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Science Fiction & Fantasy

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HUGO AWARD-WINNING SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY MAGAZINE  

 

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November 2018 ISSUE

Melon Farmers! Science Fiction Stumbles on the Way to the Theater

There’s an old saying about five-star restaurants: you do not want to see the kitchen. Let’s face it: sometimes you are better off not knowing how things get made.
That certainly applies to movies. Film is a big business, which devours vast quantities of money and talent—and too often, the talent finds itself at the mercy [...]

May 2018 ISSUE

Metallic Mayhem in the Movies: Giant Mecha, Then and Now

It’s hard to explain that moment . . .
Something moved in the hazy distance of a vast white plain, and an army of machines emerged from the mist. And for an instant, it was no longer The Last Jedi. It was 1981 and the Imperial Walkers had begun their assault on Hoth.
It was—and years later, still is—an unforgettable [...]

January 2018 ISSUE

Why Science Fiction Detective Stories Aren't Impossible

Perhaps it wouldn’t have been as bad without all the buildup.
Episode after episode, Doctor Who regaled us with stories about Madame Vastra, a reptilian Silurian living in Victorian England, and her prodigious detective skills: The police always went to her with their difficult cases. She was the basis for all those stories about Sherlock Holmes.
And [...]

November 2017 ISSUE

Science Fiction and the Fall of the Evil Empire

By the 1970s, no one believed in Communism anymore.
Not in the Soviet Bloc, at least. Least of all those running the system and particularly not the KGB and the State Security Apparat. Which didn’t stop the vast machinery of the Communist State from shuddering on, crushing those who dared to resist, while it slowly fell [...]

May 2017 ISSUE

Cut, Fold, and Conquer the Universe: The Best Models in the Galaxy

It wasn’t unbelievable.
It was something more than that, something you could hardly wrap your mind around.
If you’ve seen the Matrix sequels, you would recognize it instantly: the APU (Armored Personnel Unit), a huge, heavily-armed and intensely detailed battle exoskeleton.
It wasn’t so much that someone had created a model of this complex machine: after all, McFarlane [...]

November 2016 ISSUE

Kubrick to Scott: Relevancy and Realism in Cinematic Science Fiction

By the time 2001: A Space Odyssey arrived, everything had changed.
Behind the Iron Curtain the Soviets launched their own science fiction boom, one far more realistic and adult-oriented than ours.
Pavel Klushantsev’s 1958 documentary, Doroga k zvezdam (Road to the Stars), strongly influenced Kubrick. It starts with a brief history lesson, then moves into the future [...]

October 2016 ISSUE

Méliès to Bonestell: Relevancy and Realism in Cinematic Science Fiction

The future looks a lot more real than it used to.
Or at least that’s the impression given by movies like Gravity and The Martian. For over a century filmmakers have wowed audiences with voyages to space. Unfortunately, most of them look silly now—and even fewer would hold an audience’s attention for ninety minutes.
Will these [...]

March 2016 ISSUE

The Age of the Excessive Machine: Psychedelic SF, On-Screen and Off

In 1975, a group of talented young men started work on an epic film version of Dune. It would have featured extravagant visual design, never before seen effects, an all-star cast (including Orson Welles, Salvador Dali and Mick Jagger)—and would have sparked a new age of spiritual awakening for the entire world!
At least, that’s Alejandro [...]

November 2015 ISSUE

You Wouldn't Be Reading This If It Weren't For Buck Rogers

Buck Rogers.
The name is often spoken with a sneer, as if all of science fiction could be summed up with a single, iniquitous name—which makes it very hard to appreciate how much we owe him.
Buck freed SF from the confines of the adventure pulps and a narrow, specialized audience and put it in the average [...]

August 2015 ISSUE

“Fans Are Slans”: A Study in Campbellian Influence

In September of 1959, Jason Howley walked into the Golden Casino in Reno, Nevada, carrying a small, black, plastic box. Within a matter of minutes, he’d won over three hundred thousand dollars. When the device was opened up by investigators, they found nothing in it but a plastic lens, two silver contacts, white paint, and [...]