Sunday, October 25, 2015

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, June 2005

It is a pretty nice issue, above average. It contained mostly lighter stories.

Working on Borrowed Time • [Tom and Jeannie] • novelette by John G. Hemry
Some sort of contractor who travels in time and (usually) sets things right after other time travelers have changed something. Apparently, London was destroyed by an asteroid at the beginning of the century. That causes some not so slight changes in the time traveler’s present. He must go back in time and try to set things right. It is a pretty good story with a light writing style in spite of the subject matter (evil evils are trying to destroy London and the world). ****
This Little World • shortstory by Carl Frederick
In this story, a movie studio is using a space station for a movie shoot. They have built a miniature planet where they film ants with miniature cars. There are some far-fetched problems with locks and irritating characters with annoying banter which tries to be funny. It is a stupid story where the humor doesn’t work. **
The Policeman's Daughter • novella by Wil McCarthy
Matter transmission is commonplace. All travel is done by it and the same technology is used to create backups of people and even copies which perform duties the original doesn't have time for (the experiences can't be combined so the consciousness is essentially saved for both copies). A lawyer gets an unusual case. His school time friend has created a copy from an old backup, and that copy doesn't want to be assimilated as the personalities have grown too different. Do both of them have a right to live? It is a nice and inventive story. The protagonist makes a few stupid mistakes a person who is used to the technology in question should never have done, but it is a well written and enjoyable story. ****-
Improbable Times • [Bill, Greg and the Couch] • shortstory by E. Mark Mitchell
A man finds a living fish inside his suitcase instead of the presentation he was supposed to give. Then, things turn really weird – it is almost like reality is changing. This is a fun small story in the vein of Hitchhiker’s Guide and almost manages to work. ***+
NetPuppets • novelette by Richard A. Lovett and Mark Niemann-Ross
A couple of nerds stumble upon a very detailed computer simulation, which apparently simulates people in everyday life situations. They invent a couple with a streak of bad luck and then start to try reversing the situation. It turns out that the program is more complex - it finds actual people as close to expectations as possible and actually manipulates their lives. This is a very good story, well written. ***½
How Bears Survived the Change • shortstory by Uncle River
Aliens happen to take some bears and people for a joyride on their flying saucer and accidentally journey a few hundred years into the future where all larger animals and most of the people have died due to a stupid disaster. Now there are bears in the world again! This is a very stupid and badly written story. **-

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