Friday, August 2, 2013

Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2013

A fair issue, at least average.

The Discovered Country • novelette by Ian R. MacLeod
The first love of a late super famous actress has been asked to join her in some sort of digital afterlife which usually is possible only for extremely rich. When alive he strictly opposed that kind of "heaven", but apparently he changed his mind. A well written, but perhaps slightly overlong story, where I didn't understand the motivations of some ( many) actions. ***½
What We Ourselves Are Not • shortstory by Leah Cypess
Chip which offer memories and facts significant to the culture of the wearer have become common. They must be implanted at late teens. A boy is facing a choice: will he get a chip or not. Another well written story, but I felt very uneasy about the world where people were placing so much weight at their own cultural heritage - it seems so related to unthinking patriotism which I consider to be one of the most evil things there are. ***+
The Unparallel'd Death-Defying Feats of Astoundio, Escape Artist Extraordinaire • novelette by Ian Creasey
An escape artist performs his most daring escape: he escapes from the inside of the black hole. A surprisingly good and complex story considering the fairly simple starting premise. The ending was perhaps the weakest point. ***½
As Yet Untitled • shortstory by James Sallis
A short short about a day in life of a character in a Wild West novel. The execution reminds me slightly of the novels by Jasper Fforde. **
A Stranger from a Foreign Ship • shortstory by Tom Purdom
A man who is able swap minds with anyone in close proximity encounters some criminals. A nice story which felt like a random chapter from a novel. Very readable and I would like to read other stories which involve the same character. ***
That Universe We Both Dreamed Of • shortstory by Jay O'Connell
The aliens have arrived. And they interview apparently randomly preselected people during a weekend. The interview is announced a few days beforehand. Most interviewed people won’t describe the interview very closely. One of thousand interviewed people disappears. One man interviewer is a nice looking very human looking female. The discussions were interesting and the story was fairly good, but somehow there was something missing, I am not sure what. ***+
A Hole in the Ether • novelette by Benjamin Crowell
A future where all intellectual property laws are controlled extremely strictly and copyright has extended to cover almost everything which is newer than Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Everything, including home security systems, monitor and report all copyright infringements. The major corporations have hoarded classics and won’t allow any copies to released in any way as they are afraid that prior publicity might harm possible TV or cinema adaptations. One of the main characters happens to inherit a decades old cell phone which includes a library of about eleven million books. Getting caught with such collection would extremely, extremely bad. An ok story, but the laws were a little too strict to be believable, especially when the writing was very straight without even a slightest eye wink of parody. ***+

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