Thursday, July 23, 2015

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2004

Serial takes some space. Average or even above average issue.

Trophies and Treasures • novelette by Jerry Oltion and Amy Axt Hanson

A Martian aristocrat takes part in a camel race (with breathing apparatus on camels). They ran into trouble and meet some nomads who first steal their camels and later help them to win the race. A humorous story which does cause a few chuckles even if the characters are so one dimensional and caricatures. ***
The First Martian • shortstory by Joe Schembrie
A man who usually almost fails at everything is selected to be the first man on Mars from thousands of nominees. The mission is funded most by pay TV watchers. After several mishaps, he makes it and is able to establish a base until the real explorer arrives. Another amusing story about a marginally competent astronaut who is good for ratings. ***+
Viewschool • novelette by Rajnar Vajra
A school teacher teaches a special class, a "last change" project for pupils who haven't been able to cope in normal school. The teaching happens by an extremely advanced virtual reality system which interfaces directly with the brain. The beginning of the story is very good, but then the story goes pretty mundane where the teacher is trying to stop the suicide of one of his students. The premise was fine and interesting, but it was underused. A pretty nice story anyway. ***½
Unbound • shortstory by Dave Creek
A soldier is threatened by court martial after the risks he took to save his girlfriend. He is given a hard choice. Too short, not very believable. The writing is fine and the story was successfully agonizing, so it worked in spite of its faults. ***

No comments: