Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, June 2014

Pretty average issue with some good and some not so good stories.

Field of Gravity • shortstory by Jay Werkheiser

A sports story about a future version of American "foot"ball with an added twist of gravity manipulation. It seems that someone is able to manipulate gravity fields in a new manner and is using it to hurt other players. A lot of boring descriptions of gameplay. Not my cup of tea. **½
The Journeyman: In the Stone House • [Journeyman] • novelette by Michael F. Flynn
Continues an earlier story. Two men have combat training, have some fights and engage in light batter. Very much an excerpt from a longer story. Not really science fiction -there seems to be some relics of a space faring civilization around, but they have little real meaning for the plot. ***-
The Region of Jennifer • shortstory by Tony Ballantyne
A beautiful girl has been reared for her entire life for an important marriage. A genetic mutant who used to know her comes to rescue her just before the marriage. But he might not grasp the whole situation and how well reared she really is for that position. A very good and well written story. ****-
Survivors • shortstory by Ron Collins
An alien who has survived an ancient disaster and has masqueraded as a human for thousands of years finds an another survivor. But she runs away. Why? Not bad, not a new idea but with a nice twist and nice writing. ***½
Forgiveness • shortstory by Bud Sparhawk
There are veterans of a cruel war who have been pardoned and made to forget what crimes against humanity they have done. One man who might be a veteran has arrived at a small town. The sheriff of the town has a lot of prejudices against him, especially as his former girlfriend seems to take an interest to the new man. A pretty nice story with not entirely unexpected ending. ***½
A Star to Steer By • shortstory by Jennifer R. Povey
A story of a sentient ship, who has lost her human crew. She/it retrofitted to a new ship without any change of recuperating, as humans are losing the war. While on a test run she must face a severe choice. Well written, very short story. ***+
The Homecoming • novelette by J. T. Sharrah
An alien warcrimal wants to be buried by the traditional means of his people. (Being eaten by a carnivorous plant) and there is a lot of different sorts of plotting. A lot of backstory, a lot of characters, a lot of pretty stupid lecturing and explaining (the end is presented by one character explaining in detail what happened and why.) Not very good story. **

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