Friday, February 1, 2013

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 2013

An average issue. The first part of new serial takes a lot of space.

The Lost Bloodhound Sonata by Carl Frederick
A scientist is studying smells and he has finalized a some kind of “smell organ”. By a remarkable coincidence his friend, a marine scientist, happens to find a new sort of marine animal. With a gigantic leap of reasoning he figures out that the animal communicates by spreading different smells. With an even greater leap of reasoning (or with something, there doesn’t seem to be much of an actual _reason_ for that conclusion) he concludes that the animals are capable of complex communication. And it is apparently extremely easy to find a complete swarm of animals which were previously unknown to science. Oh dear. About as good as it sounds. **
Altruism by Kyle Kirkland
A sort of private detective, who has a small adjustment to his mitochondrial DNA, is hired to find out why a rich man who has a lot of mitochondrial adjustments is getting sick. The person who has developed the technique for adjustments has founded a company, which is running different sorts of charity operations – for a healthy profit. There are some goons, some chases and some dangerous situations before everything is sorted. Ok story, which was somewhat overlong. And I find hard to believe that mitochondrial DNA changes could have effects described in the story. ***-
The Skeptic by Jennifer R. Povey
A mother with a few children claims that she was captured by aliens. The officer interviewing her is slightly skeptic. Even after they visit together the place where the ship landed. A fun light and short tale. ***+
The Last Clone by Brad Aiken
The last man to die from old age is a clone. Some extremely rich people used cloning to prolong their life, but soon after the first clones were used for mind transfers of rich and sometime amoral people, the secret of immortality was found. And that didn’t work for the clones, so the last old person is a clone of a rich man. The way he became rich wasn’t necessarily very ethical – naturally that depends on the viewpoint. A pretty good story, the best in the issue? ***½
Launch Window by Sarah Frost
A young woman journeys to a space station to stop her sister. The sister is going to be onboard of an interstellar spaceship, but her family doesn’t approve it. The young woman tries some half desperate measures to prevent her sister’s departure, but finally learns something. The writing is pretty good, but the plot offers nothing new. And the security aboard the space ship is apparently ridiculously bad. ***

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