The July–August issue of the British Fantasy Award winning magazine contains new stories by James Van Pelt, Andrew Hook, Neil Williamson, D.J. Cockburn (the 2014 James White Award winner), E. Catherine Tobler, and Caren Gussuff. The cover art is by Wayne Haag, and interior colour illustrations are by Richard Wagner, Martin Hanford, Daniel Bristow-Bailey. All the usual features are present: Ansible Link by David Langford (news and obits); Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe (film reviews); Laser Fodder by Tony Lee (DVD/Blu-ray reviews); Book Zone: reviews of many latest releases plus an interview with John Joseph Adams and Jonathan McCalmont’s Future Interrupted column.
My Father and the Martian Moon Maids by James Van Pelt
illustrated by Richard Wagner
When I was six, Dad showed me the UFO detector he’d built in his closet.
“UFOs generate powerful magnetic fields,” he said. Hanging from the inside wall, out of sight, he’d suspended a four-foot long, slender metal rod. It swung freely from a pivot at the top, and at the other end, a small magnet quivered between two electrical contacts. He gave the rod a light touch, moving the magnet against a contact. A buzzer, mounted beside the device, hummed abruptly. I covered my ears.
Flytrap by Andrew Hook
illustrated by Daniel Bristow-Bailey
When Adamson was a boy he imagined a planet. Days were dreamt in visual soliloquies, quiet monologues. He pieced together a harsh, barren, dangerous world from what he knew of the extremities of conditions on Earth. Volcanoes pepper-potted the surface, craters pock-marked its face. The atmosphere suffocated.
The Golden Nose by Neil Williamson
illustrated by Martin Hanford
Felix Kapel believed the sweet smell of success to be that of gold. This was his logic: Gold was the highest standard in the world of finance, and in Felix’s own business as a globally respected olfactory specialist, a nose among noses, it stood to reason that any person who could discern the subtle smell of gold would rightly have attained the pinnacle of the fragrance world. Gold, Felix imagined, would have an aroma that was cool and warm, bright and mellow. It would be rich too of course but, at the same time… Well, it would be pointless to attempt to convey what the smell of gold was like because it would be unique.
Beside the Dammed River by D.J. Cockurn
2014 James White Award Winner
Narong heard children running to the road before he heard the pickup truck. He sighed. When he’d been a child, there had been nothing unusual about cars in Ubon Ratchathani province. All the same, he was happy enough to set down the empty water barrow and stretch his back as the plume of dust approached.
Chasmata by E. Catherine Tobler
You don’t remember, but this is where we began. (I think this is both true and not – just listen.)
This sepia waste of a place, just you and me, and all those wind storms. You wished for rain – eventually it came, flooding Valles Marineris the way you flooded me. You don’t remember, but right now I do, and I will show you again.
The Bars of Orion by Caren Gussoff
illustrated by Richard Wagner
In this universe, they called it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In this universe, the treatment was drugs, or prolonged exposure, or cognitive therapy, or eye movement reprocessing.
In his universe, they called it Consequent Distress Condition. Blankenship didn’t know how it was treated; in his universe, he didn’t have it.
Editorial by Nick Lowe
Ansible Link by David Langford
News and obituaries
Book Zone by Matthew S. Dent, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Jack Deighton, Stephen Theaker, Ian Sales, Paul Graham Raven, Ian Hunter, Andrew J. Wilson, Duncan Lunan, Simon Marshall-Jones, Jim Steel, Jonathan McCalmont
Book reviews including Robot Uprisings edited by Daniel H. Wilson & John Joseph Adams (plus interview with John Joseph Adams), Blood Kin by Steve Rasnic Tem, Koko Takes A Holiday by Kieran Shea, Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellamonica, Extreme Planets edited by David Conyers, David Kernot & Jeff Harris, Kindredby Octavia Butler, The Very Best of Tad Williams by Tad Williams, Morphologies edited by Ra Page, The Madonna and the Starship by James Morrow, Horror World by Michael J. Sullivan, The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, plus Jonathan McCalmont’s Future Interrupted column
Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe
Cinema releases including Edge of Tomorrow, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Tarzan, Godzilla, Maleficent, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, Patema Inverted, Upside Down, Transcendence, The Young and Prestigious T.S. Spivet
Laser Fodder by Tony Lee
DVD and Blu-ray reviews including If…., Gagarin: First in Space, Her, Under the Skin, The Night is Young, Boy Meets Girl, Frau Im Mond, Mirage Men, Escape From Planet Earth, Hunting the Legend