Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2005

A pretty average issue.

Sanctuary • novella by Michael A. Burstein
An alien asks for asylum from a Catholic priest on a space station. She is a heretic among her own people and is carrying children which should be aborted according to the main faith among their species. The story consists mostly of discussions between the alien and the priest. Mostly pretty irritating discussions. It is hard to believe that religion would still be so important to people living on a future space station – surely such would have outgrown from it. And the Catholic priest and Catholic faith come out as extremely unethical and stupid (I am pretty sure that is not the purpose). According to the story, aliens don’t have “souls”, only human have them, so it is not worthwhile to try to convert aliens to the “real faith”. And it is an extremely bad thing to question the teachings of the church? I believe that you should ALWAYS question what the church and other authority figures tell. And the authority of the church which says how people behave is supposed to be a good that benefits the society? If you ask me, few things are more harmful for freedom and independent thought as religion, especially Catholicism. The writing as such was pretty good, but some of the morality was pretty despicable. ***½
Take Me to Your Liederkranz • shortstory by Lawrence M. Schoen
A woman is brought to hospital speaking just gibberish: First she named all objects around as dog breeds, then as fishes and now she is using different cheeses. A short and stupid story about the search for the top dog or big cheese. ***-
Breeding Maze • [Draco Tavern] • (1980) • shortstory by Larry Niven
Draco Tavern story. This time, possibly malicious alien has gotten loose at the tavern. At the same an alien pair, who are sentient only in heat, are trying to find each other as a foreplay… A pretty average one, mildly amusing. ***
The Speed of Understanding • shortstory by Carl Frederick
Very strange looking fish start to behave strangely on an alien planet. It almost looks like they might possess some kind of hive mind like intelligence. Pity that they are so tasty… A pretty standard first contact style story, perhaps a tad too short. ***
The Best-Laid Plans • shortstory by Jerry Oltion
A plan to develop vegetation which lives on Mars is scrapped, just before the scientists finalize their gene modified plant varieties. They send them anyway, and the plants flourish. But no one gives a shit on Earth. Until there is a good reason for a war. Good, but very pessimistic story. ***+
Paradox & Greenblatt, Attorneys at Law • shortstory by Kevin J. Anderson
Attorneys, who specialize in time crime, have a case where a man tried to prevent another being born. There are some twists, of course. A short, fun story. ***½
Search Engine • novelette by Mary Rosenblum
Investigators are hired to find a man who tries to hide. They do that by analyzing behavior patterns (what he buys, where he goes for a coffee and so on). Everything is recorded on a computer somewhere, and by some data mining, it is possible to find anyone if they follow their usual patterns. Not bad, a bit too heavy on the message at places – the actual plot is lacking. ***+
Give Up the Ghost • novelette by Grey Rollins
A leader of a human colony has murdered several other colonists in paranoid rage. But it seems that the murdered colonist have returned as ghosts near the place they were killed. Is something supernatural going on? A bit sketchy and too short story. ***-
Resonance • novelette by Eric James Stone
Several groups trying to finish an orbital elevator, they are in a hurry and compete fiercely as there is a substantial price of the first one succeeding. Just as one group is almost finishing, its elevator it is sabotaged. It turns out that a militant terrorist group, which is a cross of Muslim jihadists and eco-terrorists, are targeting the elevators. And there is a lot of trouble with ordinary environmentalists, also. An average story which is a bit too short and sketchy to be really good. ***+

Proofreading by eangel.me.

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