Friday, January 16, 2015

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March 2015

A pretty average issue, none of the stories was unusually good. The back-story was lacking in many of them.

Tasha's Fail-Safe • novelette by Adam-Troy Castro

Belongs to a series about a woman who solves crimes or deals with trouble with aliens. There was little backstory and it took a while to remember at least some of the background of the world. Another member of the same agency has been on the trail of a spy, but the spy apparently caught her, as she is in self-induced unresponsive state. The most sensitive workers of the agency are taught to induce such coma to prevent being questioned. But there is a problem: she doesn't wake up as she was supposed to. And the spy is still unrecognized. Then she naturally saves the day, perhaps too easily. A well written story, but wasn't really easy to get into. ***
Brigas Nunca Mais • novelette by Martin L. Shoemaker
A story about wedding, told during a wedding. A pair of officers have a stormy courtship and a devoted relationship and are about to get married when a disaster strikes. A moving story, but when it is told from third person perspective it feels somewhat less emotional it might be. ***+
Robot Boss • shortstory by Erick Melton
A boss who is an AI might be hard to please, especially when it isn't supposed to be able to make mistakes. Especially, when it seems to have made one. It's clear who is to be blamed -or is it? An average story, slightly too long.***
Blue Ribbon • shortstory by Marissa Lingen
Children who have taken part in different competitions on Oort Cloud colony are shut away from the colony due to an epidemic. The actual "catastrophe " part was too short, and the scheming part after that was too long, especially when there was little backstory about the workings of the society.***+
Second Birthday • shortstory by Elisabeth R. Adams
A birthday party starring some giant sloths and other extinct animals. A very short – might be a parody of something, but I didn’t get it. **
The Badges of Her Grief • shortstory by Andrew Barton
A some sort of examiner comes to see if aliens are treated fairly on some sort of installation. A story which is very heavy on discussion, very light on backstory and pretty hard to get into. A slight twist at the end, but I didn't really care about the story. **+
An Immense Darkness • shortstory by Eric James Stone
A scientist working with a virtual recording of his wife (who was killed in a terrorist attack) is asked to interrogate the recording of the terrorist who is responsible for the attack. A good, moving and thought provoking story. ***½
The Extraordinary Extraterrestrial Togo Mouse from Ghana • shortstory by Ryan W. Norris
Zoologists find mouse that look almost exactly like normal mouse, but have totally alien biochemistry up to and including DNA. A nice idea and the writing was ok, but there isn’t much of a story here. ***-
Karma Among the Cloud Kings • novelette by Brian Trent
Buddhists take care of a pumping station on planet which is pumped for its hydrogen. They find out that they have been lied to, and the planet has been a stage of a great injustice. But they might still make things right. Talky, somewhat overlong story with a fairly familiar plot (which is reeled in very fast, when the story eventually gets going.)***

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