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The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2017 (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, #732)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2017
- C. C. Finlay - Editor
Volume 133, Number 1&2, Whole Number 732
William Ledbetter - In A Wide Sky, Hidden
Auston Habershaw - The Massochist's Assistant
Robin Furth - The Bride in Sea-Green Velvet
Charles de Lint - Books to Look For
Michelle West - Musing on Books
David Erik Nelson - There Was a Crooked Man, He
Paperback, 258 pages
Published July 1st 2017 by Spilogale, Inc.
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Beth Cato
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an incredibly strong issue, with the cover novella leading the pack. "There was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House" by David Erik Nelson not only has a wonderfully witty title, but it features a vivid depiction of downtown Detroit with a gruesome, eerie house with an affinity for designer shoes. Auston Habershaw's novelet "The Masochist's Assistant" is a fun peak into his books' setting with a unique take on a comedy in manners. My favorite short stories were "An Unearned Death" b ...more
John Loyd
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fsf
8 • In a Wide Sky, Hidden • 14 pages by William Ledbetter
Good/VG. Regina is an artist, making magnificent creations on several worlds. She came home to visit several times a year. When her sister turned twenty Regina took her on her first soup kitchen ride to another planetary system where Regina had made kilometer wide kites that made an aurora type effect. The sister gave Regina a beautiful necklace, said she had lost interest in being an explorer and the got a note saying to come find me. Re
The Massochist's Assistant by Auston Habershaw
Delightfully amusing story of a well-bred servant to a very eccentric wizard. Smartly-written with a dry sense of humor and nice pair of characters. ****1/2*

There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House by David Erik Nelson
Entertaining supernatural story about a house with some strange spacial properties, featuring a couple of interesting characters. ****

In A Wide Sky, Hidden by William Ledbetter
Future in space, with interstellar travel via tra
Overall a poor issue. The only real story of note for me was Afyia's story.

"In A Wide Sky, Hidden" by William Ledbetter; 2/5 stars
This might be a perfect example of a "not my cup of tea" read, in that there's nothing really wrong with the story, but I personally never connected with anything. The tale is structured around a wandering boy/man searching across the galaxies to find his free-spirit sister Regina. And when he finally does find her (view spoiler). Hones
Michael Whiteman
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
In A Wide Sky, Hidden - William Ledbetter ***
The brother of a planetary-scale artist hunts for her across habitable planets after she announces her masterpiece and disappears. Their relationship is fleshed out through flashback sections, establishing her inspiration for him to follow his dreams of exploring the galaxy. Ends bittersweetly, both bleak and uplifting,

The Masochist's Assistant - Auston Habershaw ***
Comedy of manners where a young man cannot face the loss of status from working for a
Kam Yung Soh
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good issue, with a nice nod to Robert Heinlein's 'Crooked House' by David Erik Nelson and a fascinating tale by G. V. Anderson that starts out sounding like fantasy but slowly reveals itself to be SF via biological modification. Justin C. Key's 'alternative US slavery history' (with a small dose of fantasy) might be enjoyed by those into that time period; otherwise it's probably be too specific to find a bigger audience.

- "In A Wide Sky, Hidden" by William Ledbetter: a man travels the galaxy,
Mary Soon Lee
The stories in this issue of F&SF range from planet-hopping science fiction, to alternate history, to high fantasy. They deal with postal problems, real estate problems, necromancy problems. My favorites were two of the novelettes: Auston Habershaw's "The Masochist's Assistant," which is a wonderful, humorous, compassionate tale of a man reluctantly assisting a maverick sorcerer, and Justin C. Key's "Afiya's Song," which is a hard, unflinching, compassionate tale of slavery. I note that "Afiya's ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Some solid stories in this collection. In A Wide Sky and Masochist's Assistant are interesting and clever, but absolutely nothing comes remotely close to Crooked House. What a masterpiece. ...more
Sea-witch golems! A paradimensional hell house in Detroit! The underground postal system and a monster picking off mailpersons! Slavery uprising through the magic of song!

