Saturday, January 4, 2014

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July-August 2001

An average issue – some stories might have worked better in slightly condensed form.

Bug Out! • novella by Michael A. Burstein and Shane Tourtellotte
A human research station is located on the moon which orbits the planet where live the first intelligent aliens humans have found. They are on the verge of space flight. When the humans observe their first launch the director of the stations orders immediate and complete withdrawal from the system and erasure of any possible clues that the humans have been around. One scientist (who is a nut, who believes aliens visited the ancient Egypt) wants to leave some clues around. The writing was ok, but the story was slightly overlong with a pretty unlikable main character. Not bad novella, however. ***½
Naked Came the Earthling • novelette by H. G. Stratmann
Aliens have landed and informed the president that an inspector will arrive soon. He is going to decide if humans can be accepted to the Galactic Federation or should they be dealt with in some other manner. And the inspector's species is supposed to have prejudice for clothes. To be on a safe side no one should ware any clothes in sight of the inspector. A nice parody/irony story. Somewhat overlong for this premise. ***+
The Ground He Stood On • shortstory by J. R. Dunn
A company is just establishing a mining base on an asteroid when a single man in self-made space ships claims priority rights to it. A pretty standard Analog-style story without anything really surprising. ***
The Gelatin Conspiracy • shortstory by Laurel Winter
A suburb woman who has used to create a very “special” treat (meatballs on lemon jelly) to church parties has disappeared. Could it be aliens? Yes, of course. A short story where the humor works better than average. ***+
Happy Deathday • shortstory by Robert Scherrer
An alien probe starts to send down a data stream which includes the death date of everyone who is being born. Just the date, not a year. So most people tend to be somewhat careful and cautious on those dates… It then turns out that the dates might not be 100% accurate and it possible to influence the future. I would think that the “reveal” would have happen much, much earlier. There are probably many people who would have killed themselves before the allocated date, or died from general recklessness as “they can’t die today, as it is not my date, so it is okay to drive 250 km/h in heavy traffic.” The ending was so also slightly easy. ***
The Walls That Bind • [Abduction] • shortstory by Jayge Carr
Aliens have abducted several small towns leaving back just invalids, unaccompanied children and a few random people. No one of those who were left behind have ever seen anything, they just report losing consciousness. A town is abducted, and the abductees wake up in a town almost, but not exactly like their own. Only women are around, no males are anywhere to be seen. Across the road seems to be a group of aliens - apparently all male. A fairly short story for its premise with no explanations what so ever. ***
Schrödinger's Cat-Sitter • [Smedley Faversham] • novelette by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre
Not a story: just a big steaming pile of puns involving time travel and Schrondinger's cat Tibbles. Vastly overlong and extremely stupid "story". **-

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