Thursday, December 3, 2009

Analog Science Fiction and Fact September 1978

A large part of issue is taken by serial, Stardance II. I have read the book version a few years ago – liked it, but I am not going to reread it.

Banzai • novelette by Dean Ing
A deadly virus has killed everyone on earth. The only humans left alive are those living on a space station, and they are barely coping. They have mounted an expedition to earth to find vital supplies, or even a sort of cure for disease. But they find some evidence that there might be a survivor still alive...
Idea is fairly nice, but execution isn't so. There is a lot of fairly clumsy exposition in the beginning where the characters discus in detail things they all should perfectly aware. There is a lot of discussion, too much of it. The details of the viral plague are fairly strange, a viral disease should not survive with no hosts. And the ending and ”cure” are stupid and very unbelievable. Some condensing might have been a good idea. **
Starswarmer • (1978) • shortstory by Gregory Benford
Rerun of the story from June issue. The ending had been omitted by accident at that time. No wonder the story was pretty hard to understand...But as I didn't like even the first part at all, I am not going to reread this.
Stalking the Timelines • shortstory by Kevin O'Donnell, Jr.
A soldier jumps between different times and alternative earths, always working in the military. He tries to find a world without war – but is it possible? Nothing really surprising, very fragmentary structure – intentionally, of course, but not very good any way. **
State of the Art: The Morasses of Academe Revisited • essay by Lloyd Biggle, Jr.
Interesting non-fiction ”state of the art” piece. Mainly criticizing academic research of science fiction. And justly, at least if the examples given are representative. ****

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