Favorites: "I Am Not I" - G.V. Anderson (body horror/social strata/Strohm-Waxxog royalty/ BEE MAN) and "An Obstruction to Delivery" - Sean Adams (postal system dystopia/hilarious form)
Joey O'Donnell
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
These usually don’t rate a solid five stars, but this issue was consistently of high quality and entertaining throughout.
Aug 21, 2017 is currently reading it
In A Wide Sky, Hidden, William Ledbetter. Another trans/post-humanism science fiction piece. Kid wants to be an explorer when he grows up, robots took his job. Galaxy's a big place, so he gets the job anyway. His sister's an artist; is a natural death in a transhuman universe the ultimate performance art? 3/5.

The Masochist's Assistant, Auston Habershaw. 3/5.

The Bride In Sea-Green Velvet, Robin Furth. A weird little fantasy set in an indeterminate age of the "real world". Sir Henry has a birthday
Renee Babcock
This was a very strong issue. Standout stories for me were William Ledbetter's In a Wide Sky, Hidden, G. V. Anderson's I Am Not I, and Justin Key's Afiya's Song. I would expect to see some combination of these on various award ballots next year. ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The emphasis is on fantasy in this five-star edition of F&SF. I’d rate the majority of the content as excellent, but my favorites were the stories by Auston Habershaw, Robin Furth, Gardner Dozois, G.V. Anderson, and Marissa Lingen.
Jeff Rensch
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Treat yourself to Auston Habershaw. A remarkably witty fantasy. Also excellent Melissa Lingen story.
Grace Crandall
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
(This is a review for The Masochist's Assistant only; I listened to it on PodCastle and fell too far in love not to leave a review)

I really loved this!!! It's so rare to find character-driven, fun short stories with happy endings. There was a complex world in this story that came across seamlessly, and I loved both main characters equally. The ending was satisfying while still leaving a great deal open to the imagination. So well written!
Emmett Hoops
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't always read every story in F&SF, but this time I did. (Horror of horrors: I often skip any story that starts off like, "The wizard Lothyriak drew his sword...") and go in search of a good horror story (such as the David Erik Nelson story, illustrated on the cover) or a straight science fiction tale. Well, this issue is so uniformly excellent, that you may well find yourself in the same boat I am. I even read the book reviews! ...more
Sep 03, 2019 added it
I listened to Auston Habershaw's "The Masochist's Assistant" on PodCastle. It was fantastic! Don't miss it out! ...more
Michael Frasca
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favorite stories:

- "There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House" by David Erik Nelson. A house flipper acquires an amazingly pristine old house in the "BFE" part of Detroit. Alternately creepy and funny. Pairs well with The Sellout.

- "An Obstruction to Delivery" by Sean Adams. The citizens don't like seeing mail carriers on their routes, so the mayor orders the Post Office to use the old, dark tunnels under the city to deliver the mail. What could go wrong? Pairs well with Welcome to
An excellent issue. There are three 5-star short stories in here. The cover story is weak, as is the cover. The science article is, I dunno, naïve?
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Good enuff, but the anchor novella about a haunted house that inspires the cover was quite lacklustre.
Leroy Erickson
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fandsfmag
This issue had a few good stories, but then finished up with a couple of bad ones.

William Ledbetter - In A Wide Sky, Hidden - 4 stars
- A man searching for his older sister in the far future and on many far-flung planets. Well done.

Auston Habershaw - The Massochist's Assistant - 4 stars
- Having the job of being a magician's assistant can be really unrewarding for some magicians.

Robin Furth - The Bride in Sea-Green Velvet - 4 stars
- You may have magic and you may have the ability to create life
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Editor: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (

Author: The Prodigal Troll, the Traitor to the Crown Series, and Wild Things, and dozens of short stories.

Awards: nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (2003), the Hugo Award (2003, 2009), the Locus Award for Best Magazine (2016), the Nebula Award (2003, 2009), the Sidewise Award (2003) Sturgeon Award (2009).


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