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Science Fiction & Fantasy

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HUGO AWARD-WINNING SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY MAGAZINE  

 

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May 2020 ISSUE

Ray Guns, Robots and Spaceships, Oh My! The Birth of Science Fiction Toys

When we think of archaeological digs, most of us picture Indiana Jones in search of ancient civilizations, but just as often, they are conducted on far more modern sites to learn how people lived in the recent past.
Not long ago they conducted a dig in the Shenandoah National Park. Back in the twenties and thirties, [...]

March 2020 ISSUE

Separated at Birth? Occultism, Science Fiction, and Why People Can't Tell Them Apart

Things are not always what they appear to be.
For example, take The Suns of Easter Island (1972), a film by French New Wave director Pierre Kast. The basic premise is familiar. So familiar, in fact, that one has to keep reminding oneself that it was made several years before a certain far better-known film. Aliens [...]

December 2019 ISSUE

But Is It Art? Science Fiction that Isn't Really Science Fiction

It sounds familiar.
A tough, intergalactic private eye goes to a city enslaved by a giant supercomputer, to arrest or kill its creator and shut down the computer. But somehow it isn’t familiar—or perhaps too familiar, as Alphaville is just bits of the real Paris.
Then, there are the truly strange parts: the bizarre swimming pool execution [...]

August 2019 ISSUE

It Came From the Garage! Technology, Film, and the Guy Next Door

“Who is this guy?”
There in the midst of Amazon’s suggested list of horror and science fiction films was a series of what appeared to be lost Fifties films. Except that they were new, and the work of someone named Christopher R. Mihm.
“Who is this guy?” This time it was lurid covers promising octopus men and [...]

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 [...]