Sunday, January 26, 2014

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 2014

A serial takes a lot of space. I haven’t yet decided if I am going to read the serial. I read a few first pages of the first instalment and it seemed to have a pretty strong YA vibe. I'll see if I am going to finish it. Otherwise pretty average issue.

A Fierce, Calming Presence • novelette by Jordan Jeffers
Some sort of ecological trouble solver is visiting a planet where an endogenous almost sentient species has suddenly started to behave violently against the members of a mining colony. Usually, they have behaved fairly peacefully. The alien species seem to be very little known even though there are apparently hundred thousand billion (!!) volumes of books published about the planet. That would correspond only well over 10000 different books for every single living people on earth at the moment. Really? There also some other strange sounding details: for example a false accusation of treason is apparently automatically punishable by death. I imagine there aren’t many whistleblowers around with those laws.. A pretty average “evil and greedy industrials” story which has been told countless times in one way or another. ***
Pollution • shortstory by Don Webb
A foreigner who works in Japan has some trouble with alienation, prejudice and zombie-like humans who are used for menial work. There some nice ideas in the story, but it is too far short to really examine them. ***
The Oracle Boca Raton • shortstory by Eric Baylis
A story which is pretty hard to understand . Seems to be some sort of inside joke or something. Ideas or souls or something of old sf authors are used in some way, or something. I didn’t really care. **
Wind Reaper • shortstory by Jon Hakes
A power of hurricanes is used as energy and harvested by planes which fly into the storms. A very short story. The technology feels extremely iffy, and the background is also poorly examined. A longer form might have been better? ***-
It's Not "The Lady or the Tiger?", It's "Which Tiger?" • shortstory by Ian Randal Strock
An entrepreneur who has failed several times has a discussion on a bar. What does he want from life: comfort or recognition? What if he actually had a choice? A fairly nice story of its length. ***+
Whaliens • shortstory by Lavie Tidhar
Aliens who look like giant floating whales appear over Washington. They want to convert to Mormonism. Or to Scientology. Or perhaps to Judaism. Or they will destroy the earth. A rare funny story that actually is pretty funny. A short but enjoyable short story with many science fiction in-jokes. ***½

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