Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, October 2013

Not bad, the best issue for some time.

Lune Bleue • novella by Janet Catherine Johnston
A radio telescope which is used for SETI research on the far side of the moon is manned only by three people: a couple who has fallen in love and a very strangely behaving man who has spent several consecutive shifts on the moon already. The political situation has meanwhile grown tense, and a war between Russia and China is expected to start at any moment. A well written but perhaps overlong story. The ending was weak and almost deus ex machina. Also, I wonder if the far side of the moon would be a good or logical place for activities of that kind. (a secret missile base) ***+
Sixteen Million Leagues from Versailles • novelette by Allen M. Steele
A valuable vase from Versailles has been on an exhibition on Mars. The shuttle carrying it has dropped on a gorge. A small expedition is launched to retrieve it. A pretty standard run of the mill Analog style of story. A fair amount of exposition and not a lot happens. The writing was competent, clear and easy to read. ***+
Following Jules • novelette by Ron Collins
Two stupid and irritating female college roommates almost live in a virtual world and dream of uploading themselves (or at least one of them) to the computer world. Writing was good, but the characters were unbelievably irritating and stupid which made me really, really, really hate them. ***-
Putting Down Roots • shortstory by Stephen R. Wilk
A short “bar room discussion” about the evolution of intelligence and what influence some surprising factors might have had. A simple “story” without real point. ***-
Things We Have in This House for No Reason • shortstory by Marissa K. Lingen
A list of unneeded things a teenager who lives on Mars has on his home. Nice writing which goes for subtext. I probability didn’t get everything. ***
At the Peephole Palace • shortstory by William R. Eakin
Peepshows have slightly different sorts of shows in this future. Writing ok, but I didn’t get why such shows would have been so strictly illegal. ***-
Fear of Heights in the Tower of Babel • shortstory by Carl Frederick
The elevators of a new building with the latest AI programming have kidnapped VIPs who were on route to the opening ceremony of the building. A computer expert is asked to negotiate. A short, fairly stupid story where the solution to the problem was something everyone with a half a brain would have done as the first action. ***-
Conscientious Objectors • shortstory by Jay Werkheiser
There has been a devastating was between China and USA. The relations are still really tense, but a Chinese neuroscientist has come to study the American veterans of the war who suffer from a strange condition which causes locked in style symptoms. A well-written story which was a bit too short and with a slightly too easy solution. The missing chapter breaks made the Kindle version hard to read. ***½


Anonymous said...

" Also, I wonder if the far side of the moon would be a good or logical place for activities of that kind."

Far side of moon is usually suggested place for radio telescopes because it is very well shielded from earths radio pollution.

tpi said...

Yes, it is goog place for THAT activity. Not so good for the super secret activity mentioned in the story.

Anonymous said...

A good place to avoid surveillance while you are installing the secret facility. --JCJ