Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Analog Science Fiction and Fact June 1978

Pretty bad issue, one of the weakest I have read.

View from a Height • shortstory by Joan D. Vinge
A lone woman is travelling away from earth on a space ship. She has been a volunteer for an one way voyage on a research ship, as she suffers from very severe immune deficiency and wouldn't be able to have any contact with other people anyway. Story consists of her diary writen during a few days while she encounters a personal crisis. Very well written, but fairly little happens. Premise as such is good, but could have had more story, now it feels more like a segment from a book or something. However, by far the best story in magazine. ***½
Backstage Lensman • novelette by Randall Garrett
Apparently a parody of Lensman stories. Personally I have never read any of them, so I don' know the source material. Intentionally pretty badly written, and the plot is pretty ”interesting” - involving interstellar criminals and drug trafficking. Too long to sustain the joke, at least when I don't really get the joke... **-
The Great Gray Dolphin • shortstory by Ben Schumacher
Heroic dolphin poetry translated to English. Tried from the beginning, but didn't have the slightest interest to continue, having no real interest for poetry or for heroic fantasy. *
Starswarmer • shortstory by Gregory Benford
Alien story told from the viewpoint of aliens. The plot felt fairly awkward, and I didn't really like the writing either, didn't get into the story and mainly just skimmed it. **-
Empty Barrels • novelette by Steven E. McDonald
A colony of young settlers who have psi-powers is threatened by a warship of another colony. Young adult story, not very good one, predictable and most of the characters are irritable. Plot is not plausible at all. **+
Carruthers' Last Stand • novelette by Dan Henderson
What to do when you are in telepathic contact with very rude aliens – of course you try to find a certified SOB to take care of the contact from the human end. Very average, a bit overlong story but not necessarily too logical, very irritating main character (as intended). ***

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