The Magazine of the Week is the January 2005 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction, cover art by Michael Whelan. The magazine is signed by Colorado author Connie Willis, whose cover story "Inside Job" won this year's Hugo Award for Best Novella of 2005. (Also note on the cover the name of Roger Ebert, who contributed an essay to this issue. Mr. Ebert is a lifetime fan who once published his own science fiction fanzine -- there are many more of us out there than you knew.)
“Inside Job” is an excellent example of Connie Willis's renowned wit and irony. The story follows Rob, a professional skeptic dedicated to debunking phony psychics and mystics, who encounters a medium channeling notorious skeptic H.L. Mencken. Each time she does this, Mencken's spirit promptly berates her audience for believing in such nonsense. "Inside Job" first appeared in the Magazine of the Week, and was later published as a stand-alone hardcover book by Subterranean Press.
"Inside Job" was my #2 choice for best novella, behind only Kelly Link's remarkable story "Magic for Beginners," but I was still delighted that it won, because Connie Willis deserves all the accolades we can give her. She is a wonderful writer and an incredibly generous person. (You may recall from an earlier BOTW that she drove from Greeley to Denver just to meet with my son and his fourth- and fifth-grade classmates.) This is her ninth Hugo, the most Hugo Awards for fiction of any author ever. Congratulations to Connie Willis on this well-deserved recognition!
Next week we will see the Hugo winner for Best Novel.