Monday, June 22, 2009

Analog Science Fiction and Fact December 1999

Fairly uneven issue. The finishing story is excellent, a couple of others were very so-and-so.

Heat • novelette by Robert R. Chase
The story revolves around important rescue mission in Venus - the first star drive has dropped to there. Why it is so impossible just to build a new one, using the schematics of the first one, rather than develop totally new technology to retrieve the first from Venus is never mentioned - and how a prototype star drive meant for interstellar travel just happens to have a landing module able to withstand Venetian temperature and pressure - but pretty good archetypically Analog story anyway.
To Him Who Waits • shortstory by H. G. Stratmann
Getting stuck to airport - in really bad way, especially if you use a stasis chamber with a slightly ambiguous directions concerning when to stop the stasis, might be a slightly inconvenient, and generally not recommendable. Humorous short story, pretty adequate.
Dancing in the Light • novelette by Diane Turnshek
Astral projection is real and used for exploration of space. Solar flare threatens earth, but earth governments for some very strange reason don't cooperate fully with astral projector, who might have a way to save the planet. Somehow the timetable seemed wrong, there seems to be a lot time to discus things while the flare is traveling towards the earth. Contains also very tacked on saccharine romance subplot. **-
You May Already Be a Winner • shortstory by Stephen L. Burns
Aliens learn to use junk mail for their advantage. Short, humorous story, ok. ***
The Terraformers • novelette by Charles L. Harness
An attempt to terraform an alien planet which exists in another timeframe. For some poorly stated reason, that is supposed to happen in one go, with an absurd time limit of a hundred years. And there might be an ecoterrorist on board, also. For some reason I found this story to be very irritating, I didn’t like the writing, plot wasn’t very logical or well plotted. Well, there seems to be many reasons not to like this, after all… **-
Ark Ascension • shortstory by James Van Pelt
Earth is dying out from some sort of genetic disaster for which no cure (or not even any reason) has been found. But there might be some hope on an orbital space arc - if just there would be any new births there. Very short, feels more like an outline or a short scene from a longer story. **½
Twenty-One, Counting Up • novella by Harry Turtledove
A young high school kid meets his older alter ego with very strange proposition involving his girlfriend. Excellent and well written story. There is ”other half” for this one, written from the viewpoint of the older ”half” of the protagonist, which would be very interesting to read. There are some a bit weak spots - it is hard to understand, how you could ”fix” a relationship years before there anything wrong in the said relationship, at the time everything seems to be just perfect? Clearly best story in this issue. ****½

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