Sunday, May 1, 2011

Analog Science Fiction and Fact March 1976

A Dune serial takes most of space. Otherwise a slightly below average issue.

Field Test • [Bolo] • shortstory by Keith Laumer
An automated tank with a self-aware AI is used in a battle for a first time despite some reservations. It wins the battle against insurmountable odds, as fights ”for the honor of the regiment”. An overlong story with too much exposition first, and then with a boring description of battle, and everything leading to ”shaggy dog” -like last line. **-
 Blessing in Disguise • shortstory by Herbie Brennan
A Muslim-like sect has a ”real” messiah, and a pilgrim is traveling to visit him. The messiah is a result of selective ”breeding” campaign, to ”pilgrim is a brain washed assassin whose goal is to murder the figure head. Writing was ok, maybe a longer form would have been better suited for the story. ***
A Penny's Worth • novelette by Stephen Robinett
A lawyer takes a case involving a battery. A young man walked into a house of another and beat him badly. He claims that he doesn't remember anything about the assault, and didn't even know the man he beat. The beginning of the story was pretty good, the ending was somewhat overlong, and the plot decayed too much. ***

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