Thursday, November 14, 2013

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January-February 2014

A double issue with a varied bunch of stories.

Music to Me • [Floyd and Brittney] • novella by Richard A. Lovett
Another installment about Britney, an AI who was created more or accidently among lone space explorers. Now she has abandoned Floyd, her first partner and come to earth. In earth, she discovers that she isn't the only AI around. There is a secretive AI in the Internet, which wants Britney to join him. But the cost of that might be high - in many levels. A very good story as are the others in the series. The first quarter is the story might have tighter, but otherwise the story was very enjoyable. ****
Mousunderstanding • shortstory by Carl Frederick
A humorous story of a world with the abundance of gold, with a usual currency. A silly and stupid story. I wonder why gold would be so valuable when space travel (and probably asteroid mining) are commonplace. ***
This Is As I Wish to Be Restored • shortstory by Christie Yant
An employee of a cryonic faculty has stolen a frozen body of a young woman (who would have been disposed of). A story of strange love and/or obsession. The writing was ok, but a short story aiming for mood and style. Not much plot here. ***-
The Tansy Tree • novelette by Rob Chilson
A wife of some sort of lord has been sick for a long time, and not even the drugs from the leaves of the drug tree haven't been able to heal her. And then they are a lot of "poetic" discussion concerning different relations. Rarely have I hated the writing of any story as much I hated this. Every other sentenced ended with "heh, "eh", or "ha", many of them started with an "o". The names were flowery and overcomplicated. I didn't get the plot, but that was probably due to severe gritting of my teeth from the irritating filler words. The plot I did get felt very stupid. *
The Problem with Reproducible Bugs • shortstory by Marie DesJardin
A scientist is found with a severe concussion in his laboratory without any memory what has happened. Next week it happens again. A short ok story with slight, nice, irony. ***
Determined Spirits • novelette by Grey Rollins
A tech wakes up in a generation ship which is supposed to be traveling to another solar system. Something has gone wrong, and parts of the ship are empty of air and many of the suspended animation cocoons are empty. What has happened? The writing is ok, but there are some pretty simplistic sermons against over-patriotic nuts. I mainly agree with the author, but the lecturing was pretty irritating. There are also some very strange engineering solutions: you must be in the engineering part of the ship to be able to access the engineering computers. WTF? The designers don’t know how to network computers? And when people have been killed off in alphabetic order except a few, is it really wise to wake up one of those, who are surviving when all others around their names who have been killed. Could there be something going on and could there be a reason why those people have been saved? ***
Wine, Women, and Stars • shortstory by Thoraiya Dyer
A surgeon has lost the race to be the one who is chosen of the trip to Mars. She is operating the younger woman who got selected (all her internal organs are removed and replaced with nanotech.) and ponders her life and wonder if she should make a slight surgical error which would reverse the selection. I wonder who no one thought about the conflict of interests. Otherwise a pretty good and well written story. ***½
Just Like Grandma Used to Make • shortstory by Brenta Blevins
Printing food without proper licenses might be risky and extremely illegal. The writing was passable, but the premise as such wasn't too logical or believable. But ok as a satire. ***
Racing Prejudice • shortstory by John Frye, III
A sport story about an android who has transformed himself to human in order to be able to compete in the Olympics. Writing as such was ok and the story was tolerable as far as stories involving sports go. ***-
Technological Plateau • shortstory by Michael Turton
A pair of explorers are studying a planet which seems to be a paradise. No predators, a lot of fruit bearing plants, a lot of delicious animals which are easy to catch. There is a catch, of course. A short, but pretty nice story. ***
This Quiet Dust • shortstory by Karl Bunker
The explorers who have only a few days to evaluate a new planet find a planet which is covered with a dust with strange electrostatic properties. The particles of the dust seem able to form very complex compounds. Ok story apparently mainly to present an idea of a very peculiar life form. A good story as such. ***+

1 comment:

Mike said...

I wonder why there are so many *** and no **. Some of the *** were silly and stupid and some were pretty nice. I wonder if the silly and stupid should be **