Monday, March 29, 2010

Analog Science Fiction and Fact May 2010

Very good issue with some fine stories, each better than average.

Page Turner • novelette by Rajnar Vajra
Raining fishes and other strange happenings in this structurally creative story, where there are several stories inside the story, and several possible reasons for why there are live fishes on the doorsteps. Interesting, well written story what leaves some things a bit open. ***½
The Day the Music Died • novelette by H. G. Stratmann
A special sort of sound reprograms human minds, and makes exposed individuals to make that same sound, thereby spreading the infection. Ultimately all transmission of sound is forbidden. Ok story, there were some slight problems, it wasn't really logical when even old LP-records were destroyed. It is hard to believe that mob mentality would be so strong in normal neighbourhood. ***+
Hanging By A Thread • novelette by Lee Goodloe
Some very strong waves on an ocean planet threat a habitat which is tethered to an orbital elevator. And the water in the ocean is fairly strong acid, and is teeming with sharp toothed predatory fishes. Fairly good, very much "Analog-style" story. ***+
A Talent for Vanessa • shortstory by David W. Goldman
A proprietor of a "Special Talent Agency" tries to convince a young woman NOT to have a "Special Talent". A Special talent is savant ability, similar to those some (very few) autistic people have. They can produced intentionally by special sort of surgery, but most often at least some degree autistic behaviour is produced at the same time. Nice fairly simple story. ***½
Fishing Hole • shortstory by Rick Cook
Some Seattle seafood restaurants are serving very special seafood. So special, it has been extinct for a few millions of years. Where do those crustaceans come? Another good story which doesn't explain much. In a way that is nice, in another way not so nice. Perhaps there will be more stories in this setting? ****-
Teaching the Pig to Sing • shortstory by David D. Levine
A Defender of Humanity, Viceroy of Germany and Austria, and Royal Colonel of the European Army is kidnapped. He is gene-modified and brainwashed to be a perfect autocrat. Most things in the world are fine, but there is no room for individualism, or chance to strive for something more than middle-class lifestyle everyone have. And his sister, the queen of America, seems to have a bit of evil streak in spite of all breeding she is supposed have gone through. The kidnappers are planning a revolt against her, and they are deconstructing the brainwashing the viceroy has had, and are hoping that he will help them in their revolt. Very good, enjoyable story. Another one where more stories in the same world would be welcome. ****-
Farallon Woman • novelette by Walter L. Kleine
A scientist, who is trying to examine an alien space ship which was found on a sea, befriends an exotic, extremely smart young woman. She has suffered severe memory loss for unknown reason, but is relearning things extremely fast. Not exactly surprising plot, but extremely well told, very good tale. One of the best stories I have read this year. This will probably be on my Hugo-nomination list next year. ****+

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