Monday, March 1, 2010

Analog Science Fiction and Fact April 1997

Fairly average, or even a bit less than average issue.

Finder's Fee • novelette by David M. Alexander and Hayford Peirce
A negotiator of interstellar deals has had some bad luck. and has ended up running a less than successful cargo ship. He gets a shipload of strange crystals, and ends up by mistake to the very same planet the crystals originate. Some very strange, previously unknown, aliens have also turned up, and they demand the possession of all those crystals, and also instantaneous cessation on all mining operations of those crystals. The trouble is that their language is next to impossible to understand, and the reasons for their demands are unknown. Fairly nice story. ***½
This Old Rock • novelette by G. David Nordley
A young family has moved on a asteroid which is in fairly bad repair. Before they really can settle, they must face a “building inspection”. The inspector seems to be very tough, so tough that the head of the family starts to suspect foul play. Pretty good story as such, attitudes of some characters were a bit irritating. ***½
Warrior's Honor • shortstory by Uncle River
Video game design which takes [strange] ethics to consideration in the game-play (it is so much more ethical to murder someone so that he knows who did the deed, than the make the killing so that the victims doesn't notice anything) interspaced with preaching about urban development. Strange, boring, pointless and stupid story. *½
The Dream of Castles • shortstory by Wil McCarthy
An another part of the series with independent, self-sufficient houses. I have read at least one later installment. This story is mainly about the phase wherethe houses were getting their ”independence”. The story seemed to start from nowhere, there was fairly little background, and not too much happened, and it didn't seem to work very well as a separate piece. Clearly worse than the later story I have read earlier. **½
The Mendelian Lamp Case • novelette by Paul Levinson
Amishes, or Amish-like faction have developed widespread allergens and are using them to kill people. The real amishes have developed several kind of biotechnology, among others fireflies which not only give enough light for illumination, but also are able to warmth to houses, and also countermeasures for those deadly allergens . Writing is ok, but there are some problems with the story line. The bad guys seem to doing bad things just because they are bad – or at least I didn't notice any other motivation. Also, the energy requirements for the fire-flies described in the story would by totally ridiculous – far beyond any plausibility. ***

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