Sunday, March 10, 2013

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May 2013

A below average issue. I haven’t started the serial, yet.

Not Close Enough by Martin L. Shoemaker

A multinational Mars expedition is orbiting Mars. As an actual landing is considered too hazardous all exploration is done by remote robots. Apparently, the expedition has an unlimited number of shuttles which are capable of landing, and apparently they are designed by a committee of idiots and the crew members are easily able to redesign and improve them by themselves. Naturally someone tries to land on Mars himself and the exploration by humans is important for human spirit and yada yada. A story which felt pretty juvenile in a bad way and without any really exceptional qualities. The writing itself was competent, but the plot was more than worn with severe implausibilities. ***-
Sentinel Chickens by David W. Goldman
A couple of friends go to mountains to take care of chickens which kept there as part of a study of Eastern equine encephalitis. One of the friends has studied different mass delusions. There turns out to be something connecting those two things. The story has no real and proper plot; it has just some discussion and some speculation.**½
Enjoy the Fishing by Walter F. Cuirle
Two friends are on a fishing trip in a planet which is owned by an extremely rich people. Everything is pastoral, and there are plenty of fish in lakes. However, there is a three fish limit per day. It is enforced rather strictly…Nice, short, lighter story. ***+
Prometheus by H. G. Stratmann
Intelligent dolphins try to contact strange aliens who live above water in prehistoric times. They try to give them a gift as a token of good faith to promote future co-operation. It goes without saying that everything doesn’t go well. A short simple story. I wonder where the super intelligent dolphins went. ***-
Geospermia by Patty Jansen
A young couple goes to Mars to find out why an uncle hasn’t been in touch with the rest of family. He has a potato farm on the mountains of the Mars, but now the farm looks abandoned and a bamboo forest has taken over. And there seems to be some large animals roaming in the forest…A story which is written with a light tone – it didn’t entirely works but the image of giant pandas attacking in the bamboo forest of Mars WAS pretty funny, even when it was extremely stupid at the same time. ***-

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