02 December 2004

December Ideomancer

Ideomancer, which used to be monthly, appears quarterly these days, but the fiction is still quite strong and the design pleasing. The best piece in the new issue by far is Chris Barzak's Vanishing Point, a reprint originally published in a "speculative literature" issue of the Canadian journal Descant. The ending of the story doesn't quite work for me (it's a little too pat, a little too easy), but everything leading up to it I found mesmerizing and emotionally affecting. Parts are humorous and absurd, though overall the story is quite sad. It does what good fantasy so often does: it finds concrete correlations for abstract emotional states.

Anyone who reads weblogs (yes, you!) will also want to read Too Many Yesterdays, Not Enough Tomorrows by N.K. Jemisin, a story that is better than its title, mixing speculations on quantum physics with the alienation of the internetted to create a truly unique apocalyptic purgatory.

There's also a strangely Arthurian story by Rudi Dornemann, who seems to me to be a new writer very much worth watching, though this story seems minor compared to some of his other recent publications; and a bit of odd anthropological science fiction, The Watching People by Paul Burger. I have developed a complete aversion to anthropological SF, so can't offer any comment on the story; I suspect if you like that sort of thing you'll like this one. Also in the issue are interviews with Larry Niven and Donato Giancola.

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