Saturday, August 2, 2014

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 2004

A pretty good issue with entertaining stories.

Tea with Vicky • novelette by Pete D. Manison

A female scientist uses without permission a transdimensional device to have discussions with her daughter, who never was born in this reality. They get along pretty well, until the daughter learns that in the mother’s dimension she was aborted. In the daughter’s reality, an abortion is punishable by death. (I believe that for a such major differences between the realities, everything should be SO different, that it would be impossible for the daughter's counterpoint to exists. Also, a death penalty for an abortion? Not very consistent.) Eventually, the scientist runs into a trouble as her clandestine use of the machine is discovered. But there is more than one way to play this game... A fairly nice story in spite of some antiabortionist tendencies and some logical faults. (if one country would gain an absolute, overpowering technological superiority, how would that lead to a nuclear holocaust?) ***½
In Spare • [Harrison Chuff and Florenzia Higgins] • novelette by J. Brian Clarke
Very much a rip off of the MIB franchise. An agent of an agency which handles Earth's extraterrestrial affairs has started to suspect that his boss is an alien. He turns out to be right, and his boss (who appears to be a fat middle-aged woman) turns out to be a small rat-like creature driving a “meat-suit". He soon finds himself as a part of events involving two alien species. A pretty fun and lighthearted story in spite of less than original premise.***½
Dibs • shortstory by Brian Plante
A man gets an email. There is a second hit for his tissue type by people who are on the organ transplant list. If there is a third hit, he will be broken to parts, as his life would save at least three other lives. Using his government contacts he finds out who the people waiting for transplants are, fully expecting to kill those greedy bastards, who are graving for his organs. But the reality is something else...a far-fetched premise, but nice story.***+
The Liberators • shortstory by Scott William Carter
Earth's military forces are fighting a war against vicious enemy. With a new very advanced full body military suit, it has been lately massively successful and enemy's efforts have been pitiful. Then at one battle one soldier takes his helmet off against the strict regulations. Next day he is found to be a traitor and he is executed. Would he really be working for the resistance, a fringe group which is working against the war? A pretty good story. Maybe slightly too huge conspiracy to be really believable. ***+
The Aztec Supremacist • shortfiction by Sheralyn Schofield Belyeu
Time travelling Aztecs try to influence Columbus that he wouldn’t start his journey to America. Another group tries to undo the damage. Seems to continue an earlier story, but there does not appear to be any precursor for this. Not bad, but starts from nowhere and ends to nowhere. **½
Misunderstanding Twelve • shortstory by Carl Frederick
Trade negotiations with an alien race can be hard, especially when the only translator available works by using another alien language as an intermediator language. A pair of business emissaries have a tough time and manage to get a psychiatric evaluation as the aliens assume that they just HAVE to be crazy to behave like that. A humorous story, not bad at all in its' class.***+

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