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[Comments] (2) Reviews of Old Science Fiction Magazines: F&SF 1999/05: Doesn't seem that long ago, but this sucker's over ten years old. Man. Interesting side note: one of the authors in this issue submitted a story to Thoughtcrime Experiments. (It's not Steven Baxter.) Also, this has the busiest magazine cover I've ever seen; the background painting is absolutely covered in text.

Almost every story in this issue was good! The kind of story that I'd mention after mentioning the really good story. But there was no really good story. I guess my favorites were K.D. Wentworth's "The Embians" and Baxter's "Huddle" (not the story pictured on the cover). Gregory Benford's nonfiction essay mentions Burning Man and the Long Now Foundation, but I don't think 1999 is terribly ahead of the curve for either of those phenomena, so maybe it's not worth mentioning the mentions.

Two of the three cartoons were jokes about science, which is a pretty good ratio. The "Curiosities" section on the last page mentions a prequel to H.G. Wells' Little Wars called Floor Games. I'd never heard of this book before, but it sounds interesting, and it begins with the scrupulously accurate statement: "The jolliest indoor games for boys and girls demand a floor[.]"

Summary: nothing to make the sprit soar, but the only boring stories were very very short. I even liked most of the supernatural stuff. You could do a lot worse.

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Posted by Brendan at Fri Aug 28 2009 00:41

I got this one during my first run of subscribing to F&SF, in high school... ten... years... ago. I was actually a big fan of the cover story--it made football sort of interesting in a way it wouldn't be again until Friday Night Lights--but I don't remember the others. I do remember citing the Benford article in some scholarship essay contest.

Posted by Leonard at Fri Aug 28 2009 09:06

I'd have rated the cover story higher if there hadn't been a very large gun on the mantelpiece. It did make gore interesting, though.


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