Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Asimov's Science Fiction, January 2014

A nice issue, at least average.

Memorials • [Universe of Xuya] • novelette by Aliette de Bodard

A young woman sells recorded memories of ancestors to criminals who apparently strip them pieces and peddle them to entertainment industry. The background is somewhat sketchy, but apparently I am growing into this writer - this is a pretty good story. ***½
Primes • novelette by Ron Collins
Some strange events seem to happen around prime numbers and there is a strange murder or suicide. People are carrying neural interfaces. It is possible to influence people though them, but is it possible force them to commit acts they don’t want to do? An ok story which goes more for narrative style than coherent plot. ***-
Extracted Journal Notes for an Ethnography of Bnebene Nomad Culture • shortstory by Ian McHugh
A study report which is written by an anthropologist who is doing a field study of some aliens with really complicated genders. An odd story which I didn't completely get. First the aliens seemed to be aboriginals, but then they seemed to possess highly evolved technology. ***
The Carl Paradox • shortstory by Steve Rasnic Tem
A man gets a visitor: He himself drops from a future with a time machine invented by a friend. He has some advice. But wait, there is another version of himself from another future. Short, silly and surprisingly good. ***½
Static • shortstory by William Jablonsky
A strange space phenomenon arrives to earth. A young family with stressed out mother, an infant son and father are waiting if the world will end. There is lot of electronic disturbances and apparently they get short phone and text messages from past and future. A tight story which doesn't explain much, but works pretty well nevertheless. ***+
The Common Good • novelette by Nancy Kress
Aliens destroyed (or rather neatly vaporized all human constructions with everyone who happened to be around) all population centers of earth a few decades ago. A young man who has lived all his life in a forest with survivor style parents. The world has slowly being recovering, but the boy has lived very secluded life. After a serious quarrel with his parents, he runs away and eventually finds himself in a dome the aliens have created. There he first starts to learn the basic principles of science and later intuitive strategic thinking. A very good story. I wouldn’t be surprised to find this from nomination shortlists next year. But this is just the beginning of the real story. ****

No comments: