Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Analog Science Fiction and Fact July-August 1998

Some pretty good stories, some fairly well written, but pretty stupid ones.

The Ice Dragon's Song • novella by Bud Sparhawk
A survival tale in Jupiter’s moon, Europa. A young boy has to get some help after an accident destroys his family’s habitat and his mother is badly hurt. A fairly good story, but the characterization of the young hero didn’t feel exactly right as his behavior seemed to be a bit older than the stated age. ***+
A Life on Mars • novelette by G. David Nordley
What to do when your former wife and the mother of your child needs sudden help in Mars. Use experimental spacecraft with a new propulsion system, of course. A bit too long story with not very believable characters. ***-
Slow Drowning • novella by Daniel Hatch
The ice sheet over Antarctica is moving, and sea level will rise 200 feet (or something). A rich man with a lot of means of influence is planning forward in long term and preparing for the catastrophe. And the young generation might have some plans for the future, also. And tey might also need someone to blame for ruining the world. Very good, well written and good story. ****
Moon-Calf • shortstory by Stephen Baxter
A science fiction author, an ex-astronaut is on a book signing tour in a small English town. The stones of the village church look very strange, not at all typical for the area. He also discovers a local old tale about a flight to the moon. Well written, interesting, not too plausible story. ***½
The Long Way Home • novelette by Shane Tourtellotte
The first interstellar spaceship is leaving from Alpha Centauri. For their surprise an another, much faster ship, arrives from earth. It seems that they will not be the first interstellar travelers who will arrive to earth. And that would be horrible, so horrible that they are planning to jury-rig their engines in the best ridiculous Star Trek style. Yeah, of course a few astronauts can make improvements to engines which are developed by an army of scientists. Stupid, irritating and bad story, with ridiculous ending. *½
In Space, No One Can Hear • novelette by Michael A. Burstein
One brother is a space shuttle pilot on a passenger line, another brother who always would have liked to be a pilot is deaf, and didn’t get a change to do it. The deaf one gets a change take part on space trip, but the terrorist upload a virus to the ships very badly designed computer system. (There apparently are no backup systems, and rebooting the computer “would turn of life support” (the life support is designed so poorly, that it can’t function at all without constant control - apparently airlocks would open or some other catastrophic thing would happen immediately without computer controlling the system)) The knowledge of sign language then saves the day. Some pretty stupid aspects, and a saccharine sweet ending makes one fairly annoying story. **

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