Happy New Year, fans of Bewildering Stories ! We celebrate the New Year by giving our issue index a new look. It may take a little getting used to, but please give it a chance. The change is really very small and cosmetic; however, we think it makes our authors’ names and the titles more prominent, and we hope it will make the index page more streamlined, with less scrolling.
The New Year also brings us a new contributor in a genre new to Bewildering Stories. Julian Lawler’s novel The Prophet of Dreams is sure to keep you coming back to this and the next ten issues. The setting is a fantasy kingdom, and the story opens on a note of foreboding and intrigue in chapter 1: “Most Beloved Son.” The novel’s table of contents will be updated in Special Features as each chapter appears.
Tala Bar’s story of Ya’el comes to an end. At the beginning, Ya’el was a girl, confused and apparently at the mercy of fate. We have seen her grow into a young woman who understands others, thinks for herself, and takes decisive action at crucial moments. That alone would be a good story. But it gets even better: Ya’el and the cult of Oshrat challenge our concepts of the role of women in society; it is indeed a “Breakthrough.”
Michael J A Tyzuk’s heroes are very likeable, and we trust them to do the right thing. Only, what is the right thing? And will it be better or worse than what appears to be the right thing? On top of that, our heroes are going into combat in space. Don’t miss the action in “Ordered to Retrieve.”
Science fiction fans are surely familiar with stories in which the main character is very long-lived. Thomas R. takes up this theme in a genre he’s quite at home with: an article written from a historian’s point of view. “Anti-Geria” shows that a semi-immortal person might live not one life but many.
John Thiel’s stories are anything but predictable, which is all to the good. This story is part joke, part spoof, part social satire. Is this where space travel is really headed? Well, judging by what television has already done with it, get ready for “The Inane Voyage”!
Speaking of jokes, Ásgrímur Hartmannsson serves up very dark on wry. Let’s just be glad the warden doesn’t ask his prisoner what he wants for his last meal in “Good Choice.”
Careful, now: Don Webb is not writing a book review here but a review article, which is something else entirely. He’s a faithful reader of Robert J. Sawyer and respects the acclaim the author has received. But he has doubts and questions about Mr. Sawyer’s Hominids and, especially, Calculating God. The main question is: if these novels aren’t satires, what are they?
Issue 79 will feature a story by Deep Bora, a historical article by Norman Rubin, and the beginning of a dark serial by Toby Wallis. We may also have a review or review article — I’m not sure yet which — of Michael Kandel’s short novel Strange Invasion. Whichever, it will be very different from the article in this issue!
Readers’ reactions are always welcome. Please write!
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