Challenging Destiny Challenging Destiny
New Fantasy & Science Fiction

Number 8, November 1999

[magazine cover]

Cover illustration by Chris Whitlow


A. R. Morlan's "The Gemütlichkeit Escape" appears in the collection Smothered Dolls from Overlook Connection Press.

Honourable Mention

A. R. Morlan's "The Gemütlichkeit Escape" gained an honourable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Thirteenth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.


Paul McDonald, on the New Hope International Review web site, says "CHALLENGING DESTINY is an extremely well-produced magazine brimming with work of a professional standard."

Keith Walker, in Fanzine Fanatique, says: "Excellent fiction zine that's superbly produced. As we've said before, the future of short fiction in the SF and fantasy field seems very much to rest in the hands of small press publications of this kind."

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

The Bodysnatchin’ Man by James A. Hartley
illustrated by Craig Jennion

When a man from the city comes to the small town of Snake Eyes, he accidentally runs over a kid with his skimmer. Naturally, he takes the kid to a med centre. But the Sheriff of Snake Eyes had other plans for the kid, and now he’s after the Bodysnatchin' Man...

The Screaming of the Fish by Vincent W. Sakowski
illustrated by Sean Madden

Once there was a man who had a fish-bowl for a brain. And there were two goldfish in the bowl too. But the the man went jogging every day, and the goldfish didn’t like that very much...

illustration for The Screaming of the Fish by Sean Madden

Skeletal Structure by Kelly Howard
illustrated by Billy Tackett

Brian and Tan have built a house with a frame of living bone. They were pleased that the house withstood earthquakes very well. Then some foreign cells contaminated the system, producing some unexpected results...

Crossing by Ken Rand
illustrated by Jason Walton

You can't send live tissue through a transmitter. But when Graham is shot on an important mission, his body is sent home through a transmitter so that the OSA can access the data he's carrying. To everyone's suprise, including Graham, he shows up alive...

Sky Pearls by James Viscosi
illustrated by Dave Fode

After a hailstorm, Ralph finds slithery black things squirming in his yard. When it rains again, the worms all jump ten feet into the air. Then Ralph, usually calm and reserved, feels like jumping into the air himself...

illustration for Sky Pearls by Dave Fode

The Gemütlichkeit Escape by A. R. Morlan
illustrated by Chris Jouan

When Bud receives a Christmas card from Rolf in Germany, he recalls their meeting 50 years earlier. Bud was a prisoner of war, and Rolf was the commandant of the camp. Even in such a horrible situation, something magical can happen...


Feminist SF: Mainstream Invaders (Part 2 of 2) review by James Schellenberg

Several “mainstream” authors have ventured into science fiction territory with their feminist novels. James reviews four novels from the 1980s: Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Doris Lessing’s Shikasta, Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time, and Kathy Acker’s Empire of the Senseless. He also reviews the movie version of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Interview with Phyllis Gotlieb interview by James Schellenberg & David M. Switzer

Phyllis Gotlieb was one of Canada's first science fiction authors, publishing her debut novel Sunburst in 1964. Robert J. Sawyer describes her as "the grande dame of Canadian SF, a poet with a cosmic perspective who elevates space opera to high art." Her most recent novels are Flesh and Gold and its sequel Violent Stars. She also co-edited Tesseracts2 and was the poetry editor for TransVersions magazine.

Intelligence is Wrong editorial by Robert P. Switzer

Humankind, as it exists at the present moment on this planet, isn’t what it could or should be. It falls short of the ideal. At some point in our past, humankind as a whole took a wrong turn. Bob considers the possibility that intelligence causes us more problems than it’s worth.

Last modified: November 24, 2003

Copyright © 1999 by Crystalline Sphere Publishing

Crystalline Sphere | Challenging Destiny | Previews