Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Analog Science Fiction and Fact March 2000

A below average issue. Ben Bova’s “novella” is the best story, but it is just an excerpt from a novel.

Escape Horizon • shortstory by Michael A. Burstein
A race around a black hole. A new contestant who has been the phenomenon of the season races against a seasoned veteran. Yawn. Partly a problem solving story, partly sports story. Not very interesting. **½
Enhancement, Incorporated • novelette by Rajnar Vajra
Murder investigation in a future world where most people have some sort of “virtual reality” embellishments. Not too well written and extremely irritating as the “mystery” is based on the details of imaginary technology, which is naturally unfamiliar for the reader. **-
The Suspended Fourth • shortstory by Paul Levinson
A colonist on a new planet which has a great number of birds, starts to suspect that the birds are able to warn about danger by changing their song after his wife is killed by lighting shortly after landing on the planet. Writing ok, but the conclusions made by the characters seem to be somewhat too easily drawn. ***+
The Eyes of Freedom • novelette by Ramona Louise Wheeler
Two friends have some trouble on a planet, and as a punishment they are ordered to transport a prisoner to another planet. A light, fairly nice story, a bit too long. ***+
Death on Venus • novella by Ben Bova
An excerpt of a novel. An expedition travels to Venus to rescue the body of a former explorer. Naturally there is some personal conflict and natural threats, also. Well written, and even entertaining, but the story is left completely open. Just an excerpt, I believe it shouldn’t have been published as such. ***-

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