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Publisher's Summary

Here are six stories from the January and February 2003 issues of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, at once more current and more human than today's headlines.

M. Shayne Bell's "Anomalous Structures of My Dreams" is set in his hometown of Salt Lake City. The narrator, stuck in a hospital bed, discovers that there is danger of infection from his roommate, and a far greater danger as well - to the fabric of life itself.

In "Vandoise and the Bone Monster," Alex Irvine employs a unique narrative device to explore the ways in which stories survive over time, to show his concern for the land Out West, and to tell a bone-chilling tale.

Set on the Gulf on Mexico, Albert E. Cowdrey's "Grey Star" unleashes a hurricane of horror.

"Old Virginia" by Laird Barron takes place during a domestic CIA operation gone bad, and suggests a new hypothesis about the lost Roanoke Colony of 1588, and, indeed, a new theory of evil.

Ursula K. Le Guin's cautionary tale of sociological ecology, "The Seasons of the Ansarac," is from her forthcoming collection, Changing Planes, and deals with a complex and beautiful alien culture.

And finally, Sheila Finch's new story, "Reach," focuses on a brilliant dancer, and on how difficult it can be to stand out in one's chosen field.

©2003 Spilogale, Inc

What listeners say about The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, January-February 2003

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    3 out of 5 stars

good historical fantasy

I found this collection was about 50% good quality stories, and 50% not so great ones. I really enjoyed listening to M. Shayne Bell's "Anomalous Structures of My Dreams", Albert E. Cowdrey's "Grey Star", and "Vandoise and the Bone Monster". The first being a genius burst of imagination, great for anyone who enjoys medical thrillers and doomsday scenarios. "Grey Star" was very slow to get to the point throughout the whole thing, but has a terrific plot twist at the end. As for "Vandoise and the Bone Monster," I thought this story was just silly when I first heard it but has stuck in my head ever since. The way it is told is magnificent, and it is definately a very unique story.

"Old Virginia" was just too long and drawn out, with a pretty predictable and boring story line. The other 2 were ok, but could have been better, in my opinion.

In all, this particular collection from F&SF magazine will appeal to fans of historical fantasy, especially those interested in old civilizations, the old west, or just the past in general, as that seems to be a runnning theme through most of these stories. So I give this one 50/50 as far as the stories go.

3 people found this helpful