Saturday, September 25, 2010

Analog Science Fiction and Fact July 1974

Pretty nice issue.
Extreme Prejudice • novelette by Jerry Pournelle
A spy is sent to kill another who has retired and apparently turned to a traitor. The retired spy lives on an underwater habitat. He seems to be a pretty nice guy with a beautiful wife and cute kid and lives happy life on very idyllic and peaceful location. But no one is allowed to leave the agency... not alive, at least. A well told and exiting story. I was baffled in the beginning when the main protagonist seemed fairly unsympathetic, but that turned out to be purely intentional. ****
Forced Change • shortstory by Bob Buckley
Some kind of insect people live on very hostile conditions. One of them stumbles on a some kind of ancient relic. The story wasn't very fluently writing or interesting and the final twist felt superfluous and stupid. (They are on Earth's moon). **
The Engine at Heartspring's Center • shortstory by Roger Zelazny
An android who is practically immortal has come to a center where people are coming to die. He hasn't taken the final step for long time. Very well written and good story. ****
Exclusive Either/Or • shortstory by Rowland E. Burns
A very short story about love and war which depends on an ending based on a bad pun. **-
Dark Lantern • novelette by P. J. Plauger
A spy is sent to kill another who has retired and apparently turned to a traitor. (sounds familiar?) This time the retired spy is a science genius who has appropriated inventions which could have been used for intelligence purposes for his own nefarious means. A fragmentary story which is told in flashbacks. The goal of agent's elimination attempts lives in a fortified castle which is build on an island. The story was at places confusing and it ended with a deus ex machina ending. I was expecting for some final twist, but there wasn't any. **½

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