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Science Fiction & Fantasy







March 2015 ISSUE

Dark Angels: Insects in the Films of Guillermo del Toro

It’s no secret that Guillermo del Toro loves bugs. Insects and insect imagery play a major role in just about every movie in his filmography, from the fly-in-amber ghosts of The Devil’s Backbone to the Reapers of Blade 2 and the vampires of The Strain, with their hive-like social structures and insectile proboscises. Even Hellboy [...]

February 2015 ISSUE

What in the World Do They Want, Anyway? The Myth of the Friendly Alien

It was one of those typical open line nights on Art Bell’s late night radio show, the talk drifting easily between the serious, the bizarre and the ludicrous. Somehow—perhaps the recent release of both Independence Day and Mars Attacks! started it—it settled into a discussion of how the movies have portrayed aliens. Why did so [...]

January 2015 ISSUE

Song for a City-Universe: Lucius Shepard's Abandoned Vermillion

It takes a long time to read an issue of Vermillion. Relatively speaking, anyway; each of the twelve issues of the brilliant, overlooked science-fantasy comic book series—written by the late SFF master Lucius Shepard and published in 1996 and ’97—is composed of as many pages as your average comic. Within that basic framework, though, Shepard [...]

December 2014 ISSUE

China Dreams: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction

China has a vibrant science fiction culture whose sheer size can sometimes surprise Western readers unfamiliar with it. For example, China’s largest science fiction magazine, Science Fiction World, has a current monthly circulation figure of around 160,000 (this is down from a peak of around 300,000, but copies are often read by multiple people as [...]

November 2014 ISSUE

“We’re All Dreaming,” Arctor Said: Drugs in Science Fiction, from the 1960s to the Present

Open any of the best-known science fiction books from about 1965 to 1975 and the odds are that you’ll find some reference to drugs. This isn’t surprising. The 1960s, after all, were rife with upheavals. Escalating involvement in the Vietnam War, the threat of nuclear apocalypse with the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of [...]

October 2014 ISSUE

I Sing the Lady Electric

Science fiction has been a thread running through black music in America at least since jazz pianist Sun Ra’s vision of a trip to Saturn as a college student in the late 1930s. Sun Ra might be considered the archetype that later musicians have followed. The twin themes of oppressive social alienation and ecstatic personal [...]

September 2014 ISSUE

Flash Gordon, Cardboard Space Stations, and Zero Gravity Sex: Why Science Fiction Isn't Always to Blame

It was early July of 1960 and Flash Gordon was in trouble.
A deadly virus had Flash, Dale and Doctor Zarkov trapped on a space station as it killed one crewmember after another. However, on July 12, Zarkov and the team of doctors discovered the answer:
For most people watching the victims’ rapid recovery, it was the [...]

August 2014 ISSUE

The Issue of Gender in Genre Fiction: Conclusions

What is the situation with women in SFWA-qualifying science fiction short story markets? What proportion of publications are authored by women? What proportion of submissions are authored by women? Is science fiction significantly different from the other genres in these markets? Can we see any trends that might explain the differences between markets?
These were the [...]

July 2014 ISSUE

The Issue of Gender in Genre Fiction: Publications from Slush

The issue of representation of men and women in science fiction is one that has caused much discussion. There’s “The Count,” from Strange Horizons which looks at professional reviews of science fiction novels by gender, and a similar initiative by Lady Business for blog reviews. A common query when it comes to this issue of [...]

July 2014 ISSUE

The Issue of Gender in Genre Fiction: The Math Behind the Slush

Editor’s Note: Knowing that some people will be curious about the math behind Susan’s piece, we asked her to provide something a bit more technical for those more mathematically inclined among us.
Submissions Variation Between Markets
Hypothesis: There are no significant differences in gender ratios relationship between markets.
All Submissions
Chi Square: 248.94
Critical value at 99.9%: 34.53
I [...]