Monday, March 5, 2012

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May 2012

Only three stories in this issue besides a serial and a long novella.

The End of Ordinary Life • novella by Daniel Hatch
A story which is situated in fairly near future Alaska. (The author has apparently never visited Alaska, as he seems to imagine that it is dark there in nighttime in July, so dark that it is possible to see northern lights. As someone who lives at the same latitude: no, it is never really dark at summertime even well below the Arctic Circle, and certainly there is so much light that it would be impossible to see any aurora for several months before and after the mid-summer night). Several female friends of a “bush-pilot” disappear during a short time. And soon he himself finds himself in an unexpected situation. There was an early promise of “aliens” at the beginning of the story, but the story turned out to be more of political science fiction than something involving extraterrestrial life. I am not sure how believable the Department of Homeland security was in a role of a SO bad boy (well considering the treatment of Peter Watts and those British tourists who were deported due to some tweets they sent before their trip to US, anything might be possible). The beginning was pretty slow and was expecting the aliens to show up until the story turned out to be, as said, political science fiction. I don’t know why the story needed the aliens as they were a major letdown. ***+
But It Won't Set You Free • shortstory by Tracy Canfield
Human first contact specialists try to examine a new planet, but they have trouble finding the real sentient species. There are cities around the planet, but they seem to by empty and gene modified animals seem to be taking care of them. They find a new species which looks promising from a sea shore, and end up anal probing it. A light first contact story where the humans are the "ufo aliens". ***½
Lobstersaurus • shortstory by Eric James Stone
A young girl who lives in a newly colonized world takes a local "tyrannosaurus rex" as a pet. The story goes where this style of story usually goes. The parents gave up far too easily, but the story was entertaining anyway. ***+

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