Sunday, 6 November 2016


Image result for galaxys edge #7 by mike resnick
Galaxy's Edge #7 by Mike Resnick

A review by Sandra Scholes

After six other issues, Galaxy's Edge is officially a year old, so in order to celebrate it, here's another review from yours truly. If readers missed out on some older stories they have no doubt heard how good they are from their friends, here is a chance to read them as they are reprinted here.

Notable authors C.J.Cherryh, Elizabeth Bear, Robert Sheckley, Alexei Panshin, and Mercedes Lackey have a place in this seventh issue. Galaxy's Edge also has fiction by new writers, Lou J.Berger, Martin L. Shoemaker, Brad R. Torgersen and Steve Cameron, while Gregory Benford runs his own science column, Paul Cook has his own review column of the latest scrutinised books, and Barry Maltzberg writes about anything he wants to in his column and gets away with it, so Mike says.
The notable fiction starts with C.J. Cherryh's "Cassandra," and, like most of the other stories, what amazes me are the dates when they were published. This one won the 1079 Hugo for best short story. She is also the author of over fifty novels with three Hugos, a Campbell, the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award and has been a Worldcon Guest of Honor. In her story Alin is caught up in a constant nightmare of fire and flames, and ghosts only she can see. The imagery is haunting, but the ending is far worse for the character.

Robert Sheckley's "Candle to Onion to Carrot," is a definitive seventies story about one man's drug-crazed ramblings. Being a man who has experienced strange things most of his life, he has an audience with Thoth/Hermes, a god about to tell him of a unique recipe for a stew. This discussion leads to a rather humorous tale for Sheckley who first got his work published in 1952 and kept up his penchant for humour writing with novels like Mindswap and Dimension of Mirada.

Mercedes Lackey's "Werehunter," could have readers wondering what Glenda does at night even though she is a troubled girl during the day. Everyone has a story in them and Glenda's isn't a great one. She is the sort of girl who has felt misfortune after misfortune and only feels alive when night draws in. Author of the Valdemar universe novels, Lackey has written more than a hundred novels and collaborated with some of the best names in the science fiction and fantasy genre.

Lou J. Berger's "The Tour Guide," has two time travellers who want to see the site where Christ was taken to be crucified and get the attention of a certain tour guide who seems to know more than he should. This is the sort of story that keeps the reader guessing until right at the end. Anyone with a clown phobia should probably skip pages 66 to 74, though if you want to read a really good story based in a virtual world, you might want to redecide. It all starts with a girl dressed up running from clowns in Crowdlife, and as an agent of COE; Crowdlife Outcomes Entertainment, Agent Grice has set out to investigate the game and its outcomes. Set a hundred years after Facebook, social networks "ruled the world," at least according to the story, and like in reality TV shows, people "voted to determine others fates right down to the smallest detail." The idea of peoples lives being controlled by the sort of people who get a thrill out of making their lives a misery seems to be the norm in this story, but Agent Grice wants to change all the negativity and the possibility that there could be a hacker in Crowdlife gives him further concern. What made me laugh was the usernames in Crowdlife; Frt Inspktr, CowwSezMoo, SinrHatr, and Hackenstein XXX. These couldn't havse been a more accurate depiction of the kind of anonymous online user names you would expect to be online.

One thing readers will find are some very original stories, some of the best to be rereleased in the US for a while and if you don't like one (which is rare in here) you can always guarantee you will find others that will draw you into a dystopian world on the brink of collapse, one that might tickle you in ways you never thought possible, or touch you with its sensitive subject matter.

Whatever it is, the editor has made sure that there is the possibility readers will take to it. Other features in this magazine are the reviews section, which is always interesting and gives readers an idea of what to expect from new books due out soon.