Thursday, February 2, 2017

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2005

This is a pretty good issue, where the serial takes a lot of space. I have now read every single issue of Analog Science Fiction magazine since about 1975.

Audubon in Atlantis • [Lost Continent of Atlantis] • novella by Harry Turtledove

A story about an alternative world where a large island lies between Europe and America. This island has very unique flora and fauna. An explorer is studying there in the 19th century and tries to find (and paint) animals that are becoming rare due to the spread of American and European plants and animals. He manages to find some strange birds, among other things. It's a pretty good story, though perhaps a tad too long. Moreover, such a story could well have taken place in Australia, for example, so the speculative content (rather than the factual references) isn't that original. ***½
A Christmas In Amber • short story by Scott William Carter
A grandfather takes his son's family with him into a spaceship. An asteroid as big as the USA is going to hit and a select few have been chosen to go into space. (I wonder where that asteroid comes from, as the largest known, Ceres, is less than 1000km in diameter). His small granddaughter doesn't really know what is happening. This is a rather bittersweet story. ****-
Hotel Security • short story by Carl Frederick
A security expert has some pretty serious problems with the automatic security systems in his hotel room. The problems escalate quite quickly. It's a short and entertaining story. ***+
The Slow Ones • [Draco Tavern] • short story by Larry Niven
A short Draco Tavern story about extremely slow, short and not particularly advanced aliens. ***-
Do Neanderthals Know? • novelette by Robert J. Howe
A scientist discovers a plant with profound effects. He samples it at the research laboratory where he works and even gives it to some of his co-workers. However, the company they work for isn’t too happy about employees doing pharmaceutical experiments on themselves. It's a pretty good story, but the science doesn’t make even the slightest sense, and the people mostly behave in a very strange and illogical way. ***½

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