Friday, November 27, 2009

Analog Science Fiction and Fact July-August 1999

Third double issue in this month!
The many of the longer works are pretty good, but the shorter ones aren't among the best ones.

The Astronaut from Wyoming • novella by Adam-Troy Castro and Jerry Oltion
A baby has a genetic defect: he resembles very much the classic ”grey” alien. The tabloids go wild, but he turns out to be normal, bright kid who just looks strange. His greatest ambition is to become astronaut. And that's tall order in the world where few people care more about science than latest gossip about celebs. But almost everything is possible if one tries enough and is good enough. Well written story. Not really much happens, but nice anyway. By the way, it is funny how computer and information technology feels very old fashionable in the ”future ”described in a story only about ten years old. ****
Emperor Penquins • novella by Joseph Manzione
Alien species has contacted earth. They seem to be very amicable and readily share technology. A divorced lawyer is offered very challenging and difficult task: one alien is getting divorced from his family group of four, and he is demanding custodial rights for children. That is something totally unheard and unprecedented. Nice story, but ending wasn't as good as the beginning. ***½
As Time Goes By • novelette by Amy Bechtel
Continues an earlier story about a vet whose friend has a few ”sea monsters” as pets. As they are animals unknown for science treating them is a challenge – and sometimes even physiological processes might not be so easy to recognize. Very good, well told tale. Not much really happens, but very enjoyable story anyway. ****-
Live Bait • novelette by Shane Tourtellotte
A police detective is evaluating if a sport where a diver passes through a large marine animal which uses a water jet for moving is harmful for them. Suddenly the investigation turns to murder investigation. Fairly good story, pretty black and white. (brave manly divers, sneaky envirimentalists who stop at nothing). ***-
E-Mage • novelette by Rajnar Vajra
Hacking using virtual reality gizmo. Fairly stupid and unbelievable story where a hacker hacks a computer system by fighting a dragon in a VR world. Also, if the gizmo is supposed to be super-secret and super powerful, why the hacker gives a detailed overview of it to a random couple whose personal information she is trying to dig up? **
Tempora Mutantur • shortstory by H. G. Stratmann
A man starts to see strange looking people, and the assumption is that they are time travelers. Why are they harassing that one poor guy, who is soon losing his mind? Not my taste, writing doesn't appeal, ending is pretty stupid. **+
Out of Warranty • shortstory by Gordon Gross
Why electronic equipments break down so easily – and why they don't break if you have spilled out for extended warranty? Probably the best of three short stories in this issue, but that is not saying much. Ending and last plot twist are beyond believability. ***
GCEA • shortstory by Laurence M. Janifer
Circus is used for spying, but there seems to be a spy spying on the spies. Boring, confusing and pretty stupid story. And if that kind of method would have been used for spying, their data security is lax beyond belief. **-

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