Sunday, June 28, 2009

Analog Science Fiction and Fact September 1995

Average issue. One story which was so bad, that it was entertaining, other mainly fairly good.

Touchdown, Touchdown, Rah, Rah, Rah! • novella by W. R. Thompson
A private entrepreneur on an alien planet gets a lot of opposition from UN, who thinks their (UN's) way of making business is the only right one. He is able to sell rights to alien sport if a human player takes part on the event. Pity, that the human who is supposed to partake the game is a stupid jackass. Especially pity, when requirement for sports is good scholastic aptitude, and the emphasis is heavily on teamwork. Nice light comedic story. Before I started reading I thought that the story would be a some kind of tribute to Robert Heinlein, and RAH would refer to him...kept waiting for some reference to him. By the way, author seems to think that milk allergy has something to do with lactose (the character who makes the mistake would certainly KNOW it doesn't). ****-
Kath in Winter • shortstory by Marc Stiegler
Old film actress meets a mountain climber, who tries make her interested in cryonics.
So bad it approaches being good. I wonder if this is a spoof of some kind, or has it really been written with serious intent? If it is a spoof I don’t recognize the source material. Pretty badly written, but the plot is absolutely laughable, with so strange coincidences that it is hard to believe. The medical science presented is also totally ludicrous. The story is supposed to happen a few decades (?) in the future, but neurosurgery at least is old-fashionable even for the time of writing. The mountain climber tells for the actress about new, revolutionary technique for operation of cerebral aneurysms (they supposedly have always been inoperable before) using lowered body temperature (and for some very strange reason leaching away all the blood from the body - as if lowering blood pressure to about zero wouldn’t be enough - and that is supposed to be very new and untested technique. In reality that type of operations have been done for a long time). Lo and behold! The actress then gets just that type of aneurysm about 20 seconds after hearing that story. What a coincidence! And that experience makes her ready for cryogenics, even though no one has never be successfully revived from that state - as it so similar to that body temperature lowering already done in the brain operation. Very logical. It about the same that thinking that if you survive being hit to your head with a novelty hammer made with foam rubber, you naturally will be able to stand being hit to the head with a sledge hammer - it is almost the same thing...While the actress is recuperating from the operation, the mountaineer is run over by avalanche, and dies there on the Himalayan mountains. Before that he has found a rare flower from the mountains, and done what every nature lower naturally does, ripped it from its’ roots and sent it for his love. It’s also probably easy to return to nearest post office from top of mountains, to mail murdered rare flowers to your loved ones...The story ends in the far future when the actress has been woken from her cryonic suspension, and has found the body of her mountain man, who has been deep frozen in the glacier, and wakes him up, also. Very believable, as the cryogenic suspension is naturally almost the same as been crushed by a few tons of ice for a few decades. After that there is room only for saccharine sweet happy ending.
Really, really horribly bad story, but very fun story to rip apart. *
The Chronology Protection Case • novelette by Paul Levinson
Universe seems to protect itself from a destruction time travel might cause, and scientists, who is about to publish article about test results hinting to possibility of it, start to have bad luck. Extremely bad luck. Nice and well written, interesting story, but I would think it would have safer and simpler for universe just to make our sun go to nova…***½
The Secret Life of Gods • novella by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
A history professor is on an excavation of ancient alien city. He interprets everything in terms of religion and cults. When other members of the teams try to offer different interpretations, he ridicules them and ultimately makes drastic measures to prove himself right. It isn’t hard to guess who was right. Ok story, nothing surprising in any way. ***
Ben Franklin's Spaceship • shortstory by Joseph J. Lazzaro and Peter L. Manly
A cargo space ship (which needs beamed energy from a ground station) loses its' energy beam and seems to be abandoned. The crew must find a way to survive. Very short story, a bit too fast and easy ending. Expansion of the story might have been a good idea. ***+

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