Sunday, September 19, 2010

Analog Science Fiction and Fact February 2000

A fairly average issue.

 A Star Is Born • shortstory by Jerry Oltion
A man travels on an alien spaceship to witness a birth of a new star. The travel arraignments are kind of hard to take as the ship has been designed for giant caterpillars with no sense of hygiene. And one of the caterpillars seems to think that suns are sentient, at least for a while when they are starting their burn. ***½
Achromamorph's Burden • novelette by H. G. Stratmann
An alien ship is mining the moons of outer planets, when one crewmember finds out that there is life on the third planet. According to the standing orders, all new civilizations should be contacted, but the leader of the ship doesn’t seem to be too keen to do it. A too long story which tries to be humorous. It didn’t work for me, and leader of the expedition is by far too stupid if he is what he is described to be. **+
Digital Eyes • shortstory by Pete D. Manison
A blind man has a robotic guide dog which works literally as his eyes. When young punks steal the dog, he isn’t so helpless he might seem. Okay story, which is too short for real impact. ***-
The Quantum Teleporter • novelette by Michael A. Burstein
A man is killed in a locked room. He has invented a teleporter, but that room was supposed to be “a safe room” which is protected from teleporting. The death is dismissed as a suicide, but killed man’s friend asks help from a federal agent he knows. Somewhat too long story which depends on a few very contrived circumstances. ***-
Red Skies • shortstory by Charles L. Harness
A private company is trying to get a complete planet for commercial exploitation. They are ready to do almost anything to ensure their success, up to murder. An undercover agent arrives to investigate. And there are more than a few problems. ***+
I Wish You Dead • shortstory by Brian Plante
A man is in rehabilitation for causing a death after losing his temper while driving. He is in a computer simulation where he has to live “ordinary” life for a year. He can kill everyone else in a simulation just by making a wish. And almost everyone else tends to be very irritating. Only catch is that if he kills someone, he must relive that day again. And again. Fairly good and interesting story. Only: you are living in a world where you can do anything you want, and the only consequence is that you have to relive that day. And that is considered as a punishment? ****-
A Glimpse of Splendor • novelette by Dave Creek
A planet which is inhabited by two intelligent species living in an almost symbiotic relationship is facing certain destruction in a few decades as a nearby star will go nova. A pair of humans is preparing the evacuation, but that isn’t too easy as there aren’t other planets where both of the species could live together. Slightly overlong, some subplots might have been pruned out. Otherwise ok start to a series (?) of stories. ***

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