Sunday, January 16, 2011

Analog Science Fiction and Fact July-August 2007

A fairly good issue, some good stories. However, a few not so good ones, also.

Quaestiones Super Aelo et Mundo • novelette by Michael 
How the natural laws might have been discovered much earlier? A well written story as such, but extremely boring. Just several characters are discussing and deriving the most basic laws of physics. Nothing really happens. ***-
The Last of the Weathermen • shortstory by Richard A. Lovett
The local weather predictions turn out to be not local enough,when a former weather man is on a hiking trip on the mountains. A very good story with some fairly good predictions and some anachronisms. The speculative fiction percentage isn't very high and the story would have worked almost as well as a straight contemporary drama. *****-
A Time for Lawsuits • [Little Monsters] • novelette by Amy Bechtel
A "little monsters" story. A vet has more than enough problems. This time the problems deal with unknown animals are fairly minor in comparison with others, including a few pending lawsuits. A well written very nice story. The speculative content was fairly minor. ***½
The Caves of Ceres • novelette by Joe Schembrie
An operator space delivery service meets a young woman who is trying to find her father's mine. Pretty bad story on many levels. The beginning is fragmentary. The characterization is pretty bad. The writing isn't too good. The plot is fairly stupid with some very stupid plot details: making wine on an asteroid doesn't raise any
eyebrows until the end, and one character is supposed to have tasted that probably highly poisonous brew! **+
Jimmy the Box • shortstory by Scott Virtes
A vending machine develops self-awarance. A very simple short story which has no real surprises. Writing is ok. ***
Political Science • shortstory by C. W. Johnson
A professor is capture by homeland security as he practices practically forbidden "French " sciences like radio-astronomy or cosmological research about the Big Bang. That is just "a theory", so it can't be worth anything.  What's worse he claims that aliens have sent a message that claims that soon starting vacuum energy project will cause a catastrophe. Nice, maybe a bit too short story which is uncomfortably close to what the US might be after prolonged conservative far-right fundamentalist rule.***½
Do No Harm • shortstory by John G. Hemry
A new space ship which is based on advanced AI is being tested. It turns out that the AI is too well designed as it first gets an epileptic seizure, then a tumor and later it develops an autoimmune disease. A fairly stupid premise, why would someone design an AI so poorly? The writing isn't too good either. ***-
Loki's Realm • [The Black Hole Project] • novella by C. Sanford Lowe and G. David Nordley
Happenings on a colony orbiting a nearby star. Several more or less unconnected problems, some involving an interconnected mission to create a black hole. Somewhat too long and fractured story. ***
Bringing It All Back Home • [Bubba Pritchert] • novella by Bud Webster
Bubba Pritchert gets an offer from a museum to fetch the first lunar rover from the moon with his flying saucer. Nice, humorous entertaining story. A little bit tightening might have made it even better. ****-

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