Sunday, January 06, 2008

Mundanespotting December 2007

Posted by frankh at 10:54 PM
Mundanespotting December 2007

I had a little time to try some new short sf recently. I won’t be able to keep up in the near future (maybe I’ll be back for the major award nominees), but here’s a look at a recent month to see what the market is like.

I am covering these nominal December 2007 ezines:

Interzone (#213)

Interzone is finally available from fictionwise. Fictionwise also now directly supports the Sony ereader. Thus, I’m getting a pretty convenient reading environment for most of this (less so for JBU—I use their RTF release with the graphics removed).

— “Stray” by Benjamin Rosenbaum and David Ackert (F&SF): fantasy
— “Odin’s Spear” by Steve Bein (Interzone): mountain climbing on Callisto in a traditional sf future. I was unconvinced enough that I didn’t read very far, but there may not be anything hopelessly un-mundane if you like this kind of space adventure.
— “Kukulkan” by Sarah K. Castle (Analog): aliens
— “‘Domo Arigato,’ Says Mr. Roboto” by Robert R. Chase (Analog): race to grab an asteroid to build a space elevator to get to the “wealth” of the solar system, but a robot puts a fly in the ointments, as it were. Thoroughly traditional space story. The technology to exploit all that “wealth” (or even make a simple step in that direction) is always conveniently 20 years away. Keep dreaming, and read this story if you like that stuff.
— “The Lost Xuyan Bride” by Aliette De Bodard (Interzone): historical fantasy
— “The Bone Man” by Frederic S. Durbin (F&SF): fantasy
— “Double Secret Weapon” by Tony Frazier (JBU): fantasy
“Who Brought Tulips to the Moon?” by S. L. Gilbow (F&SF): another interesting sociological story by the author of “Red Card” from February 2007. The minimally convincing moon setting is not really important to the story, which has the Outer Limits vibe.
— “Reunion” by David W. Goldman (Analog): aliens
— “Second Banana” by Way Jeng (JBU): space opera
— “Icarus Beach” by C. W. Johnson (Analog): space opera
— “do(this)” by Stephen Graham Jones (Asimov’s): a kid brings a computer to life
— “Laws of Survival” by Nancy Kress (JBU): aliens
“The Rules” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s): the Corporate Power Elite respond to ecological crises in the near future.
— “Misfits” by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (JBU): time travel
— “The Lonesome Planet Travelers’ Advisory” by Tim McDaniel (Asimov’s): aliens
— “Darwin's Suitcase” by Elizabeth Malartre (JBU): time travel
— “The Art of Memory” by Barry N. Malzberg and Jack Dann (JBU): fantasy
“Osama Phone Home” by David Marusek (F&SF): the Corporate Power Elite respond to terrorism in the present. My favorite story from this rather weak batch of mundane sf.
— “Finisterra” by David Moles (F&SF): historical fantasy or space opera or something otherwise otherworldly
— “The Men in the Attic” by John Phillip Olsen (Interzone): political dissidents are hidden inside a guy’s head. This is well on the cyberfantasy side of my personal mundane sf line. I can imagine lots of neat cyber stuff but I need to see some reasonable level of extrapolation—not just magical brain dumps with no serious changes in society to go with it.
— “Salvation” by Jerry Oltion (Analog): time travel
— “Christmas Eve at Harvey Wallbanger’s” by Mike Resnick (JBU): fantasy
— “Don’t Ask” by M. Rickert (F&SF): fantasy
— “Metal Dragon Year” by Chris Roberson (Interzone): historical fantasy
— “Molly and the Red Hat” by Benjamin Rosenbaum (Interzone): fantasy
— “Fossilized Gods” by J. Simon (JBU): fantasy
— “Strangers on a Bus” by Jack Skillingstead (Asimov’s): fantasy
— “Anything Would Be Worth It” by Lesley L. Smith (Analog): time travel
“The Best of Your Life” by Jason Stoddard (Interzone): Somewhat interesting (if not entirely convincing) social extrapolation that is mundane enough for me. There is some cyberfantasy in the background that I can overlook.
— “Queen's Mask” by Barbara Tarbox (JBU): fantasy
— “Inheritance” by David Wesley (JBU): weather satellite goes AI as asteroid approachs to destroy civilization, or something like that. Too cyberfantastic for me to bother but others might be more patient and find something to like.
— “All Seated on the Ground” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s): aliens

That’s only four stories I’m calling mundane. A pretty weak crop, but at least it was not hard to get through because of all the obvious time travel and alien crap. Stay tuned for more mundanespotting….



Blogger PeteY said...

It's all very well reviewing published work, but when am I going to hear about my Interzone mundane issue submission?

1/08/2008 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Edward Ott said...

fantastic blog. I only recently discovered fictionwise through necessity. i let my sub run out and missed and issue. it was nice to get it over the internet,

1/09/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve Goble said...

I'm enjoying the blog so far ... good stuff!

I found it while looking for info on the mundane sf issue of Interzone. Like Petey above, I was wondering about submissions and whether you'd made it through all the slush yet. Not to be a pain or anything -- I just try to keep track so I can avoid sending a story out to another editor if it still has a chance in your slush pile. An update would be appreciated when you get a chance.


-- Steve

1/12/2008 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger frankh said...

We are clearing out the last of the submissions, as the Interzone mundane issue contents are taking shape. If you haven't heard there may have been an email lost. Try writing to (which also has a backlog).

(Note that although my involvement with the selection has been quite small, I can't claim total ignorance.)

1/17/2008 05:42:00 PM  
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