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Fictitious Force

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Publication.

US Semiprozine of unusual dimensions, being letter-size folded in half (11 x 4.25 in; 280 x 110 mm), saddle-stapled, it saw six issues, undated but starting Fall 2005 to Spring 2009, with two issues in 2006. Published and edited by Michele Barasso and Jonathan Laden, Silver Spring, Maryland, with the last issue Laden alone in Washington, District of Columbia. The stories ran the whole range of Speculative Fiction often with a humorous edge. The original submission guidelines suggested a preference for Tall Tales [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], and whilst the end results often push credulity, they can also engulf the reader in their strangeness. "The Game" (2008 #5) by Daniel Ausema, for example, is about a town that chooses its leaders by whichever side can push a giant-size ball across the town. Other stories are earnest in their conceptualization, such as "The Buzz" (2009 #6) by Justin Stanchfield, portraying a future where everyone is Internet hooked, and children start to rebel to reject the 'net. It was not always easy to know when to take Fictitious Force seriously, but the authors – who include Greg Beatty, Marie Brennan, Aliette de Bodard, Jay Lake, Will McIntosh, Melissa Mead and Ian Whates – have fun teasing you. After six often delayed issues, editor Jonathan Laden went to the other extreme by launching the E-Zine Daily Science Fiction. [MA]


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