Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Analog January 1999

Not very good issue. Most of the stories were fairly mediocre.
Backfire • novelette by Ramona Louise Wheeler
A pair of explorers is forced to make an unscheduled landing to an unexplored planet which is undergoing an ice-age. They find a species of intelligent creatures (kind of cross between monkey and cat, with poisonous claws) with highly developed curiousness. One of the explorers ends up teaching the use of fire for the creatures - but much involvement is a good thing? Or should there be any?
A bit of condensing might have been a good thing, otherwise ok story. ***+
Shadows • shortstory by James C. Glass
Particle accelerator causes a collision between realities. A much exposition, too little story content, and not too well written. ***-
Finding a Voice • novella by Shane Tourtellotte
A spaceship has an accident and is forced to land on a fairly unknown planet. The crew must negotiate with the natives for a supply for osmium. The trouble is that the aliens have about medieval level of civilization, and they don’t approve any technological devices (e.g. translators), and have extremely hard, musical language. Luckily a bit strange fellow who is interested in old-time music is traveling on the ship, also.
Most of the characters are extremely irritating, some (including the captain of the spaceship) are unbelievably stupid. Story contains also a lot of irrelevant discussion of several subjects, among others music. Very boring story, could have been nice short story or novelette, now it was a struggle to read, at least for me. **-
Gems in the Rough • shortstory by Jerry Oltion
Dating in a world where you can rewrite reality at a whim. A couple decides to try something very wild: a date without any rewrites. Nice, fun, ironic story. Doesn’t really give answer how time would progress at all when _everyone_ is able to “turn clock backwards” for reasons like selecting too hot dish from a restaurant menu. ****-
Splitting Seconds • novelette by David L. Burkhead
MD working for the US navy has found that a few people have psi-like powers. Only trouble is that they are very limited in range and power. Her budget is being pulled away, just as she finds someone with almost useful talent: ability to predict future for almost a second. Nothing special, no surprises in this story. ***
Her Own Private Sitcom • shortstory by Allen Steele
Floating personal cameras have come commonplace, many are using them to make reality TV style programming of their own (and supposedly there is interest for those). A waitress in a rural diner starts making such show, and doesn't care for her customers. Not much of a story, simple, nothing really happens, and just the basic idea isn’t enough. **½

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