Tangent Online

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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993
SF by Starlight
Selected stories of exceptional merit deemed worthy of extended commentary. Anyone may submit to this feature (Tangent Online reviewer or not). If a print copy is unavailable to the editor, a copy of the work must be submitted (electronically, if possible, or via link if from an e-publication, though a print copy is highly preferred) to the editor for review. Publication is subject to editorial discretion.

SF by Starlight: "The Chiaroscurist" by Hal Duncan in Logorrhea, edited by John Klima

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Image“The Chiaroscurist” by Hal Duncan

Set during the crusades, this tale concerns the self-absorbed, first-person account of a chiaroscurist, as he takes nearly five years to paint the ceiling and walls of the antesanctum of the Monadery di Sanze Manitae.  The centerpiece figure of the grand mural as backdrop to the altar is a gnomish figure, a hobben and friend to the unnamed plaster artist, who creates his Art in complicated plays of shadow and light.

SF by Starlight: "The Master Miller’s Tale" by Ian R. MacLeod

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In quiet command of his theme and with the relaxed self-assurance of a sophisticated story-teller—whose prose is as fluid and smooth as even the most style-conscious reader could wish for—Ian R. MacLeod takes us to a peaceful, agrarian world in “The Master Miller’s Tale” (from F&SF, May 2007) where wind-borne magic’s dying days meet head-on the birth of a would-be steam-powered, mechanically progressive industrial revolution. Clashing cultural viewpoints are mirrored on the individual level through the eyes of the main character, Nathan Westover, son of the master miller of grain whose highly respected, generations-old grain mill sets magestically atop Burlish Hill, and to which all in the village send their grain to be milled. Following his father’s passing, young Nathan becomes the new Master Miller. This is his story.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Dark Night: SF by Starlight, April 2005

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Mike Resnick's "Down Memory Lane" from the April/May issue of Asimov's, while a thoughtful homage to Daniel Keyes' "Flowers for Algernon," surely stands on its own as one of the best stories of 2005.

The metaphor of life as a light, whose luminence burns bright but inevitably sputters into darkness and death, and is something to be held at bay, was poignantly set to words by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas when he exhorted, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Dark Night, But Rage, Rage, Against The Dying Of The Light."