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Bewildering Stories

What’s in Issue 178

Novel The long dynastic struggles between Saul, Ishbaal and David end with the ascension of Solomon as king of Israel. Human sacrifice gives way to animal sacrifice, and the goddess Ashtoret is eclipsed by a divinity from the “desert winds” — Yhwh: Tala Bar, The King’s Daughter, The Last Sacrifice, part 1; part 2; conclusion.
It’s Shane’s 5th birthday, and despite L.J.P.’s best efforts the day takes a very sinister turn: Clyde Andrews, Have Magician, Will Rule World, part 1; conclusion.

How might survivor guilt be alleviated? Perhaps by returning to the source: Lara Apps, All Apologies.

Even — or especially — Chuck the Demon can have the Christmas spirit: Beverly Forehand, Fair Trade, part 1; conclusion.

A sinister-looking box delivers a surprise message: Cleveland W. Gibson, The Event.

New contributor Chris Robertson has Pavel bring pet food to a very spooky mansion at night. But what, exactly, is Pavel really delivering? The Delivery, part 1; conclusion.

Advanced age brings illness, but also consolation: Thomas R. Willits, Why Do the Willows Weep?
Note to beach bullies: don’t kick sand on “98-pound weaklings”; you may not live to regret it: Charles Richard Laing, The Sand Castle.

New contributor Virginia Pharis has some fun at the expense of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel: The Mediocre Gatsby.

A second-best runner on the track may be the winner in a much more important race: Willie Smith, Break for the Tape.
Poetry Not all of our poems are “seasonal” in a traditional sense, but they all touch on a basic theme of the season: what seems small may be very great indeed.

    Mary B. McArdle, Enchanted Twilight
    Darby Mitchell, Star Child
    Carmen Ruggero, The Winter Rose and This Miracle — This Life
    New contributor Ian Duncan Smith, The Cleverest Man in the World
Essays Fantasy fiction may be pointing to an aspect of modern culture that is historically quite unusual: Seth Mullins, Initiation: Fantasy’s Hidden Theme.

Has too much “Ho, ho, ho” and “Jingle Bells” afflicted you with seasonal affective disorder? Time to go to the movies! Steven Utley, Have Yourself a Very Hairy Christmas.
New contributor Paul Campbell sends a Christmas card.
Mrs. Santa Claus gets an adoring look from Rudolph: Christine Cartwright, Time.


Welcome Bewildering Stories welcomes Chris Robertson and Ian Duncan Smith.
Challenge Challenge 178 traces Mikhal’s — and our — journey From One Age to the Next.
Letters Two contributors send A Good Word at Year’s End.
The Reading
Jerry Wright reviews Angie Sage’s Magyk.
Editorial Jerry Wright, Books

Bewildering Stories News

Forthcoming: This is our last regular issue for 2005. December 26 will bring you the Year-End Retrospective of issues 151-175. We plan to resume regular publication with issue 179 on January 2, 2006. Happy New Year!

Retrospectives: We are considering making our Retrospectives quarterly rather than semi-annual. If we do, the next one will cover issues 176 to 188 (At least I think so; I didn’t major in arithmetic).

Illustrations: Christine Cartwright has done some spectacular graphic art for C. Meton and Rachel Parsons. There are others, as well. Be sure to check them out at Chris’s website!

Reminder: Bewildering Stories plans to announce Contest 2 early in the New Year. The theme: time travel. More preliminary details in issue 177.

To Bewildering Stories’ schedule

Readers’ reactions are always welcome.
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