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[Comments] (5) Reviews of Old Science Fiction Magazines: F&SF 1985/05: And we're back. This issue starts off with Nancy Kress's "Out Of All Them Bright Stars", which won the short story Nebula for 1985. So logically speaking, it's gotta be all downhill from there. And so it is. Felix C. Gotschalk ("Vestibular Man") and Gene O'Neill ("The Shadow of the Mountain") both had good scenes set in military boot camps, but the rest of O'Neill's story is dull, and the only reason to keep reading Gotschalk's is his New Wave style of writing the story as a set of physiological changes described in this clinical medical language that's alienated from the POV character's perspective.

I was despairing of any other good fiction in this issue, and then the last story was "Top Of The Charts" by Bradley Denton, who wouldn't publish Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede for another six years but was already writing about pop music. "Top Of The Charts" is not the most inventive story but it's a lot of fun to read, and it has this great song lyric:

Your baby is a beauty.
She lives inside a shell.
She's one of several million
Interstellar Personnel.

In non-stories, Isaac Asimov talks about batteries, and Harlan Ellison complains about mindless summer movies. He kind of likes Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, though he never stops insulting it; he hates Cloak and Dagger and a film I've never heard of, Streets of Fire ("But as we say in the world of periodonture, Streets of Fire masticates the massive one.") He also hates Gremlins, though a lot of that seems to be hatred of the spin-off merchandising.

As usual I've photographed some interesting ads. There was a bizarre ad I forgot to photograph. It was an ad for the first Writers of the Future anthology that made the anthology look like the Bible with L. Ron Hubbard's name at the top. (Regrettably, correspondence on this topic is now closed.)


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