Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Analog Science Fiction and Fact July/August 2010

Fairly average issue.

Doctor Alien's Five Empty Boxes • novella by Rajnar Vajra
Continues the tale of a psychiatrist is treats aliens. He has a new clinic on earth, and has a few new very difficult cases – and some very irritated and irritating neighbours. Not as good as the first story in the series. The first one was funny without actually trying – this one tries to be funny, and as usually that doesn’t work. ***+
The Long Way Around • shortstory by Carl Frederick
A problem solving story set on the moon. How to get help after an unlikely accident? The story left me pretty lukewarm. ***-
Questioning the Tree • shortstory by Brad Aiken
A future of healthcare. Only those questions which are covered by structured interview notes are allowed and only treatments by machine are allowed. Okay story, ironic, doesn’t really hit. ***+
Fly Me to the Moon • novelette by Marianne J. Dyson
The last of Apollo astronauts is needed when a catastrophe occurs on moon. Too bad that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Very good, but implausible story. Very enjoyable anyway. ****-
Bug Trap • novella by Stephen L. Burns
Aliens have placed a lot of portals to earth. Through the portals anyone who wishes can travel to Venus where aliens have built a giant habitant. A young guy escaping from drug dealers and police at the same time is forced to escape through a portal. He finds that life on Venus isn’t perfect, but there are ways to make things better, if you want. Background was a bit sketchy, but god story. I hope there will be continuation to this tale. ***½
The Single Larry Ti, or Fear of Black Holes and Ken • shortstory by Brenda Cooper
Scientists want to start a new particle collider in the moon. They are battling in court against people who are afraid that the particle collisions will turn moon into a black hole. The story is fairly decent, but it might be a bit too short. ***½
The Android Who Became a Human Who Became an Android • novelette by Scott William Carter A private eye is trying to find his former wife’s latest (extremely rich) husband. The husband happens to be an android, who used to be human, who used to be an android. Fairly nice and entertaining story. ***½
Project Hades • novella by Stephen Baxter
In the year 1960 military is exploding an experimental nuclear bomb deep underground in the UK. What was supposed to be just an “ordinary” atom test turns out to be a pilot for a global weapon system which is supposed to produce major seismic cataclysms. However, the testing disturbs beings living inside the earth, and meanwhile a lunatic military commander takes charge of weapon system. Doesn’t sound too good, does it? I wonder if Stephen Baxter dug up an early manuscript and submitted it. This doesn’t seem to be the same standard as his usual work. Even the writing seems to be pretty clumsy. **

No comments: