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Analog - May 2005 by ( / ) - Table of Contents:
Novelettes: Footsteps by Shane Tourtellotte | Death As a Way of Life by Grey Rollins | High Moon by Joe Schembrie | Short Stories: The Inn at Mount Either by James Van Pelt | Tainted by Jerry Oltion | Tomorrow's Strawberries by Richard A Lovett | Smiling Vermin by Ekaterina G. Sedia & David Bartell | Science Fact: Big Brother Inc: Surveillance, Security, and the U.S. Citizen by Laura M. Kelley | Probability Zero: Much Ado About Newton by Carl Frederick | Reader's Departments: The Editor's Page | In Times to Cone | The Alternate View by John G. Cramer | The Reference Library by Tom Easton | Brass Tacks | Upcoming Events by Anthony Lewis

The May 2005 issue of Analog provides us with seven stories that are all very good. The lead (and cover) story is "Footsteps" by Shane Tourtellotte. It is a classic impossible crime story set on the moon. A man is found on the surface, some distance away from shelter and not wearing a spacesuit. He is, of course, dead but only his footsteps are in evidence. How did he get there?

In "Death As a Way of Life" by Grey Rollins, we have a future reality TV show in which a man kills himself every week. His personality is always backed up and implanted in a clone. But the backup was faulty and he is really dead. How did this happen?

The other novelette, "High Moon" by Joe Schembrie is not a mystery but an old-fashioned western, set on the moon and with a very different gunslinger.

The short stories are also worth reading. "The Inn at Mount Either" by James Van Pelt tells of a man searching for his wife at a very different resort. "Tainted" by Jerry Oltion is a tale of a sentient being who is alone on his world. He goes in search of other intelligent life. "Tomorrow's Strawberries" by Richard A Lovett is about a future Earth in which all but 10000 acres has been built up. This is due, in part, by contact with an alien civilization. While good, this was a little to despairing for an Analog tale. This is not true about "Smiling Vermin" by Ekaterina G.

"Sedia & David Bartel"?, a fun sequel to "Alphabet Angels" in the March 2005 issue. Gus & Jessie from that story are now married but have another problem with a newly created species. I hope for more stories about this couple.

The May 2005 issue of Analog

Asimov's Science Fiction April - May by ( / ) - Contents:
Solidarity by Walter Jon Williams * Shadow Twin by Gardner Dozois, George R.R. Martin and Daniel Abraham
Dark of the Sun by William Barton * Dallas: An Essay by Robert Reed
Short Stories
Mason's Rats by Neal Asher * La Gran Muerte by Liz Williams * Down Memory Lane by Mike Resnick * California King by Michael J. Jasper & Greg van Eekhout Bean * There by Jack Skillingstead * Lover of Statues by Ian Watson * They Will Raise You in a Box by Wil McCarthy
Superman Inoxydable by David Lunde * Our Robot President: The First Hundred Days by Bruce Boston * Why I Chose a Robot Body and Have Never Regretted It by Bruce Boston * The Tinkers of Ireland by Ace G. Pilkington Another View of Breakfast by W. Gregory Stewart
Editorial by Sheila Williams * Reflections: Fantasies About Fiction by Robert Silverberg * Letters * Thought Experiments: The Robots We Want by Therese Littleton * On the Net: Breathing the Blogosphere by James Patrick Kelly * On Books: No Surrender by Norman Spinrad * The SF Conventional Calendar by Erwin S. Strauss

The April/May 2005 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction is a bit disappointing for a double issue. The only exceptional story is "Shadow Twin" by Gardner Dozois, George R.R. Martin and Daniel Abraham. On the planet Sao Paulo, Ramon Espejo is off in the wilderness looking for riches. He accidentally uncovers a nest of aliens. They render him unconscious and when he revives give him a very peculiar task. This is a great story but it was published last year by SCIFICTION and is still available free online at There is a 2004 copyright date on the story and is approximately 40 pages of the issue that you can get for free elsewhere.

Fortunately, there are some very good original stories in this issue.

