Thursday, September 1, 2011

Analog Science Fiction and Fact July-August 2011

I read this issue weeks ago, but haven't had time to write the review. Stupidly I hadn't made any notes about stories, either – and had some real trouble remembering the details of some of them. That naturally tells something about the quality of those stories, also. Two goods ones, others less so.

Coordinated Attacks • novella by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Practically all leaders of the moon are assassinated or at least tried to assassinate with a very strange poison. A police officer investigates the crime. Her examination of an earlier crime (which almost ended very badly for her and her partner) is followed on another time level. There is a connection between those events, but a fairly loose one. A well-written story, but somehow not so well structured as it could have been. The ending was also a bit too open. ****-

Jak and the Beanstalk • novelette by Richard A. Lovett
A young boy wants to climb to the orbital elevator when he grows up. It takes some planning and maneuvering, but when he is a young man, he gets his chance. It is only 35,786 km vertically...
Surprisingly good story, but there a little too much (perhaps unneeded) drama at the end. ****-

A Witness to All That Was • shortstory by Scott William Carter
A married couple with serious issues find a lone robot from a desolate planet. The robot has a story to tell. Writing was fairly good, but the plot felt very familiar with some echoes from Star Trek TNG:s “Inner Light”. ***

Death and Dancing in New Las Vegas • shortstory by Ernest Hogan
Some extremely confusing happenstances in Mars. Some sort of band is supposed to perform on Martian city. I didn't get the story at all, or at least couldn't recall any real details when writing the review.. Apparently, it was supposed to be funny. **

One Out of Many • novelette by Kyle Kirkland
A brain stimulator which is supposed to be safe might have some unforeseen consequences after all. But why a legendary character, a possible crime lord, is interested in it and kidnaps a member science regulations bureau? A lot happens in the story and not everything in it is very logical. The world is fairly strange – you must wait in a line to get access to information databases and you are not supposed to take notes. Some pruning of some details or expansion might have served the story. ***-

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