Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Analog Science Fiction and Fact April 1999

Average issue. The high point was Flynn’s novelette.

Seed of Reason • novella by Daniel Hatch
A Chamal story. For most part story consist of two separate stories, another of genetic researchers who got audited and who haven't had much success in deciphering the strange genetics of Jamal, another half is about a couple of Jamalian "animals" who are trying escape another Jamal's animal’s genocidal manners. The two halves are very separate and practically this could have been split two separate stories. Even in the end they don't really intertwine properly. Ok, but I didn’t really get in the story. ***-
Democritus' Violin • shortstory by G. David Nordley
Physics department students try to make a copy of obnoxious professor's Stradivarius violin. A fairly nice story, ending was somewhat too easy. It is also hard to believe that a professor of a minor(?) collage would own a real Stradivarius. ***+
The Company Man • novelette by Kent Johnson
A manager of a large company, with several genetic and computer augmentations, is just and just managing his high pressure job. Ending is about what you would expect from a bit preachy story like this. ***-
The Dashing About Flying Box People • shortstory by Uncle River
A survey team finds an alien culture with complicated language and customs. One of the aliens even learns human language, even if it is so simple and not very descriptive at all. The next ship brings tourists... As a story ok, but really, really, really heavy-handed preaching, which made the story irritating. **1/2
Remembrance of Things to Come • shortstory by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Literature professor is bothered by his favourite author’s story, which meaning is changed completely by changing just one letter. The original manuscript has both letters on it - which is correct? Luckily, his friend in physics department has developed something resembling time travel. Ok story which is a pretty basic time travel story with a ending which is not probably surprising anyone. ***+
Prudence and Fortitude • novelette by Michael F. Flynn
A girl who used to belong to some kind of feminist "sisterhood" is travelling to join an astronaut training camp. She just misses her flight and is forced to take a rental car. The plane where she was supposed to be in falls down and everyone in it was killed. That is a spoiler - but that is a spoiler, which was in the interior illustration for the story. Personally, I would have not wanted to know that detail. The she has some trouble adjusting. The first part of the story was very good, but the ending wasn't on par with it. I had some trouble understanding the motivations of some of the characters. There seemed to be some interesting back-story which didn't get covered - I probably must try to find out if there are more stories on the same background. Easily the best story in magazine. ****-

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