"Solidarity" by Walter Jon Williams is a worthy sequel to his "Margaux" in the May 2003 issue. In it, Sula must employ devious means to gain allies in her battle against the alien invaders, the Naxids. "Dark of the Sun" by William Barton is a follow-up to his previous story, "Moments of Inertia" in April/May 2004 issue. Again, four people are coping with the extinction of the Sun. "In Dallas: An Essay" by Robert Reed, a man looks back at his life 20 years ago and a friend he calls Dallas who comes up with an idea about a 'world envelope' that manipulates things for the benefit of mankind. Just the kind of strange but wonderful story we always get from Robert Reed. In another very good story, "Mason's Rats" by Neal Asher, a man has a serious rodent problem. "La Gran Muerte" by Liz Williams is a beautiful little story which echoes the myth of Persephone and the choice she makes. Lastly, "Down Memory Lane" by Mike Resnick is a sad tale of a man dealing with his wife's dementia. The only problem I have is I found it a bit predictable.

There are four other stories that are not as good. "California King" by Michael J. Jasper & Greg van Eekhout is a tedious little story about a man who can manipulate events with his tattoos. Skip it. "Bean There" by Jack Skillingstead is an OK tale about how aliens bring about an unusual kind of evolution on Earth. In "Lover of Statues" by Ian Watson, an alien lives up to that description. In the last of the short stories, "They Will Raise You in a Box" by Wil McCarthy, we get an idea about problems with such a practice.

This issue gets a qualified endorsement. Almost half the issue is either available elsewhere or not worth reading. Buy it at your own risk.

Interzone Issue #197 ? March/April 2005 by (Publisher ? TTA Press, 5 Martins Lane, Witchcam, Ely, Cambs CB6 2LB, UK ? March 2005 / ) - Contents:
New Fiction:
Dee-Dee and the Dumpy Dancers by Ian Watson & Mike Allen ? Threshold of Perception by Scott MacKay ? A World of His Own by Christopher East ? Kivam by Dave Hoing ? The Kansas Jayhawk Vs the Midwestern Monster Squad by Jeremiah Tolbert
Interface by Cheryl Morgan ? Ansible Link by David Langford ? If?.Then?Else by Martin Hughes ? Interlocutions (Book Reviews) ? Interview: Susanna Clarke & Colin Greenland ? Conducted by Andy Hedgecock ? Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe

Interzone continues its tradition of truly unusual science fiction with its March/April 2005 issue. The best story in the issue is ?Threshold of Perception? by Scott MacKay. Set in 1910-1911 France, we are introduced to a French astronomer named Georges Marcotte who is skeptical about Percival Lowell?s claim of canals on Mars. He just can?t see them. When Lowell predicts that Halley?s Comet will strike the Earth, things get really interesting. This is not really a historical piece but an alternate one,

Also, in this issue, ?Dee-Dee and the Dumpy Dancers? by Ian Watson & Mile Allen is a whimsical piece about unemployed women in North Carolina who find a way to lift everyone?s spirits. With help from some aliens who look like turkeys, they succeed beyond their wildest dreams. ?A World of His Own? by Christopher East is another story about an very unusual product. It is a Puddy-Buddy, which is a small, intelligent humanoid doll that can be programmed to do anything. When its owner downloads a mild autonomy module for it, things get seriously out of hand. ?Kivam? by David Hoing is a tale about how a member of one race deals with the revolt of another race which her race abused. We are told that it is part of a novel that the author is working on and I?d certainly like to see it. Lastly, ?The Kansas Jayhawk Vs the Midwestern Monster Squad? by Jeremiah Tolber takes place some 30 years in our future where genetically engineered giant monsters provide entertainment.

Interzone is certainly a magazine worth sending money all the way to England for.

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - May 2005 by (Spilogale Inc May, 2005 (On Sale: March 29, 2005) / ) - Contents:
The Imago Sequence by Laird Barron
I.D.I.D. -131- Robert Thurston
Short Stories:
The Great Caruso by Steven Popkes ? The Golems Of Detroit by Alex Irvine ? Born-Again by K. D. Wentworth ? The New Deity by Robert Reed
Books To Look For - Charles De Lint ? Books - Elizabeth Hand ? Plumage From Pegasus: Moody's Angels -115- Paul Di Filippo ? Films: Korean Futures - Lucius Shepard ? Coming Attractions: Curiosities - Steven Utley ? Cartoons: Arthur Masear , S. Harris, J.P. Rini ? Cover: Cory And Catska Ench For "The Imago Sequence"

The May 2005 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is yet another excellent issue. All the stories got a very good rating from me. The cover story is a novella, ?The Imago Sequence? by Laird Barron. In it, Marvin Cortez is asked by old friend Jacob Wilson to track down another man named Anselm Thornton, who reportedly has the legendary third entry (called Imago) in a series of photographs taken by a mysterious man named Maurice Ammon. Wilson has the first paragraph (Parallax Alpha) and Thornton has loaned the second (Parallax Beta) to a gallery. Cortez is haunted by the first paragraph, which may be a hominid and starts his quest. In ?I.D.I.D.? by Robert Thurston, a young woman tries to communicate with a race of aliens that has landed on Earth. Complicating this is an America in which people are increasingly obsessed with identity (gender, race, etc).

