Saturday, February 9, 2013

Asimov's Science Fiction, March 2013

A pretty good issue.

Uncertainty • novelette by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
A some sort of organization which is situated "outside of time" tries to mold history. The first try had caused unforeseen consequences and they are working to restore the history, but it seems to be harder that thought. An extremely good and well written story, the only nitpick is that the story feels like a segment from a larger story. ****-
Brother Swine • shortstory by Garrett Ashley
The reincarnation is apparently true and the dead return as animals and sometimes animals return as humans. A village is in the middle of famine, and a recently died family member returns as a big, fat, swine. Excellent writing, more of a fantasy than a sf story, but a good read. ****
Needlework • shortstory by Lavie Tidhar
A man is learning to cook so that he can work on a space ship. If he is elected, he must spend most of the time apart from his family. Nice writing, but a very fragmentary story without much real plot. **½
Monday's Monk • novelette by Jason Sanford

Nanomachines have produced a practical immortality, but a guerrilla movement kills people who have nanos by chopping them to pieces and burning them (alive) to ash. A Buddhist monk is allowed to perform the last rites for people being burned. One day his childhood friend and secret love is brought to the funeral piles – beheaded, but still conscious by the power of the nanos. But it turns out that the nanos are much more resilient than had been thought...the plausibility of the story isn't its strong points, but otherwise an excellent and moving story. ****
Pitching Old Mars • shortstory by Michael Cassutt
Musing about how to place a story in Mars - maybe use past as a backdrop. A short "story" without any plot, characters or point. **
Feral Moon • novella by Alexander Jablokov
A description of an attack to Phobos. Phobos has been THE vacation spot of the solar system, but now it is a battle field of a strange battle which mostly tries to ignore civilians living on the moon. A former commander has been released from prison to lead some of the forces. Little was explained about the background or even why the war had started. It wasn’t even very clear who were the “good guys” and details of the fight were extremely unclear. If I don’t know what is going on and why, why should I care of the characters and what they are doing? The main character was apparently meant to be sympathetic and even human, but I couldn’t feel much emotion towards him. An overlong and confusing story. **-

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