Challenging Destiny Challenging Destiny
New Fantasy & Science Fiction

Number 16, June 2003

[magazine cover]

Cover illustration by Jason Walton


Ken Rand's "The Ear of Mt. Horiuchi" appears in the collection Bad News From Orbit from Silver Lake Publishing.

Uncle River's "General Density" appears in the anthology Northwest Passages from Windstorm Creative.

Most Interesting Short Fiction of 2003

bluejack provides a list of the 12 most interesting stories of the year, and one of them is "Etamin at East 47th" by A. R. Morlan. He calls the story "an intensely psychological -- and intensely weird -- alien contact story... As a tragedy of madness and missed-opportunity for communication and even healing, this story was powerful." You can find his entire list here (you have to subscribe to The Internet Review of Science Fiction to see the article).


Jetse de Vries, in The Fix (Issue 8), says: "Not only are the stories and artwork of a consistent, high quality, but both are improving, as well. Therefore, I heartily recommend Challenging Destiny to those readers who like their fiction to be both adventurous and thought-provoking." You can read the entire review here.

Rich Horton, on the Speculative Literature Foundation web site, briefly reviews this issue. He says "The three longer stories in the June issue were all pretty decent: an amusing space medicine story by Uncle River, 'General Density'; a sad story of misunderstanding aliens by A. R. Morlan, 'Etamin at East 47th'; and nicely exotic fantasy artform story, 'Soothe the Savage Beast' by Michael R. Martin." You can find his entire review here.

bluejack reviews this issue on his web site. He says that "Etamin at East 47th" by A. R. Morlan "distinguished itself by bringing some new (and very old) ideas to the question of alien contact, while also working in very sophisticated psychological territory."

Boyce McClain, in Collectors Corner (#130, Aug. 2003), says: "The magazine is first-rate. In its short run of 16 issues it's proven itself to be every bit as good as similar, longer published, American magazines... The stories range from interesting speculations to disturbing and thought-provoking social commentaries."

Spindoc, in dragon's breath (#72, Summer 2004), says: "With slick colour covers and some excellent b/w interior artwork, each issue boasts an entertaining mix of genre fiction, interesting articles and thought-provoking editorial comment." They rate the issue 8/10 ("boss"). You can find their mini-reviews here.

Ahmed A. Khan, on his Short SF and Fantasy Review web site, includes "The Ear of Mt. Horiuchi" from this issue as one of his favourite stories of 2003. You can find his entire list of mini-reviews here.

Keith Walker, in Fanzine Fanatique (Autumn 2003), says: "There are few markets for short Sfiction these days but this handsome serconzine is one of the very best... There's some superb fiction worthy of anthologising here."

Andrew Belsey reviews this issue on the New Hope International Review web site. You can read the entire review here.

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

General Density by Uncle River
illustrated by John Hancock

If there's a way to stay healthy in low-G, someone's going to find it and that someone is going to make money. Gertrude Querchansky wants that someone to be her company General Density. Unfortunately the person best qualified to do research on the subject is a drunk...

illustration for General Density by John Hancock

Part of the New Master Plan... by Vincent W. Sakowski
illustrated by Billy Tackett

Mr. and Mrs. Nomore were spending a quiet Saturday afternoon at home. When they doorbell rang, they checked to see who it was before answering -- they didn't like unsolicited visitors. It was four government troops, and it didn't look like a social call...

Etamin at East 47th by A. R. Morlan
illustrated by Chris Jouan

The aliens gladly shared their scientific and mathematical knowledge with their human hosts. All they asked for in return was privacy -- no one was to speak to them without being spoken to first, and then only under specific rules of alien etiquette. But Masahiro has a semi-private room at the YMCA and now he must share his bathroom with an alien...

The Ear of Mt. Horiuchi by Ken Rand
illustrated by Monte Davis

Peter had discovered the whereabouts of Sgt. George Horiuchi, apparently before anyone else. If he could get him to talk, this would be a rare exclusive. But would the man who single-handedly ended the Spiratz Mining Division Altercation tell him the real story?

Soothe the Savage Beast by Michael R. Martin
illustrated by Rhett Ransom Pennell

Hirs'taelyn is a master of the art of al kelalim, in which the audience becomes one with the artist's inner vision. He is used to a very appreciative audience, but one night their reaction is restrained. There's a new player, an outlander who plays like no one has played before...

illustration for Soothe the Savage Beast by Rhett Ransom Pennell


A Survey of SF & Fantasy Art (Part 3 of 3) compilation by David M. Switzer

Dave brings you one more selection of science fiction and fantasy artwork for your viewing pleasure. Featuring artwork from Dale Ziemianski, Alan F. Beck, John R. Gray III, Hian Rodriguez, Christophe Vacher, and Steve A. Roberts.

Time Travel (Part 1 of 2) review by James Schellenberg

If we could travel in time, what would the consequences be? James reviews The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp, The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold, To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, and more.

Interview with Alison Baird interview by James Schellenberg & David M. Switzer

Alison Baird had an early start as an author, publishing her first poems when she was 12. She is known for her children's and young adult novels, including The Dragon's Egg and The Hidden World. She has also published short stories in On Spec magazine, and her adult fantasy novel The Stone of the Stars will be coming out soon.

What’s Really Going On? editorial by David M. Switzer

Can you believe what you see on TV, or what you read in newspapers or books? On the internet? Dave discusses revelations from Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, 20 Years of Censored News by Carl Jensen, You Are Being Lied To edited by Russ Kick, and the Independent Media Center web site.

Last modified: July 24, 2004

Copyright © 2003 by Crystalline Sphere Publishing

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