Monday, January 5, 2015

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November 2001

A fairly good issue.

Club Masquerade • novella by Kevin J. Anderson

People have learned to exchange personalities at will. Practically no one lives long in the same body. A group of students have lived for all their lives in an orphanage for children who are born to mothers with random, unknown personalities. They are taught how to change minds, but of them one isn't able to do that - but he is instinctively able to know who the person actually is regardless what body he or she is wearing. A bit overlong, and disjointed story. **+
The Thrill of a Lifetime • novelette by Brian Plante
A man has died in a traffic accident. His mind has been uploaded to a computer and he uses an android body for extreme sports. The computer which runs his “program” is in a rented apartment. Once it is stolen by a burglar. Luckily, the burglar doesn’t close the program but uses the computer to run a violent FPS-game. Will the computer be found? A pretty good story, which could have been longer. ***½
Trafalgar Square • shortstory by Sarah A. Hoyt
An alternate world where Europe and Asia have changed “tracts”. Asia is industrialized, rich and developed. Europe is full of poor people just escaping from totalitarian governments – except the UK which is an analogue for the modern China with totalitarian “communism” with a sort of free market at the same time with severe restrictions on the freedom of thought and speech. A fairly good story, but it was far too literal treatment, everything up to Tiananmen massacre finds its’ correspondence. ***
Nefertiti's Tenth Life • shortstory by Mary A. Turzillo
A story of a euthanized cat, whose mind has been uploaded to a robot body. She is mildly amazed when her slaves don’t seem to love her as much anymore and her sense of smell and appetite seem to have disappeared. Apparently, the robot body is somewhat stronger (and perhaps smarter) than the original cat. A nice story, which could have been longer. ***+
Jake, Me, and the Zipper • shortstory by Rajnar Vajra
Alien children save a small child in an emergency due to extremely contrived circumstances. They live on a planet with mostly pleasant climate so windows are just holes on the wall (no wind what so ever?) but there are occasional very heavy storms and there are automatic systems inside the walls which launch shatterproof screens to the window holes when needed. The system malfunctions and a small child is left inside with no way out. The liens save the day risking themselves. The writing was ok, but the plot was as said very contrived. ***-
The Return of Spring • novelette by Shane Tourtellotte
A man "wakes up" after a treatment for Alzheimer's. He returns home and his family and he himself have a lot adjusting to do. There are many similarities with a (later) Hugo winner, Rainbows End. At places, the technology of 2030's already felt old fashioned. The description of the Alzheimer symptoms didn't ring completely true: I haven't encountered a tendency to destroy things very often and there fairly good drugs to smooth the symptoms. As a whole a pretty good and well written story anyway. ****-

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