Friday, July 20, 2012

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 2001

A pretty average issue.

May Be Some Time • [Captain Titus Oates] • novella by B. W. Clough [as by Brenda W. Clough ]
A member of Scott’s Antarctic exploration team (who disappeared without trace) is snatched to the future to escape a certain death as a test drive of alien technology. Not much happens in the story – it tells more about his adjustment to a radically changed world. A pretty nice and well written tale. The best in issue. ****
What Weena Knew • shortstory by James Van Pelt
Well’s “Time Machine” from the viewpoint of Teela, the young and innocent Eloii the Time traveler encounters in the future. She might not have been as degenerate as she seemed for the traveler. Another pretty good story. ***½
The Wanderlust • [Wally Mason] • shortstory by Brian C. Coad
A retired patent attorney gets a visitor who seems to be somewhat unbalanced. He doesn’t seem to be able to make any choices anymore. Too bad that everyone must make so many choices as all computer programs and appliances offer some many option to choose from. Probably best I have read in this story-series, but not especially good. Far too many different ideas for such a short story. ***-
Pressure Gradient • novelette by Pete D. Manison
A space ship has dropped on a Venus-like planet and a drone with a personality transfer style of AI is trying to find if anyone survived – or even was on the ship when it crashed). The AI in the drone is from a man who is in love with a woman who probably was in the ship.
The story is told at several time levels, and it turned out to be somewhat confusing. The short form didn’t allow enough space for the romance flow naturally or believably and the story felt too fragmentary. ***-
The Rise and Fall of Paco Cohen and the Mariachis of Mars • novelette by Ernest Hogan
The “suits” of a commercial Mars colony draft a singer to improve the sentiments of the colonists. He becomes pretty popular, but when he has served his purpose, he may go away. Not one of my favorites, fairly confusing and fragmentary, I didn’t like the writing too much. **
Talking Monkeys • novelette by Rob Chilson
Life on a colony planet where a significant percentage of the surface consists of diamonds. Machines break and wear easily, but most of the problems are caused by “monkey problems” i.e. human emotional problems. Another extremely fragmentary story, just “glimpses” of the colony life. Clearly better than the two former ones, though. ***

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