Friday, April 13, 2012

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, June 2012

Seems to be a below average issue.

Crooks • novelette by Paul Carlson
The story happens in a future where robots are becoming more and more common and intelligent. A trucker has some trouble with robbers and there appears to be some sort of plotting going on. A very fractured story with a lot happening, but I really wasn't able to understand what all the fairly superfluous details really had much to do with each other’s or the "mail plot". Seemed to be more exposition than story. **½
Food Chained • novelette by Carl Frederick
A few exobiologist are studying a solar system where spectroscopy has indicated some marks of life. There are not supposed to be able to land, because of concern biological exposition. A part their spacecraft malfunctions and they are not able to return home - or at least it would take 90 years. And relief crew could come at most in twelve years or so. As the characters apparently are stupid beyond belief, it takes a fair amount of the to remember that they have a lifeboat which is capable landing on a planet. One of the crew decides to stay in the ship, and invent a cryosystem so that he could survive the 90 years of travel to earth. For some reason it doesn't occur to him that a better solution would be to wait for the relieve crew. Meanwhile the idiots on the planet behave like bloodthirsty idiot savages and kill everything they can, instead of exobiologists with university degrees until they get their comeuppance. A pretty bad and stupid story. Feels just like a below average story from the Galaxy magazines I have been reading. There apparently is only a single one those creatures on the planet!? **
Titanium Soul • shortstory by Catherine Shaffer
A young woman, who is a sociopath, gets an artificial ”conscience”. She has some rough time adjusting to it as she isn’t familiar with emotions. A pretty good story, which is perhaps slightly too short. ***+
A Murmuration of Starlings • shortstory by Joe Pitkin
A disease starts to spread around the world. Starlings seem to spread it, and it turns out to be extremely hard to destroy such a common bird. Harder than it is supposed to be.
Somewhat too short story for all ideas contained in it. Now there is far too much exposition by dialogue, and far too little is actually being shown. A slightly longer form might have suited the story better. ***
An ounce of Prevention • shortstory by Jerry Oltion
A grandfather comes to a moon colony to visit her daughter and granddaughter. There is a culture crash as the grandfather is a throwback from fifties ( or forties..) He is so irritatingly conservative that the story is hard to take or even believe. The daughter has some interesting means of preventing hr daughters resentment against the grandpa. ***-
The Fine Print • shortstory by Michael Alexander
A vignette rather than a story. A meteorite which was found from Antarctica contains a message beyond the stars. A very short story which just describes the discovery, nothing more. ***
Darwin's Gambit • shortstory by Emily Mah
A story about young agoraphobic girl who is on exploration trip to Ganymede. There are problems ( which wouldn't really be problems: due to accident there’s a cloud of debris around the ship. They supposedly can't decelerate as the debris would hit the ship and destroy it. Really? Don't they have any kind steering rockets? An extremely small acceleration in terms of a few centimeters per second would give high enough acceleration to prevent any damage to ship from the debris, but would be enough to clear the ship from any dangerous objects in just a few hours.) the story is pretty fragmented, and it was hard to get what caused the final accident.***-
A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy • shortstory by N. M. Cedeño
A detective who has been revived in the future tries to adjust the new customs: there is no such thing as privacy - if you try to get some you raise a lot of suspicions. A woman who still wants covers her windows asks for his help as she believes that someone is following her. A pretty nice story - all aspects of the future might not have been too convincing, but writing was and the story entertained. ***½

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