Saturday, January 19, 2013

Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, May 1976

An average or below average issue for its time. Only four stories + a serial (which I haven't read).

Speculation • novelette by George O. Smith

Letters from a reader column of a Science Fiction magazine, which comment on the plausibility of a colony on Moon or in Mars which are interspaced with the snippets of stories concerning the Mars colony (or bits of the “reality” of the colony) I didn’t get this story and I didn’t see the point of it. **
The Prince in Metropolis • shortstory by Gordon Eklund
A man has become a Chairman (or a dictator) of a future city by use of a computerized polling system. He has always been able to give people what they want. He is on his deathbed when a childhood friend (who developed the computer system, and had also designed the hands of the Chairman. (He had lost all his limbs after an assault against him when young.)) The writing was ok, but the story was too short, and ending was lackluster and depended to the last sentence, which was very obvious. ***+
This, Too, We Reconcile • shortstory by John M. Ford
A monk of a religious order has died of torture. A some kind of mindreader, who is able to experience the experiences of dead is asked to find out if the monk saw the God in the end. There is little background in stories which for a large part consists of a mangled stream of consciousness imaginary. Tries to be a literary story -fails in my opinion. **
Projections • novelette by Stephen Robinett
A PR person is more or less forced to run a political campaign. (If he wouldn’t run it with “ordinary” advertising techniques, the ad agency would use a new invention: a device which causes a powerful compulsion to do something). He doesn’t completely agree with candidate's agenda, but does his best anyway. But there are some personal complications, though. The writing was ok, but the story was badly overlong and the invention was used mainly as a background threat. The beginning of the story was the best part, but there wasn’t a real middle and end there – everything just fizzled out. ***-

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