Sunday, August 22, 2010

Asimov's Science Fiction, July 2010

Fairly average issue, a slight disappointment considering the authors involved. Read as an e-book during lunch hours and waiting for different appointments. That might have hurt a few stories, as some of them were fairly fragmentary and not too easy to follow.

The Other Graces • shortstory by Alice Sola Kim
A Korean girl is struggling with everyday life. Sat tests, finding the real and good collage, everyday racism and family life. She starts to hear voices which promise to help her on the Sat tests. Not much is explained, maybe too little is explained.  Writing is pretty good, though. ***½
Haggle Chips • novelette by Tom Purdom
A trader gets kidnapped and used as a pawn in a power struggle. He is treated very well, and even finds a companion, but as time goes on he really wants to get out. The kidnappers are pretty sympathetic and have a worthwhile agenda, and he has some qualms escaping. Pretty good and entertaining story. ***½
Eddie's Ants • shortstory by D. T. Mitenko
How to kill an intelligent ant colony who has stolen your girlfriend? Nice, light story. ***+
The Jaguar House, in Shadow • novelette by Aliette de Bodard
An alternative history where America is ruled by Indians. There is apparently some sort of competition. A hard story to follow up, especially when you are reading it from an Iphone during several lunch hours. I didn't really get it, but the fault is probably mostly in me. **
Amelia Pillar's Etiquette for the Space Traveler • shortstory by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Just what the title says. Fun little piece about to be a space tourist of interstellar cruise ship. A lighthearted nice piece. ***-
A History of Terraforming • novella by Robert Reed
Segments from a life of one man, who is closely involved in terraforming, its early failures and later successes. Short episodes, showing different sides of things. A bit too fragmented, not among my favorite Reed stories. A longer form might have been better? ***-

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