Bewildering Stories

What’s in Issue 104

To Bewildering Stories News

To the Second Anniversary Retrospective, issues 53-60

Novels After taking Dar on a beautiful journey under the surface of the lake in issue 103, Tala Bar introduces her to Timma, who is a kind of grandmother to the telepathic “cephaloids.” After the adventure in the forest (chapter 3), Dar is not really surprised at the way they receive her: Gaia, chapter 4, “The Lake,” part III, conclusion.
Novella Euhal Allen’s Katia will play a central and crucial role in the Bridge’s Plan for Earth. But Neils’ scheming and the Powers That Be put her and many others at risk: “The Bridge,” part III, conclusion.
Serials Gregory Hansen has gotten his hapless insurance salesman, Orin Bennett, into so much trouble that even Orin has lost count of the perils. All Orin can do now is hop into the driver’s seat... er, acceleration couch... and floor the accelerator. Good thing he has some smart business people as captives... passengers? friends? Whatever, he’s going to need them: “Adverse Selection,” conclusion.

Lou Antonelli is back with the beginning of this issue’s second space-opera adventure. What can you say when your ship is pelted by debris from planet Minerva, and it may contain Wagram’s disease or the deadly Andiamo bug? And then when it puts a crimp in a... relationship? C’è molto male, for starters. Things have got to get better for poor Travers, but how? “I Got You,” part 1.
Ian Donnell Arbuckle returns with a story that is also set in space, probably out around Jupiter, in the far future. A family goes about its ordinary life with only one of them to mourn Mother Earth in her last days: “Goodbye, Grand Mother.”

Thomas R. continues his “cinema” series with a longer story than usual. No matter how well you’ve researched your film and think you know the past, when you time-travel back to show it to the people of the era it portrays, the real shocker may come after the main film: “Feature and Trailer.”

We welcome back founding contributor Sherry Smith Gray. One suspects that Sherry knows whereof she speaks: an amusement park in Florida, filled with rude and sweaty customers... and God, Who meets His female Counterpart while waiting in line for a ride on the flying elephant: “God’s Epiphany.”
Poetry The main themes of this issue somehow seem to justify including this senryu by Steven Utley, “A Condensed History of Humankind.”
Articles Deep Bora gives us a colorful and touching account of funerary practices in India: “Beyond Death,” part 1.

Mark Koerner has long been fascinated by both artificial and “constructed” languages. His article is very informative, and it takes an unusual turn by considering — sometimes with gentle irony — the esthetics of these languages: From Esperanto to ET: Artificial Languages in the Internet Era.
Essay Steven Utley again complements one of the main themes of this anniversary issue: the future. His point about how a desirable future can be attained may explain why his prize-winning essay... didn’t: “Welcome to the Future.”
Don Webb rounds out the non-fiction features in this issue with a review of one of the most important books to mark a century’s end and another’s beginning. It sees the grand sweep of history in small things and is both apocalyptic and hopeful. It brings to mind an earlier, somewhat similar admonition: “Oh you hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky, but can you not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:3): Jane Jacobs, Dark Age Ahead.


Challenge Challenge 104 says that The Value of the Constant c may represent something as basic in terms of humanity as it does in physics.
Letters Ian Donnell Arbuckle recounts the frustrating history of his short story “Goodbye, Grand Mother.”

Steven Utley favors us with what amounts to another essay, a humorously titled and informative discourse on vocabulary: “Words is My Life.”
The Reading
Jerry Wright reviews...
  Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon and other assorted books (James Curtis, Cataclysm, Dave Kuzminski, Red Wing: Dragon from Venus, Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver)
Editorial Jerry Wright, What’s Going On?
Correcting a broken link: Michael J A Tyzuk’s guest editorial in issue 103, “Society for the P. of C. A.,” can be accessed here.

In Times to Come

It’s time to start sending in your picks for the Retrospective on issues 61-70. Remember, you don’t have to fill every category; just let us know which title or titles you’d particularly like to see on the list.

Readers’ reactions are always welcome.
Please write!

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