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Reviews of Old Science Fiction Magazines: F&SF 10-11/2002: Another big anniversary issue. I tend not to like these anniversary issues, but this one was very good. First, "A Democracy of Trolls", in which RoOSFM favorite Charles Coleman Finlay dares to tell the true story of Reddit. Ursula K. Le Guin's "Social Dreaming of the Frin" is also excellent. Tanith Lee's "In the City of Dead Night" starts out really slowly and infodumply but picks itself up and becomes a fun Dying Earth-esque piece of fantasy/SF.

In the tier of stories that are not great but still worth your time: Lucius Shepard's "The Drive-in Puerto Rico" and Robert Reed's "The Sleeping Woman", which will stand as a testament that stories sometimes get published with that kind of stylized "POV character is obsessed with something" plot, even though it never works when I do it. Also Damon Knight's last story, "Watching Matthew", which has almost no fantastic element to it but has really admirable dialog.

So three great stories, three good stories, no interesting ads, you could do a lot worse. Trivia: In nonfiction, Gregory Benford gives explaining string theory his best shot. The book review column covers the beginning of the now-big Fables comic series. The end-matter column, "Curiosities", mentions the apocalyptic 1901 book The Purple Cloud, which wouldn't normally be worth mentioning except I'm pretty sure there's a story earlier in the magazine that mentions the same novel.

Slackers: I'm reading all these decade-in-review roundups and thinking "we really could have done all that in six years."


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