Friday, October 10, 2014

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2001

An average issue. Somehow felt at least thirty years older than it actually was.

The King Who Wasn't • [Interplanetary Relations Bureau] • novella by Lloyd Biggle, Jr.
An agent on Interplanetary Relation Bureau is on a planet which apparently has a democracy on several city states. But something seems to be wrong - the democracy seems to work unusually poorly and the newly elected officials are always worse than the previous ones. But the there is an apparent revolt, the latest elected officials are stoned and king is selected apparently more or less randomly. And the agent who was supposed to be as unnoticeable as possible finds himself as a vice-king. Sociopolitical science fiction. Not bad but somehow has pretty old fashionable feel in it and felt slightly overlong. ***½
Lost Dogs • shortstory by Christopher McKitterick
A probe returns to find humans after 80000 years. It seeks them from many different places and finally finds them. Overlong and overcomplicated story with a lot of long winded descriptions with a lot of numbers. Hard to follow and pretty boring. **+
The Upgrade • novelette by Brian Plante
A man is trying to manage in his job. His brain implant is fairly old, and his customers and employer is demanding more as well as his wife who tries to live rich life at a country club with rich friends. But the upgrade is very expensive and it will have some other drawbacks, also. Irritating and unrealistic characters and a sudden change from a fairly light tone to tragedy. Haven't they heard about divorce? ***-
A Moment of Integrity • shortstory by Jeffery D. Kooistra
A forth Mars mission makes an astounding discovery: a wreckage of a German spacecraft from the Second World War era. Which was powered by Diesel engines. WTF? Not very plausible but ok story, somehow slightly clumsy. It could have been the first part of a longer story. ***+

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