Challenging Destiny Challenging Destiny
New Fantasy & Science Fiction

Number 21, December 2005

[magazine cover]

Cover illustration by Rhett Ransom Pennell

Best of the Year

Rich Horton includes Jay Lake's "To Live Forever" in his list of favourite science fiction and fantasy stories of the year. You can find his entire list here.


Douglas Hoffman, on Tangent, says "Challenging Destiny #21 brings us an interesting selection of stories, from cyberpunk to steampunk, humor to tragedy." Regarding Suzanne Church's "Waste Management," he says "The joys of a story like this stem from the interaction of a well conceived, three-dimensional character with her world." You can read the entire review here.

Rich Horton reviews this issue in Locus (February 2006, Issue 541). He says this and more about Jay Lake's "To Live Forever": "It's grim and honest, with morally ambiguous characters convincingly realized." You can read the entire review here.

Ben Trafford, on Space Junkies, says "Chock-full of sci-fi goodness that's accessible to sci-fi outsiders, and yet satisfying to those of us who've read everything from Jules Verne to Neal Stephenson... In the great sea of crap that is modern sci-fi, 'Challenging Destiny' always manages to set out gems."

Bluejack, on The Internet Review of Science Fiction, says "Challenging Destiny includes a broad range of undoubtedly genre material. Fans of science fiction and fantasy will not be disappointed by tepid or exceedingly subtle materials. They may find themselves challenged by surprisingly complex and, shall we say, 'Challenging' material." You can read the entire review here (you have to subscribe).

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

To Live Forever by Jay Lake

The Children of Gol Goth had given the humans immortality. But the humans' babies are taken from them and once grown return as Deadwalkers or the Lost. Centuries later a couple of gentlemen decide that enough is enough, and they will try to make use of the fact that the Children have an aversion to iron...

The Day the Zombies Came Walking Up Out of the Sea by Steven Mohan, Jr.

Timmy knew it was a zombie right away because of the sickly pallor, the ragged clothing that hung in tatters from its lean, gray body, and because it wore not a stitch of Gortex. The unholy creature held its arms out before it menacingly, which was another clue, because most people in Lincoln City were pretty nice, even the tourists, and hardly any of them ever held their arms out before them menacingly...

The Bonebreaker by Kenneth Mark Hoover

The government in Russia was changing, and things were falling apart. Stepan made it through Tyuratam station because his regional contact had VIPed him through. His assignment was to break an organic AI who'd been selling information about their organization to the authorities. The AI was over 50 years old, but looked like a 20-year-old girl...

Waste Management by Suzanne Church

Lorna was tired of her loser boyfriend, and needed to get off-world. When her landlord told her his cousin needed engineers, she jumped at the opportunity. It turned out to be in waste management. With all of the different species using the facilities, they were having trouble passing code...

Clark Bland Saves the Planet by Jason Offutt

It seemed like everyone else in the world was a superhero. But Clark found them all annoying, and untrustworthy. Even his wife had taken Super Power Advantage treatments, and then she left him for Moth Man. When a bunch of superheroes created a ruckus near his house battling some invader or another, Clark decided it was time to take matters into his own hands...

The Case of the Twisted Coil by Hayden Trenholm

The great detective had come to America and donned the guise of a tramp, so that rumours of his continued existence wouldn't reach Europe. When a dead body is discovered nearby, he is surprised to find that the young man had been electrocuted. Even more mysterious was the man who led him to the body, a man who seemed to know his true identity...


Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun review by James Schellenberg

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction says Gene Wolfe "is today quite possibly the most important" SF author. James reviews one of his best-known series: Shadow and Claw (consisting of The Shadow of the Torturer and The Claw of the Conciliator), and Sword and Citadel (consisting of The Sword of the Lictor and The Citadel of the Autarch).

Interview with Sean Russell interview by James Schellenberg & David M. Switzer

Sean Russell lives on Vancouver Island, a two-minute walk from the shore. His first fantasy novel, The Initiate Brother, was published in 1991. Several more fantasies followed including the latest, The Shadow Road, which is book three of The Swan's War. He has also written a couple of mystery novels along with Ian Dennis. In his spare time Sean travels, sails, skiis, and reads about history.

15 Great SF & Fantasy TV Shows (Part 2 of 2) editorial by David M. Switzer

Dave tells you what he thinks of three Joss Whedon series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly; two Chris Carter series: The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen; Earth 2; and Futurama.

Last modified: June 20, 2006

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