Monday, December 16, 2013

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March 2014


A pretty good issue, especially the lead novelette.


Life Flight • novelette by Brad R. Torgerson
A spaceship is on the way to a nearby solar system. It is manned on a rotation basis. Most of the colonists are on suspended animation while a few of them take care of the functions of the ship. The first shift is taken care of by two adults and four children, two girls and two boys. The adults are supposed to teach everything to the kids, who in turn are supposed to train their replacements before they go to the suspended animation. The story is told as a diary of one of the boys. It turns out that he has a rare condition which makes it impossible to go to the deep sleep. It seems he must spend his life awake as the journey will take ninety years. An excellent story in spite of some credibility issues. Ten to eleven years old who apparently have only a vague idea of how the children are made? Teenagers who spend years together with little to do and with only slack supervision (and knowing that they have birth control capsules) and never have any sexual experiments? ****
Rubik's Chromosomes • shortstory by Megan Chaudhuri
A Saudi couple comes to see a geneticist. They want to see what kind of modifications their child will have. There are some interesting ones. A pretty nice story, writing was nice, slightly short.***+
Not for Sissies • shortstory by Jerry Oltion
A man has been diagnosed with a prostate cancer. As he can’t tolerate at least ten years of life in uncertainty he naturally wants to kill himself. Everyone but his husband understands, and he is only one who really is sorry in the customarily farewell party, After that the widow is seriously twisted – he actually wants to live as long as possible and even tries to heal himself instead off swallowing the suicide pill at the first misfortune like all the sensible people. A pretty good story. I have always liked Oltion’s writing and this one of his better works. ****-
The Teacher's Gamble • shortstory by Stephen L. Burns
A space probe approaches earth at the beginning of the 20th century. Its’ goal is to guide human development, but when it is approaching it makes an important discovery. A very short but pretty good story, especially considering the slightly worn premise. ***
The Avalon Missions • shortstory by David Brin
Space probes are sent to a nearby solar system. However, as technology advance the new probes are much faster than the earlier ones. And there have been also some changes in the society. A very short story, okay for its length. ***-
We Who Are About to Watch You Die Salute You • shortstory by Maggie Clark
A Martian expedition which has been chosen by a reality show or by bribery has problems, there has been a radiation accident and or there are too few women around. Extremely confusing story, which is mainly told as segments from Tv-shows, articles and interviews. I didn’t get this at all. **

3 comments:

maggieclark said...

Hi Tpi!

Thanks for writing about the issue! I love feedback, even if it's that someone didn't like/understand/enjoy a given story, as seems to be the case here.

What I'm curious about is whether or not it came through that the *entire story* is a feature-length article by a near-future reporter--not snippets jumping between different media, but a cohesive entity commenting on how immaturely Earth is reacting both to a tragedy on Mars and the further tragedy of an added ship of colonists still in transit to that doomed base. The story does start with a header and author line just as one would find in any magazine, and the first-person narrator, interviewing the four colonists still in transit in the middle of this ordeal, is consistent throughout, but I also get that the page layout and subheadings might have been confusing just the same.

I ask because I've been hoping to pursue publication of more near-future magazine articles like this, but if they're not conducive to the layout of current print publications, that will definitely inform how I seek representation of future pieces.

That said, glad you enjoyed other pieces in the issue! I'm looking forward to reading it myself.

All the best!

tpi said...

I read the Kindle version of the magazine from my actual Kindle and layout was pretty lacking and there were no chapter breaks. When I checked what the story looked like on the Kindle app in my iPad (which retains the original formatting of the magazine) it seems so much clearer. Probably the poor formatting is the mojor reason I didn't get the story.

maggieclark said...

Much obliged for your feedback! There's so much to consider regarding new media formatting when trying to tell stories in slightly off-the-beaten-path ways.

Happy future reading!