The seven stories that represent Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine's July and August 2003 issues exhibit an unusual diversity of almost familiar worlds.
Forty years ago, Walt Kelly's comic strip character Pogo famously intoned: "We have met the enemy, and he is us." Now, as the evidence for climate change becomes overwhelming, we learn the hard reality behind that witticism. The possible destruction, and certain transformation, of the ecosphere has been brought about by our own activities. What will our new world look like? How will we - can we - adapt? The clash of a rapidly changing environment with earth's self-styled ruling species, humans, provides ample creative fodder for this riveting anthology of original science fiction.
"Some stories were science fiction but didn't seem to discuss climate change."
Ribofunk contains 11 masterful and surprising works of imagination. In all of them, biology is the science that drives the engine of life and of story: the Protein Police patrol for renegade gene-splicers; part-human sea creatures live in the Great Lakes and clean up toxic spills; a river has become sentient; there is a bodyguard who is part wolverine and a thrill-seeker climbs a skyscraper and gets stuck, literally.
Before his stroke and the onset of old age, Frank Lazorg was the king of the fantasy illustrators - with an ego to match. But he can paint no more. That is, until he starts taking a bizarre new drug that promises to restore his creative powers. Unfortunately, artistic reinvigoration comes with a steep price tag: addiction and madness. With his rage and jealousy unleashed and his grasp of reality severely compromised, Lazorg is led to commit an unspeakable act, and, in turn, is led... somewhere else.
For most people, as they say, money makes the world go 'round. For Rory Honeyman, it's a different story. Having inadvertently and, almost without noticing, invented a new form of cash cow, money makes Rory's world go strangely pear-shaped and out-of-control.