Thursday, December 29, 2011

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, February 2001

The theme of the issue seems to be genetic manipulation. Pity that none of the stories is really good.

The Mycojuana Incident • novella by Fran Van Cleave
A country doctor encounters some very strange fungal infection which has not been discovered earlier. He discovers (by a pretty large leap of reasoning) that a fungus designed to kill off the marijuana plants is responsible. Very soon, surprisingly soon government agents are making threats against him. Eventually, he manages the overcome both problems – the infection and government.
More than a little paranoid story. The beginning was pretty good, the last half wasn’t as enjoyable due to a clichéd mustache twirling bad guy totalitarian government agent and the plot and writing were somewhat less engaging, also. ***
Fresh Air • shortstory by Brian Plante
A colonists of a new planet must design their children to survive on atmosphere poisonous to humans. That means children and their parents can't breathe the same air. But when gene manipulation gets more sophisticated there’s a solution. Children who can breathe both atmospheres. Short story which goes for a mood, ok. ***-
The Fine Art of Watching • novelette by Allen Steele [as by John Mulherin ]
A very important secret of a drug company has been embezzled. They are very good reasons to suspect one employee, but there is no way he could have gotten the information out. A team of security experts tries to catch him. The only science fictional part was the method the industrial spy used and that really wasn’t something which would have worked well. There would have been some much work involved that someone would have noticed. ***
Or Die Trying • [Jack Sawyer's Doppelganger] • shortstory by Grey Rollins
A man has been murdered. That usually wouldn’t be a big deal, but all his personality copies have also been deleted. The detective who examines the case soon finds himself as only a computer copy, also. The crook with fairly vague motivations is caught easily. ***-
Nanoweights • shortstory by Shane Tourtellotte
Boxers use nanotechnology and other technologies and fight in stables of biotech companies. One fighter starts to suspect that his company isn’t completely behind him. A sports story. About boxing. Two negatives won’t make a positive in this case. . Writing is ok, but the subject matter is something I have no interest whatsoever. **
Mirka's Wings • [Epona] • novelette by Wolf Read
An Epona story. Kids play with their alien friends on Epona flying on some sorts of wings. One gets in a trouble as she behaves as a total irresponsible idiot. I would think that there would be some sort of age limit and/or screening before being allowed to fly.
The story has an annoying brat and pages and pages descriptions of flying. A very boring and very irritating story. **

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