Where Analog tends toward stories of an adventure- or problem-solving nature, Sci Phi Journal leans (as the name suggests) toward philosophical themes. Most stories conclude with something of a discussion guide -- for a between you and the author -- about the issues raised by that story. Most of the fiction in this issue was science-oriented, but one, "Bunny Rabbit" (E. J. Shumak), was of the fantasy persuasion.
All the stories were -- for my taste -- well worth reading, and I found these especially thought-provoking:
- "An Iron Shell of Ritual" (Jeff Racho): about war, captivity, and whether robots (and the people who send robots into battle?) have souls.
- "Icarus Falls" (Alex Shvartsman): about memory, duty, and loss.
- "Take Up Your Cross" (Anthony Marchetta): about spirituality and causality (with a hat tip toward time-traveling Deloreans).
- "The Wallet" (Paul Levinson): a nifty time loop/paradox story.
Bottom line: I liked what I saw. If you're looking for a new source of SF, especially one with a fresh slant, you might want to check out Sci Phi Journal.
|Arlington (VA) Planetarium|
Here's a snapshot (taken and tweeted by audience member and Analog regular Jamie Todd Rubin) of the illustrious panel. From left to right:
Tom Shaad, moderator. Tom is one of the interviewers on the long-running SF-themed community TV series Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction.
(Full disclosure: I've been interviewed on Fast Forward, but not [yet, anyway] by Tom, whom I had just met. If you're curious about my 2012 interview, check out (on YouTube) Keeping the Science in Science Fiction. I suspect we know why I was invited to this panel :-) )
Catherine Asaro (from this angle, the one hiding), author of the wildly popular Skolian Empire series of hard SF space operas.
Clash of Eagles was just released on March 17.
Your Humble Blogger. Since I'm mentioning everyone else's books, I'll admit that when the opportunity arose, I made mention on the panel of my forthcoming novel. InterstellarNet: Enigma will be book three in my InterstellarNet series.
Tom Doyle, author of, among others, American Craftsman. Black ops, magic, and Poe all in one story ....
(And at the far right, Spock and Kirk. They didn't say much.)