Challenging Destiny Challenging Destiny
New Fantasy & Science Fiction

Number 24, August 2007

[magazine cover]

Cover illustration by Jim Warren

Aurora Award Winner

Hayden Trenholm's "Like Water in the Desert" won the Aurora Award for Best Short-Form Work in English. You can find the entire list of 2008 winners here.

Nebula Award Nomination

Harvey Welles & Philip Raines's "Abigail & Chang" was nominated for the Nebula Award for best novelette. You can find the entire list of nominees here.

Best of the Year

Rich Horton includes Harvey Welles & Philip Raines's "Abigail & Chang" in his list of favourite science fiction and fantasy stories of the year. You can find his entire list here.

Recommended Reading List

Locus (February 2008) includes "Abigail & Chang" by Harvey Welles & Philip Raines as one of the short stories on its recommended reading list for 2007. You can find the entire list here.


Sam Tomaino reviews this issue on SFRevu. He says: "'The Little Cat in the Attic Window, the Blue House on the Corner' by Jennifer Rachel Baumer is a very short story with a long title, but it's the best one in the issue. Jess lives a lonely existence. She has no friends and cannot communicate with anyone. Her only connection is to a cat in the window of a house she passes on the way home. One day, because the cat is beckoning to her, she enters the house." You can read the entire review here.

Michele Lee reviews this issue on Tangent. She says: "'Abigail & Chang' by Harvey Welles and Philip Raines is an enjoyable, amusing tale where 'visitors' is more accurately read as 'vermin.' The practical, down-to-earth voice employed to tell the story lends weight to the laugh-out-loud moments and a solemn resonance to the bit of sadness within. The best of the bunch, this one makes the issue worth checking out." You can read the entire review here.

Rich Horton reviews this issue in Locus. His favourite story is "Abigail & Chang." You can read the entire review here.

Rich Horton mentions this issue is his end-of-year summary on his blog. He says: "One first rate novelette appeared in #24, Harvey Welles and Philip Raines's 'Abigail and Chang'. It's set in a future where most people constantly 'jaunt' -- and thus are never 'home' anywhere, and Abigail is an older woman who reluctantly strikes up a relationship with a jaunter (Chang) despite her resentment over losing her son to jaunting." You can find his comments here.

Blue Tyson has a mini-review of this issue on his blog, where he rates each of the stories. You can find it here.

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

The Dao of Stones by Ian McHugh

Yin Xi had been a teacher of the Way for many years. When the shi-ren approached him, his interest was piqued -- he'd never had a student who was an alien before. "The Way that can be spoken is not the true Way," Yin Xi said. The shi-ren scuttled away, but he would be back...

The Little Cat in the Attic Window, the Blue House on the Corner by Jennifer Rachel Baumer

Jess saw the cat in the window every morning and evening on her way to and from work. Lately she found she was anticipating the cat, as if they were old friends. And she was even dreaming about the cat. One day the cat meowed insistently at her, and she knew that something was wrong...

The Chermasu by Brian Patrick McKinley & Mark Jenkins

Alia ground blue corn in the traditional way, using the same three stones that her Mother and her Mother's mother used before her. She was interrupted by a stranger's singing. She invited the visitor in for lunch. He turned out to be an old man from a distant clan, but he seemed familiar somehow...

Camouflage by Corey Brown

The hermit finally heard something over the radio -- music. But it wasn't in any language he had heard. So it wasn't their rescuers -- in fact, it was coming from the third planet, which they had always thought to be lifeless. He raced down to the canal, dry these million years, to tell the others...

Abigail & Chang by Harvey Welles & Philip Raines

The visitors popped in without warning, as they always do. Abigail tried to chase them away, but to no avail. They were looking for photos, and they found her photo of the temple at Banteay Srey. Then they were gone. Now she'll have to redecorate before they come back...

Freya's Flight by Andrea McDowell

Today Freya would become a priestess in the service of the Huntress. She had rejected the wealth and power of the family business -- she wanted truth and meaning. She would walk up the steps of the Temple to the top, and then she would fly. Unfortunately, she didn't know how to fly...

Like Water in the Desert by Hayden Trenholm

Max was riding the rails in search of employment when he met George. George had a job for him, but he only spoke of it cryptically. He seemed like a nice guy, though -- he even shared his food with him. They jumped off the train and headed off to see a man named Robert Goddard...


The Latest in Canadian SF review by James Schellenberg

James reviews several recent novels by Canadian authors -- Sun of Suns by Karl Schroeder, Blindsight by Peter Watts, Widdershins by Charles de Lint, and The New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson. He also reviews the anthology Tesseracts Ten. Tesseracts is a series of anthologies collecting short stories by diverse Canadian authors, and this year's edition is edited by Robert Charles Wilson and Edo van Belkom.

Interview with Michelle Sagara interview by James Schellenberg & David M. Switzer

Michelle Sagara has written several fantasy series including The Sacred Hunt, a duology, and The Sun Sword, a quintology. Her latest book is Cast in Courtlight, a romantic fantasy from Luna. Michelle has short stories in many anthologies, writes a book review column for Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine, and works at a science fiction specialty bookstore.

10 Memorable Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Stories editorial by David M. Switzer

Dave discusses the 10 short stories that he remembers most vividly. Stories that made the cut are by Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, Orson Scott Card, Ted Chiang, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen R. Donaldson, Harlan Ellison, James Alan Gardner, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Eric Frank Russell.

Last modified: September 25, 2008

Copyright © 2007 by Crystalline Sphere Publishing

Crystalline Sphere | Challenging Destiny | Previews