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Summary: Fantasy Magazine, 2009 - The Elephant Forgets — LiveJournal
Summary: Fantasy Magazine, 2009
Summary: Fantasy Magazine, 2009

Fantasy Magazine has moved completely online. They had been planning one last print issue, but in the end those stories were posted as extra features this year. So I have included those in my count this year -- even though I also included them last year (in anticipation of the print issue!) I counted 55 stories, 1 very short novelette, the rest short stories, seven of them short-shorts. About 188,000 words. The Publisher is Sean Wallace and Cat Rambo is the Managing Editor. I should note that I regularly contribute reviews to the magazine, and that Sean Wallace is my editor for my Best of the Year books. That said, I consider them a major source of mostly literary (often somewhat slipstreamish) fantasy, one of the leading webzines in the field.

I'll discuss my favorites one by one. Patricia Russo’s "The Men Burned All the Boats" (Febuary) is a rather Carol Emshwillerish tale of the complex interactions of men and women on an isolated island. J. Kathleen Cheney’s "Early Winter, Near Jenli Village" (April) is a sad Chinese-flavored story of a young man whose new bride won’t warm to him -- she is haunted by a ghost at their house, which of course is connected to ghosts of her earlier life. Also from April, Camille Alexa’s playful "Shades of White and Road" tells of a woman running away from home only to be followed by living objects such as a suitcase -- which all begins to make sense when she meets a rascally man on her way and returns to the city to confront her parents, who grow houses. "Voice Like a Cello", by Catherine Cheek (May), is about a woman tortured by the voices of the dead, who has moved to a remote area to escape them, until she is forced to return to France and all the war dead -- but also new hope. I also liked Jay Lake’s June story, "People of Leaf and Branch", is an evocative piece about a tree dweller forced to come into the city to satisfy a dead grandmother’s commands -- I believe this is related to his novel Green. Nadia Bulkin’s "Lake Tahoe’s Lover" (July) literalizes its title, quite amusingly: Els is a woman of a family that marries "landforms", but when the lake chooses her, she rejects him, with a dramatic results. "The Integrity of the Chain", by Lavie Tidhar (July), is an atmospheric character story, about a Laotian tuk-tuk driver, dreaming of the Moon, and his old friend who is trying to build a spaceship in his backyard. July was excellent over all -- it also featured John Mantooth’s "The Water Tower", in which a girl and her troubled friend find an alien drowned in the water tower -- and what they see when they see the alien tells a story about their milieu. Stephanie Burgis's "Offerings" (August) is a nice romantic peice, in which a witch receives hard to decipher messages from (we soon gather) a former lover. Nancy Kress’s "Images of Anna" (September) is one of the best stories of the year, as a photographer sees unexpected people in his pictures of a middle-aged woman, who, he learns, has met a mysterious man online. "Clockatrice", by Tanith Lee (October), is a fine colorful entertainment about a magazine artist who stumbles onto the story of a cockatrice which turned a jilted young woman to stone in Elizabethan days. And "The Raccoon’s Daughter", by Nicole Kornher-Stace (December) is strong work about a war-torn country, and its recent revolution, and the revolution's leader, lover, and daughter. Other good work came from Catherine J. Gardner, Ari Goelman, Paul Jessup, Megan Arkenberg, and Aidan Doyle.

Statistics -- no SF stories (no surprise -- though a couple were oddly close, such as Alexa's "Shades of White and Road"). And I count 14 of 55 stories by men. That's just over 25%. (The magazine has long been dominated by women writers.)

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5 comments or Leave a comment
asakiyume From: asakiyume Date: December 10th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes, I loved "Shades of White and Road" too--that was marvelous, so unexpected, so clever. I kept copying down quotes from it--and "Lake Tahoe's Lover" was one of my favorites of the whole year, period.

All told, I really enjoyed Fantasy Magazine a lot, this year.
csecooney From: csecooney Date: December 10th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Isn't Nicole Kornher-Stace a DOOZY? We started corresponding this last year and then met at ReaderCon, and she's the best writing partner EVER. I love Raccoon's Daughter. Love!!!
From: wirewalking Date: December 10th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Madam, you slay me.
catrambo From: catrambo Date: December 10th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
"That said, I consider them a major source of mostly literary (often somewhat slipstreamish) fantasy, one of the leading webzines in the field."

:) Thank you! You mentioned some of my favorites.
intertribal From: intertribal Date: December 11th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the mention!

- Nadia Bulkin
5 comments or Leave a comment