Saturday, June 5, 2010

Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2010

Fairly good issue. Some very good stories, some were a bit less good.

The Emperor of Mars • novelette by Allen M. Steele
A bride of a man who works in a Mars colony dies in a car accident on earth. He soon starts to believe that he is the emperor of Mars and all classic sf about mars is true. Excellent and entertaining story. ****+
Petopia • shortstory by Benjamin Crowell
An advanced robotoy winds up in a developing country. A teenage girl who is trying to take care of her family finds it. The toy has some advanced AI-properties. Well told, a good story. ****
Monkey Do • shortstory by Kit Reed
A failing author gets a monkey as he is writing a novel involving a monkey. The turns out to be fairly ”high maintainance”. To get something to do for the monkey, the writer gets him a computer software package which is supposed to make writing books extremely easy. What happens is easy to predict. Pretty good, nothing surprising. ***´+
The Peacock Cloak • shortstory by Chris Beckett
A some sort of virtual reality world is visited by its creators. They act like (and for all practical purposes ARE) gods. Some of them have different methods concerning their “minions”. I didn’t quite get into the story and didn’t find it very interesting as I found it hard to care about the characters. **
Voyage to the Moon • shortstory by Peter Friend
A some sort of insect scientist are exploring their world, and is traveling to their moon with some sort of pod-ship. Fairly nice, but it might have been better than it is now if it had been possible to figure out what their world actually was – at least I was not able to do it. ***½
Dreadnought Neptune • shortstory by Anna Tambour
I didn't get this one. I tried to start it several times, but honestly I didn't get it and wasn't able to read or understand it. Stylish writing apparently, but... The fault is probably on me, but the writing really seemed fairly strange. *
Earth III • novella by Stephen Baxter
I am not familiar with the earlier parts of the story. That didn't hurt much, however. Humans have lived in a small planet tidal locked with its small sun. There is a Trojan War style campaign to recover an escaped princess, and that leads to an escape to the far side of the world. Nice enough story, but there is nothing really remarkable in it to make it extraordinary. ***½

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