Thursday, August 19, 2010

Analog Science Fiction and Fact January 2000

Pretty average issue. Hal Clement's novella was overlong and boring, but Brin'r novellette on the other hand was pretty exellent.

Under • novella by Hal Clement
A direct continuation to Hal Clement’s Mission Of Gravity stories. The same setting, the same characters, but unfortunately not same quality. The Mesklinites build a balloon. Not much happens very slowly. I wonder why most authors turn so long winded in their writing on their later years? I must admit I gave up in about 75% to the story. *½
Time Out of Joint • shortstory by Pauline Ashwell
A time traveler deals with antiques. Guaranteed to be genuine. When a 100% exact copy of a Greek vase turns up, the dealer has some explaining to do. An average story, part of a series? ***-
Greenhouse Chill • shortstory by Ben Bova
Post apocalyptic story. Sea levels have risen decades ago and old style life has almost been forgotten. But there is a new, even more catastrophic climate change coming. Have people learned anything? A pretty good story, might have been somewhat longer. ***+
Loki • shortstory by Larry Niven
A space ship functions as “black monolith” for generations upon generations of aliens. Very short story, not bad. ***+
The Cost of Having a Kid • shortstory by Brian C. Coad
It is possible to plan children beforehand by a computer simulation by analyzing the genomes of sperm cells and ovules, and making composites until you get the exactly right mix. Unfortunately it is very expensive to go to the real child from a simulation. Earning enough money is trouble in itself, especially if you and your wife don't agree on which would be the right child. ***
Tethys Deep • shortstory by Pete D. Manison
A family is diving on Saturn's moon Tethys, and the deep water station they are going to has disappeared. And their father was on board, and everyone must surely be dead – but are they? A bit mushy story, might have been better on slightly longer form. ***-
Pow'r • novelette by James E. Gunn 
Continues an earlier story. The humanity has gotten the secrets for unlimited power and for interstellar flight from an alien transmission. The secret of free energy has been taken to wide spread use. But nobody seems to be interested in space travel (everything in earth is supposed to be SO perfect, that no-one wants to leave earth. Yeah, sure. But in secret one group is preparing for spaceflight..Pretty loose story with some strange assumptions. Worse than the first part of the series. **½
Soapbox Cop Blues • novelette by Stephen L. Burns
A government cyber-crime unit works against hackers and restores net-sites which have been hacked. Most of the hacked sites are more deserving of being hacked, as most of them are racist or far right/left. Restore such sites is really getting on the nerves of a new worker. But the members of the unit have some nice free time activities... Pretty good and entertaining story. ***½
Stones of Significance • (1998) • novelette by David Brin
Singularity has passed, and near paradise has arrived for those who were ready merge with computers. Everyone has practically unlimited intelligence and wealth. One group of intelligences would like to grant citizenship rights to constructs made from fictional characters. Another wants to counter that proposition. Their representative finds a novel approach to find the best strategy to prevent that. Very good story, which was easily the best in the issue. ****

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