Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October 2012

An average or somewhat above average issue.

The Liars - novelette by Juliette Wade
Two idiots who have not bothered to find out anything about the planet they are visiting (not even that the local intelligent aliens are nocturnal) and meddle with things they really don't understand, anthropomorphise alien behavior and generally make a mess. The writing was ok, but the immense stupidity of the main characters was grating to my nerves. ***-
Nahiku West - novelette by Linda Nagata
A sort of cyberpunk detective story. There is a murder attempt against a man who survives as his has been augmented to withstand low atmospheric pressures. However, that sort of enhancement is against law and punishable by death. The detective's wife also has some improvements, and she is assigned for a genetic review. The writing is pretty good, but the story is hurried and would have needed a longer form. Also the "detective story” part of the story sucked BIG TIME as the solution of the mystery depended totally on technology which wasn't described beforehand. ***-
The Journeyman: On the Short-Grass Prairie - novelette by Michael F. Flynn
Two members of different tribes (both on a journey of sorts) meet on an alien planet where a human colony has reverted to mainly nomadic lifestyle. Good writing but apparently just an excerpt - at least it feels like it and a most of the story is only setting things up. Reminds me a lot of Fritz Leiber's writing. Somehow I am getting flashbacks of "Ill Met in Lankhmar". The best story in the issue. ****-
Ambidextrose - shortstory by Jay Werkheiser
A man crashes during a reconnaissance flight and is a sole survivor. He is rescued by a woman who miraculously seems to be able to survive on alien which was supposed to poisonous - or at least not nourishing - as the amino acids are mirror images of the usual ones. It turns out that there are some possibilities and the life on the planet isn't black and white. Ok, a simple story. ***
Deer in the Garden - shortstory by Michael Alexander
A man tries to sabotage a future society where a computer assisted surveillance covers everything. He tries to beat it using several methods, but doesn't succeed. The reason why he doesn't succeed isn't too plausible, and the story is too short. The writing is fine, though. ***-
Reboots and Saddles - shortstory by Carl Frederick
Horses are fitted with a computer aided control system. It won't work as expected. A short and simple story. ***-
Nothing But Vacuum - shortstory by Edward McDermott
Moon landing ended in disaster and the crew of the space ship isn't able to contact the mission control on earth because their radio transmitter has broken down. A problem solving story, where the title of the story is a hint of a solution. ***
The End in Eden - shortstory by Steven Utley
Smuggling through time is a lot of trouble and can be a bureaucratic nightmare as it involves so many different government agencies, especially when the object of smuggling is a biological sample. A light story with a lot of banter and a pretty sudden end. ***

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