Challenging Destiny Challenging Destiny
New Fantasy & Science Fiction

Number 17, December 2003

[magazine cover]

Cover illustration by John Hancock

Honourable Mention

Will McIntosh's "Faller" gained an honourable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant.


William I. Lengeman III, on Tangent Online, says "'Faller,' William McIntosh's fantasy tale, was my favorite piece in this issue... McIntosh manages to sustain the promise of his first line all the way to the end of this lyrical tale, an ending which is just too good to relate here." You can read the entire review here.

Steven Sawicki reviews this issue on SFRevu (February 2004). Here's what he says about "Jack Be Nimble" by Fraser Sherman: "Sherman provides us with a kind of fractured fairy tale landscape that is both amusing and poignant." You can read the entire review here (scroll down).

Paul Skevington, on SF Crowsnest, says "it's a great pleasure to experience the myriad joys of this magazine, with its kaleidoscopic approach to fantasy and its new wave sensibility that forgoes the horrors of swords and princesses (mostly) and catches us off guard with a collection of stories gathered from a variety of talented authors." You can read the entire review here.

Rich Horton, on the Speculative Literature Foundation web site, briefly reviews this issue. He says his "favorite was William McIntosh's 'Faller', about a man who parachutes off a floating city and discovers that his world is composed of any number of floating cities." You can find his entire review here.

bluejack, on The Internet Review of Science Fiction, reviews "Frank Among the Franks" from this issue. He says "Occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, this is the kind of story you want to read bits of out loud to the people around you." You can find his entire review here (you have to subscribe to see the article).

Mark Watson, on his Best SF web site, reviews "Robin Williams, Speaking Spanish" from this issue. He says "All in all an impressive story with a set of mostly three-dimensional characters and intriguing interplay... Morlan's story is of a standard you would expect to see in the 'bigger' mags." You can find his entire review here.

Jonathan A. Gilbert, in his E-Dispatch from the Great White North (Volume 2, Number 15), says: "One of the best science fiction publications around... All the stories in this issue are superb but the ones I found most to my liking were 'Jack Be Nimble' (which takes a rather unique look at the Jack and the Beanstock fable)... and 'Frank Among The Franks' (where the tale's protagonist accidently summons the Principate of Anthropoloty which then puts him in charge of watching over one of the lost human societies that the Principate is charged with protecting)."

Ahmed A. Khan, on his Short SF and Fantasy Review web site, includes "Jack Be Nimble" from this issue as one of his favourite stories of 2003. He calls it "a thoroughly enjoyable story." You can find his entire list of mini-reviews here.

Spindoc, in dragon's breath (#72, Summer 2004), says: "With slick colour covers and some excellent b/w interior artwork, each issue boasts an entertaining mix of genre fiction, interesting articles and thought-provoking editorial comment." They rate the issue 8/10 ("boss"). You can find their mini-reviews here.

Boyce McClain, in Collectors Corner (#136, Feb. 2004), says: "Challenging Destiny presents some outstanding stories by pros and novices alike complemented by black and white illustrations."

Here are some sneak previews of the stories you'll find in the seventeenth issue of Challenging Destiny:

Dark Thread by Marissa K. Lingen
illustrated by Britt Martin

Anne was a concert pianist, even though she had gone blind some time ago. But in the other world, she was the Weaver Queen -- and she could see all of the dazzling colours of that world. Using her hands so much in both worlds is wearing them out, and she may have to give something up...

Jack Be Nimble by Fraser Sherman
illustrated by Marge Simon

Jack would like to go into business for himself. Something that would allow him to make enough money to support his mother with her poor health. But his mother has other ideas -- she'd rather he do things like climb a beanstalk, steal some gold, and marry a princess...

illustration for Jack Be Nimble by Marge Simon

Faller by Will McIntosh
illustrated by Rhett Ransom Pennell

Rohan's parachute malfunctioned one day, and he found himself hurtling towards the ground at an incredible speed. The only thing he could think of was to try to make it over the edge of the city. But no one had ever gone over the edge of the city before...

illustration for Faller by Rhett Ransom Pennell

Frank Among the Franks by Brian N. Pacula
illustrated by Jason Walton

Frank accidentally summoned the Principate of Anthropology, the angel in charge of preserving human societies. The Prince takes representative samples of endangered societies and transplants them to suitable empty worlds. There are only so many angels to oversee these societies, and he needs help...

Robin Williams, Speaking Spanish by A. R. Morlan
illustrated by Chris Jouan

Temple was a social worker, newly arrived on the ship to make sure that Dalton, the Savant-Contingent, was being well treated. The Savant's only function was to remember important numbers in case the computers went down. But Temple thought Dalton could do much more...


Time Travel: Movies (Part 2 of 2) review by James Schellenberg

James reviews time travel movies, including both adaptations of The Time Machine, 12 Monkeys, Back to the Future, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Donnie Darko. He will also be posting on the web site reviews of Time Bandits, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and all three Terminator movies.

Interview with Scott Mackay interview by James Schellenberg & David M. Switzer

Scott Mackay has three science fiction novels so far -- Outpost, The Meek, and Orbis. Heís also published a World War II thriller and three mysteries. His short stories have appeared in On Spec, Science Fiction Age, and other places. His new novel Omnifix will be out from Roc in February.

How Can You Use Your Computer More Effectively? editorial by David M. Switzer

Unless youíre a hermit, you probably use a computer. You know how to do certain things on the computer, but itís possible you could be more efficient at using it. One problem people have with computers is thereís always something new to learn, and Dave gives several techniques specifically for learning new applications or new features.

Last modified: September 12, 2004

Copyright © 2003 by Crystalline Sphere Publishing

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