Sunday, February 28, 2016

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 2016

An average issue, the last story was excellent though.

“Seven Ways of Looking at the Sun-Worshippers of Yul-Katan” by Maggie Clark

There is a some sort of terrorist attack by a group of people who worship the sun and apparently often burn themselves during their religious rites. One of the people who are threatened used to belong to the same group as a child – or something. And then she returns home. A pretty thickly written story with a very sketchy backstory. I didn’t get into it at all. **
“Soap Opera” by Edward M. Lerner
A radio station in the thirties is facing some challenges: prerecorded music and a sleazy sponsor who sexually harasses the female star of a popular show. A pretty well-written story with extremely slight science fictional content – only something involving sublime advertising. ***
“Alloprene” by Stephen R. Wilk
A man is hired to discuss with an AI/robot. They must perform some simple tasks together. A short nice story, writing was clear, no great surprises. ***½
“Sleep Factory” by Rich Larson
Third world people are hired to work on the western world by remote operated systems, which turn out to be very dangerous for the users. Writing as such is okay, but I have seen this idea before. ***+
“Most Valuable Player” by Eric Choi
A man who used to be a pro baseball player is depressed. His career is over, and he didn’t break any records. But the data can always be massaged… Okay, probably works better for someone who doesn’t hate all sports and doesn’t consider most athletics more or less simpletons. ***
“Early Warning” by Martin L. Shoemaker
A man gets a visitor from the future. Surprise: it is him as an older man. He gives his younger counterpart some advice – and what is more important, the schematics for the time machine. But the young one seems to value other things his older self thinks.. A nice story with a fairly good twist. ***+
“Diamond Jim and the Dinosaurs” by Rosemary Claire Smith
Two companies are going to the past. Another wants to mine diamonds from Antarctica. Another studies animals and there is some pressure to bring back DNA samples, and from the most colorful and exciting looking animals as possible. The scientists have their own thoughts about that though. A pretty average action story. ***-
“Playthings” by Stephen L. Burns
A low level police examines murders in a world with strict classes. There a categories of people from A to D. As and Bs live comfortably and have all the power. A disappearance of a pet of a B gets more interest of the police than a kidnapping of a child of a D. And there apparently have been many kidnappings and the guilty are now being killed. But how? And by whom? A very good story, easily the best in the issue. The story has a pretty well-realized world which works with a well-told plot which is nicely contained in a short format. ****

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