smart vehicles and “social credit scores” collide in “Bad Car,” from Lorraine Alden.

Plus pieces from Benjamin Kinney, Vera Brook, Leonard Richardson, Jen Povey, and Edward M. Wysocki, as well as all our regular columns.

Get your copy now!


The Apotheosis of Krysalice Wilson
by Howard V. Hendrix

George Wilson and his granddaughter Krysalice drove down from Olympic Valley before sunrise, reaching the Mount Tallac trailhead at dawn. The hike to Tallac summit was enough of a grunt that George wondered how much longer he would be able to keep doing this route before his knees or hips gave out—and replacement surgery loomed.

They reached the summit and rested, taking in views of Fallen Leaf Lake, Emerald Bay, and the rest of Lake Tahoe, glittering blue under the cloudless early sun and framed by mountains on the Nevada side. READ MORE

The Deviltree
by Monalisa Foster

The creature was not the last of its kind, but it had been a very long time since he had seen another like himself. Loneliness had been Deviltree’s unrelenting companion, driving him to the edge of the cliff once more to look out onto the valley below. Tree-devils were a solitary species but also highly intelligent beings, and this particular one was prone to curiosity.

Filling the breathing sacks to full had a satisfying effect, and he held the air within his segmented, dark gray thorax for a few long moments before deflating them. READ MORE


Object Permanence
by Marissa Lingen

When you leave my field of view
My mind traces your trajectory:
Library, grocery, bagel cafe. READ MORE


Guest Editorial: Disappointing Ben Franklin: Tough Choices Between Safety And Privacy
by Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Brian Gifford

We science-fiction fans love new technology. From drones to spaceships to self-driving cars and robots, the annals of science fiction are filled with great stories in which tech plays a major part. That tech has many applications, and we don’t always love the “what-if” questions it raises. This is especially the case when that technology is employed by law enforcement because the answers to those questions can directly impact our safety and privacy. READ MORE

BIOLOG: Benjamin C. Kinney
by Richard A. Lovett

Benjamin C. Kinney is a neuroscientist whose science fiction often explores the relationship between existence and cognition, particularly with alien minds or artificial intelligences. Not that you’ll find his academic research under the name Kinney. That’s a pen name, chosen so Google knows the difference between fact and fiction. “I want people who are looking for my science to find science and people who are looking for my fiction to find fiction,” he says. READ MORE

Alternate View: The Slow Radio Pulse Mystery
by John G. Cramer

The low frequency radio band of the cosmic radio spectrum (about 0.1 to 2.0 GHz) observed with modern radio telescopes is relatively empty, populated mainly by periodic few-second pulsar blips and the random long-term scintillations of active galactic nuclei (active supermassive black holes doing their thing in distant galaxies). The pulsars emitting these periodic radio bursts are rapidly rotating neutron stars that beam out radio waves. The pulsar radio beams, containing frequencies of around 0.4 to 1.4 GHz, are emitted from the neutron star’s magnetic poles and are swept around in a geometric cone as the neutron star spins on its rotational axis, rather like the beam of a lighthouse. Earth-based radio astronomers detect these emissions as radio blips observed when a pulsar’s radio beam happens to be properly aligned to sweep past the Earth-based antenna system every few seconds, like a ticking clock. READ MORE

Reference Library
by Sean CW Korsgaard

Since my last column, I’ve achieved three lifelong dreams. I have published my first book, sold my first short story, and seen the birth of my first child.

I share these milestones with all of you for two reasons. In the case of the first two, because there is nothing selfish about self-promotion in this industry. In the case of the latter, because even in a genre filled with new and different visions of the future, nothing has a way of changing how you look at everything—especially the future—as holding a member of the next generation swaddled in your arms. READ MORE

Upcoming Events
by Anthony Lewis

Check here for the latest conventions upcoming in September and October. READ MORE

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