Monday, August 30, 2010

Analog Science Fiction and Fact October 2010

Fairly average issues. None of the stories were really bad, but none was exceptionally good, either.

The Rift • novella by John G. Hemry
Aliens which were supposedly non-violent have slaughtered almost all members of a research station, and wipe out a military force which was sent for help. What made the aliens to turn against humans so suddenly? Why there are not attacking the few survivors?
A fairly good story, some condensing from dialogue heavy middle part might have made it better. There are a few minor quips: The concept of laughing before battle/death is new and incomprehensible to the scientists – haven't any of them ever read any war stories or watched any movies involving battles? ***+
Midwife Crisis • novelette by Dave Creek
A woman who has been enhanced to be comfortable in aquatic environment helps a gigantic whale like sentient sea creature which has fallen ill. She travels through the vascular system of the “leviathan” to protect an embryo from the disease the adult has. The comparative sizes seem strange, on the other hand the woman easily moves through veins, on the other hand she is able to irritate whale's bladder and help the giant child inside a giant womb. Also, there seem to very large spaces inside the creature – especially a sea-creature wouldn't have empty air filled areas inside it. Also, they are using ANTIcoagulant to stop bleeding?! The characters weren't too engaging and the writing wasn't among the best in this issue. **
Never Saw it Coming • shortstory by Jerry Oltion
An amateur astronomic finds a new comet on a near earth orbit. The media blows that out of proportion speculating about a nearly sure end of the world. Lightly told very nice story with a warm ending (in spite of the subject matter). ***½
The Great Galactic Ghoul • novelette by Allen M. Steele
A story of an accident in space, and how it happened. The events are described in past tense as a kind story inside a story, and there are perhaps too many details which have nothing to do with the main plot. A different approach might have worked better. Now you didn't really care for the characters, told in some other way this could have a really moving tale. ***-
The Alien at the Alamo • shortstory by Arlan Andrews
An alien abductee is interviewed by an alien – voluntary for a change – and gets a change to ask some questions from the alien. As I am a fairly amusical person, I probably missed some of the references here. The alien tests for emotional responses to music, and they are apparently trying to “uplift” humanity by some special musical pieces. Apparently there are not succeeding as well they are hoping (Not surprising, as about the only thing I understand about music is this: the newer music, the worse it is). ***-
The Whole Truth Witness • shortstory by Kenneth Schneyer
It maybe very hard to be lawyer is there is a treatment which makes it impossible to lie. Why – that is something I really don't get. If the cause is just (as it seems in this case) shouldn't a witness who speaks always the truth be a good thing? And is the fairly complicated treatment really so common that the law office is having so many problems? Writing was ok. ***-

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