Monday, March 16, 2009

Analog Science Fiction and Fact May 2009

Ok issue. Nothing really bad, most stories pretty decent, nothing extremely good.

Rendezvous at Angels Thirty • novelette by Tom Ligon
A virtual reality story. A wealthy man recreates a second world war air battle, where his ancestor was presumable killed. Magic-tech is used to read personality “engrams” of the actual participants of the battle. The battle is fought and won with the protagonist’s support (he is naturally expert in flying 2nd world war fighter planes). I didn’t really get the whole point of recreating the whole battle and re-fighting it, as the same tech which was used for recreating it could simply have been used to find out what happened to the lost fighter squad. Also, recreating self-aware AIs with human thought patterns, and start thinking about ethical consideration only when it would be time to turn of the simulation? Well written admittedly, even entertaining, but personally I didn’t like the main character. ***½
A Measure of Devotion • shortstory by Shane Tourtellotte
A former leader on starship program wants to make a comeback, starting on a public and important debate about future of space exploration. But he is very jumpy and insecure. Told ok, but not very logical story on several levels. That way the main character ended the way he is, isn’t really logical, and way he returns is really strange - any sensible board of trustees would never have allowed him to be first speaker in such important discussion. ***-
Among the Tchi • novelette by Adam-Troy Castro
A semi-famous writer is invited to a alien world to present his stories. The aliens happen to have a "slight" habit of nitpicking stories and asking questions on minor details, dealing among others the number of freckles the main character has on her face. Funny, entertaining story. ****-
Quickfeathers • novelette by Alexis Glynn Latner
Human colonists find on a strange planet markings made by a bird-like species. Those tell an epic story of bird hero of past. The planet itself is very strange, metal poor, with really strange apparently artificial moon. The background seem more interesting that the story itself. I wonder if the author intends to write more stories about these colonists, as most questions are left almost completely open. ***½
A Story, with Beans • shortstory by Steven Gould
Short story about a world which is infested by metal eating, extremely dangerous bugs. Warden/guide to a restricted zone tells a story about love and suffering. The story and writing are fine, but the background of world is much more interesting than the pretty short and simple story in itself. ***½
The Brother on the Shelf • shortstory by Philip Edward
The older brother goes to interstellar war, the younger stays at home as too young to fight. He has a collectors card of his brothers battleship, which is supposed to change color if the ship is destroyed. Inevitable happens. First story by a new author. As such pretty nice. Good ideas, nothing really surprising, but nice mood piece which might have been better as a bit longer. ***
The Sleeping Beauties • novelette by Robert R. Chase
A xenobiologist and a musician are going to get married when the xenobiologist turns down a possibility to take part on an expedition to Saturn. The musician bride turns down the engagement so that her fiancé could fulfil his dream. Sappy romantic story, writing ok, nothing special. ´The story feels a bit rushed, longer form and a bit more development might have made the story better. ***+


Anonymous said...

Oops, posted in the wrong spot. Double-check the titles versus contents. I'm pretty sure "A Story With Beans" is the metal-eating bugs. Tom Ligon

tpi said...

Yes. I noticed. I had written all reviews as I was reading them, and later copy pasted the titles from I didn't happen to have the issue at hand when I was doing that, and remembered the titles wrong way. Sorry.