Monday, April 25, 2011

Analog Science Fiction and Fact May 2011

Average, or somewhat above average issue.

Tower of Worlds • novella by Rajnar Vajra
The story begins when a man is facing execution. How and why aren't known. Suddenly, he seems to start transforming to a reptile, and manages escaped as he suddenly gains a set of very impressive skills, among other ability to stretch his body through unbelievably small openings. After that, he encounters strange creatures, diabolic plots and almost endless action (except for a very long stretch of exposition). The beginning of the story was excellent, but then it decays to pretty mindless action. The story feels more like fantasy than science fiction. (when an immortality treatment is reversed the person turns to a withered corpse - feels more like a magic spell than a scientific treatment). The first fifth was a solid four star story, the rest with all the exposition and boring action felt like a two star story. ***-
Boumee and the Apes • shortstory by Ian McHugh
Intelligent elephants and the first humans encounter each other, and a war leading to genocide seems imminent. A pretty good story, but I found unclear if the story was supposed to happen in an alternative past, or in the "real" past and the smart elephants were ultimately wiped out by the humans. The odds for that happening seemed fairly bad...***½
The Wolf and the Panther Were Lovers • shortstory by Walter L. Kleine
A kind of "tall tale" of a card hustler who came to a small wild west town. He encounters a pair of intelligent wolf and puma, and wonders if he is being scammed in one way or other. Pretty good, maybe somewhat too short a story. ***+
The Old Man's Best • shortstory by Bud Sparhawk
A pair of bored asteroid workers decide to brew some beer to lighten their days. They encounter a score of difficulties which they are able solve, but usually very poorly. A very light story without any deeper meaning, ok read. ***
Ellipses . . . • novelette by Ron Collins
An author start to wonder why his neighbors have a few freshly dug grave-like mounds on their backyard. He starts to investigate and finds himself as a prisoner. Pretty good start for a story - where is the rest of it? Very entertaining anyway. ****
Blind Spot • novelette by Bond Elam
A detective examines an extortion case. A formula for a memory wipe has been stolen. The examination can be slightly hard when everyone, eventually including the man who was extorted seems to have lost their memory. A pretty good story. ***+

No comments: