I want to get the issues to bookgroup on Saturday, so I'm going to try to get all three in by tomorrow night.
This is a double issue with an unusual cover (by J.K. Potter) to go with The Last Judgment by James Patrick Kelly, I had to keep looking back and forth. It was a really good novella in a future Earth where aliens have killed all the men (too dangerous) and arrange babies the way they want. Some of the aliens disagree.
Williams' article is about SF on tech. Not her idea, but a lot of people emailed and said they liked it.
The other really good story was by Carol Emshwiller -- Riding Red Ted and Breathing Fire -- where somewhere else, spiffy soldiers are flying really dangerous fairy/horse-like beings. Our protagonist is going to pick something up, but things don't quite turn out the anticipated way.
Williams talked about whether we can actually write beings that seem alien, Silverberg brings up rereading PKD, and Kelly gives us the news on the Encyclopedic.
I liked these:
1. "Waiting at the Altar" by Jack McDevitt - this is a Hutchins prequel and she learns surprising things.
2. "The Flowering Ape" by Alan DeNiro - a far future where different young people are still hazed.
3. "The Widdershins Clock" by Kali Wallace - the protagonist's grandmother disappears and leaves her a very strange clock.
4. "Free Range" by Bruce McAllister - you'd never guess the things large black telepathic chickens can do.
I also really liked Jane Yolen's poem, "Objectifying Faerie."
Williams brings up The Secret Sharer and implies that she'd like to make an anthology of those, and Silverberg talks about the future.
1. "Alive and Well, A Long Way From Anywhere" by Allen M. Steele - this is a novelette set in his Near Space area where the rich famous disappeared person hires someone to be his voice.
2. "Kill Switch" by Benjamin Crowell - far in the future, where babies are modded, two early mod folks want to have one that's better than they were, but it's really expensive to mod for music because it uses so much of your brain.
3. "Long Night on Redrock" by Felicity Shoulders - the galaxy is at war and the children of a post-military couple are being abducted to please mean offworlders. The family lives on a planet where there is an area that gives dreams and nightmares and as the abductor with the children, followed by the parents, head across Area 103, there's a lot of information about the mother's history. I really liked the setup and about the first half of the story, but the rest is way too long. I think we could have found out what happened to the mother in war without making it run on like that.
The cover, by Tomislav Tikulin, is for this story. Pretty much nothing is actually a picture of what happens, but it all relates to the story. Something that caught my eye was that behind the family were soldiers who were all the same soldier, just re-sized and/or flipped. I wonder if he did that thinking it was part of the story, or just because it was easy.
Something that has happened recently is that Erwin S. Strauss no longer has the convention list far enough in the future. My issue arrived 10 days after the beginning of his list. He always puts more/new events in the closest month, and if I'd wanted to go to about seven cons in the list, I wouldn't have had time.