Saturday, November 6, 2010

Analog Science Fiction and Fact August 1974

A pretty good issue.

Enter a Pilgrim • [Shane Evert] • shortstory by Gordon R. Dickson
Thew earth has been invaded by ruthless aliens, who treat humans as cattle. A messenger who works for the overlords is torn when he contemplates action against the rulers. Very good story, apparently the first of a series. ****
The Ninth Circle • novelette by Robert B. Marcus, Jr.
An agent has been sent back in time. An opposing country has captured an important scientist (who has invented the time machine), and for some extremely strange reason has sent him back in time to stone age while reprogramming his mind so that he behaves like a real “caveman”. How to find out which member of the tribe is the scientist? Writing is fairly nice, but otherwise a pretty stupid story.
And Keep Us from Our Castles • novelette by Cynthia Bunn
Criminals (and dissidents) are punished by banishing them to wild empty areas between cities. Everyone lives in the cities, and only the banished and a few strays live on countryside. (I wonder from where the food comes?). The catch is that if the fugitive stays put for a certain time a ceiling appear on top him. In a short while walls and the floor appear, and ultimately the victim suffocates. A man is sentenced because he killed the man who murdered his wife. (or actually he is being punished from the murder of his wife, pretty much automatically, as husband is the most likely perpetrator anyway, so it isn't worth of trouble to investigate such things too much...). He meets a female scientist who is studying what kind of effects that kind of punishment has. A very well written story, but there are some problems with logic. Why so contrived method of capital punishment? ****-
Paleontology: An Experimental Science • shortstory by Robert R. Olsen
Series of scientific papers involving dinosaurs and how they are brought back from extinction. A fairly average story. **+

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