Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January 2001

A fairly average issue. Not exceptional. No real stinkers except the Williamson story. I have yet to read something by him I would enjoy.

Relic of Chaos • [Hartigan O'Reilly and Gwen Chryse] • novella by G. David Nordley
A police detective who is working on a space station which is orbiting Saturn must find a sacred relic which has been stolen from Vatican. The thief is extorting the Catholic Church and demanding some very secret information. I couldn't really get into the story, as the premise sounded SO ridiculous: the relic is a common wooden box owned by Mother Theresa (the world would probably be a better place without her, anyway – preaching against birth control in India - that is lunacy if anything) so it has no real historical or other value. I would imagine that the Catholic Church has truckloads upon truckloads as valuable or more valuable relics. Why would they give a s*it for one which doesn't even sound very special in any way? There is murder and mayhem, all for that box? I really couldn't accept that. The writing itself is competent; maybe the story could have been somewhat shorter. ***+
Vibes • novelette by Laurence M. Janifer
Beings which consist of vibrating noble gas atoms are dying on a strange planet. What is killing them? A story which is written in extremely verbose and meandering style. I really didn't get it at all. It felt like a parody of something I didn't recognize, or it was supposed to be humorous and I failed to get the point. **½
Resurrection • shortstory by James Van Pelt
The crew of a generation spaceship wakes up on 100 year rotation. A girl is afraid to go to cryosleep and stays awake. A man who has been in love with her wakes up after a hundred years to find out that the love is still alive. An emotional story which has a few problems with logic. ***
Augie • shortstory by George Zebrowski
People are using AI "butlers" which takes years and years of training to work properly. And even then they may malfunction like the Angie" of this story and behave like spoiled eight year olds. Would that kind of AI helper really be worth all the trouble no matter how efficient it would finally be, I wonder. ***
A Singular Clone • shortstory by Marie Ming
A medical story in the best James White / Sector general style. How to cure cancer from protoplasmic life form who is fragile, can't tolerate any anaesthetics and shoots poison as involuntary reflex against pain. A pretty nice story, only downside was that there was no background for the characters at all. It felt like a middle piece from a larger story arch. ***
The Nth Step • novelette by Jack Williamson
Continues the story from Dec 2000 Analog. The clones return to earth only to find that all humans have disappeared. I couldn't really get into the story. Writing felt longwinded, not very good, the story telling was detached and not compelling. The ending just fizzled out.**-

1 comment:

Jim Van Pelt said...

Thanks for the comments on "Ressurection."