Monday, January 24, 2011

Mundanespotting F&SF January/February 2011

Posted by frankh at 9:33 AM
Here is a big fat F&SF.

1) "Home Sweet Bi'Ome" by Pat MacEwen -- whimsical story about a house that is alive; mundane enough for my tastes
2) "The Bird Cage" by Kate Wilhelm -- cryogenics; mundane only if you can look past the fantastic psi powers
3) "Long Time" by Rick Norwood -- an old guy hangs out with Ishtar in Babylon or something
4) "Canterbury Hollow" by Chris Lawson -- love in the time of humans living on some far away planet
5) "Christmas at Hostage Station" by James Stoddard -- holiday fantasy
6) "The Whirlwind" by Jim Young -- downloaded and/or uploaded people
7) "The Bogle" by Albert E. Cowdrey -- ghost fantasy
8) "Paradise Last" by Bill Pronzini and Barry N. Malzberg -- zombie fantasy
9) "12:02 P.M." by Richard A. Lupoff -- time travel
10) "Ghost Wind" by Alan Dean Foster -- character fantasy
11) "The Ghiling Blade" by Matthew Corradi -- heroic fantasy

After the slightly promising start, not too much to see here.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sorting through the slush. The escapist stuff doesn't work for me.

99% of science fiction is crap because the writers are pulling this stuff out of their ass. They aren't about to make an educated guess, to risk a falsifiable prediction -- which, however plausible, is likely to be disproved, as many genuinely scientific hypotheses, in their own lifetimes. Most lack the imagination to conceive of, let alone produce, work that is highly plausible, relevant, and entertaining. Besides, where is the percentage?

Cryogenics may be plausible, but how is it relevant -- to whom? How is it mundane? It is and will be a struggle to provide people around the world with clean drinking water. If you're suffering from cholera, you won't give a rip for cryogenics.

1/25/2011 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger frankh said...

The sf part of the Wilhelm story was about a rich man desperately financing the cryogenic research (or whatever, it was above freezing). The social impact of something like that--a huge medical breakthrough--even if available only to the very few, is fertile mundane ground.

1/26/2011 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Medical breakthroughs can indeed be fertile ground for mundane sf. But it's not enough to leave the hypocrites behind and state the obvious: that science fiction should not be incompatible with science. Mundane is not only of this world but commonplace. Addressing the inequalities of health care is more mundane than the plausible state of the art, which may be accessible only to a very few. What I've read of cryogenics so far is more about the pursuit of immortality/escapism than any real-world medical applications.

We're more likely to suffer frostbite than get rich.

1/26/2011 04:52:00 PM  

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