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02 August 2007 @ 08:48 pm
Fantasy & Science Fiction (Sept 2007 issue)  
A couple of weeks ago, johnjosephadams blogged about an F & SF giveaway offer. The offer was simple: a free copy of the September 2007 issue of Fantasy And Science Fiction for anyone who agreed to blog about it. Well, who can resist a freebie like that? Not me. So I emailed F&SF and they promptly sent my copy. It arrived a few days ago.

I haven't read it all. In fact I've only read one story, the novelette "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang. Chiang's achieved quite a rep in SF circles as a writer to watch out for. Having read his collection "Stories of Your Life and Others" I can only agree. He writes some great stories; they're all smart and fascinating and leave-you-thinkin'.

"The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" is no exception. In addition, I found it probably his most engaging and readable story so far. It has the form of a tale from the Arabian Nights, and it's about time travel. Fuwaad ibn Abbas, merchant of Baghdad, encounters an alchemist who has made a wondrous doorway through which one can travel exactly 20 years into the past or future. The nature of time - at least, of one particular physical model of time - and the consequences of time travel are neatly illustrated by Fuwaad's tale, and the three tales-within-a-tale the alchemist relates to him.

Well worth the read. I can only hope the rest of the mag is as good. But even if it's not... well, let's just say that had I paid actual money for this issue, I'd already reckon it money well spent.
ex_benpayne119 on August 2nd, 2007 11:24 am (UTC)
I've not read any Chiang so I'll look forward to it!
Blue Tysonbluetyson on August 2nd, 2007 11:29 am (UTC)
299 : Ted Chiang - Understand - http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/under.htm
300 : Ted Chiang - Division by Zero - http://www.fantasticmetropolis.com/print.html?fn,division
301 : Ted Chiang - What's Expected of Us - http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050704/pf/436150a_pf.html
chrisbarneschrisbarnes on August 2nd, 2007 11:31 am (UTC)
I really liked his collection - one day when you're not feeling lastshortstoried to death, try and find a copy.
Blue Tysonbluetyson on August 2nd, 2007 11:24 am (UTC)
You too, eh?

My favorite was Last Stand Against the Pack in the Kingdom of Purple Flowers, when you get to that one.

chrisbarneschrisbarnes on August 2nd, 2007 11:32 am (UTC)
I'm looking forward to that one. The title alone has hooked me.
Blue Tysonbluetyson on August 2nd, 2007 11:37 am (UTC)
Yeah, me too. Fab title, top story.