The issue also has four wonderful short stories. In ?The Golems of Detroit? by Alex Irvine, we see an alternate World War II, where America is using supernatural means to fight the Axis. ?The Great Caruso? by Stephen Popkes is one of the few science fiction stories about cigarettes. How this relates to opera is something to see. K.D. Wentworth?s story, ?Born Again?, is about a young girl and how she copes with having a Jesus-Clone for a brother. Lastly, Robert Reed contributes a story called ?The New Deity? in which a state fires its old supreme being and hires a new one, much as a university chooses a football coach. Reed indulges in great satire here and the ending is a real hoot.

Again, editor Gordon Van Gelder gives us an issue that does not disappoint and is well worth picking up.

SciFiction March 2005 by Ellen Datlow (ed) ( ( 2/23-3/23/05 / ) - Stories Reviewed:
Little Facesby Vonda N. McIntyre (02/23/05) (12644 words) ? Invisible by Steve Rasnic Tem (03/02/05) (6816 words) ? The Spear Carrier by A.M. Dellamonica (03/09/05) (7928 words) ? Hidden Paradise by Robert Reed (03/16/05) (7383 words) ? Vanishing Act by E. Catherine Tobler (3/23/05) (8137 words)

The latest group of stories from SCIFICTION is, again, a joy to read. Two of them were exceptional. ?Little Faces? by Vonda N. McIntyre introduces us to a universe very different from ours. Yalnis is a part of a culture of women that carry companions on their bellies. They feed off of her and she protects them. While they are mostly ?little faces?, they can impregnate her so that she can give birth to a daughter. Her ship can also reproduce and provide another ship for this daughter. McIntyre gives us a fascinating look into a universe set (presumably) far into our future. Doing all of this in a little over 12000 words is a great achievement.

Another great story is by that master of short fiction, Steve Rasnic Tem. His story, ?Invisible?, is a chilling look at people who are afflicted with Spontaneous Human Invisibility and what life is like for those that no one can see.

The other stories over the past month are also very good. In ?The Spear Carrier? by A.M. Dellamonica, a woman who has researched an alien culture extensively must help a man who became the ambassador to that culture by happenstance. She comes to terms with being his ?spear-carrier?. ?Hidden Paradise? is by another of the masters of the short form, Robert Reed. In 1970?s Colorado, a young boy encounters a truly exotic dancer. Lastly, ?Vanishing Act? by E. Catherine Tobler is a story about a circus with people that have truly extraordinary powers.

The Third Alternative - #41 ? Spring 2005 ? ISSN 1352-3783 by (TTA Press March 2005 / ) - Contents
Monsieur by David Gentry ? Call of the Wild by Joel Lane ? Electric Darkness by Stephen Volk ? Japan?s Dark Lantern by John Paul Catton ? The Dodo Has Landed by Allen Ashley ? Case Notes by Peter Tennant
Phil Rickman interviewed by Andrew Hedgecock
SS by Nathan Ballingrud ? A Drop of Ruby by Cody Goodfellow ? In the Family by Scott Nicholson ? Going the Jerusalem Mile by Chaz Brenchley ? The Return by Conrad Williams ? The Sixteenth Man I Killed by Martin Simpson ? The Western Front by Patrick Samphire

The Spring 2005 issue of The Third Alternative brings us more horror stories that are very different from your average spooky tale. The best is the last story in the issue. ?The Western Front? by Patrick Samphire is set in Ypres during the summer of 1917. Captain Stark arrives there full of confidence that the Germans can be broken. This is not just a ?horrors of war? story. What he finds is his real battle is truly unusual.

The other stories in the issue are well worth reading, too. ?SS? by Nathan Ballingrud tells the story of a young boy having to deal with his invalid mother and the attraction of a white supremacist group. This was a chilling story, even though it has no real supernatural element.

In ?A Drop of Ruby? by Cody Goodfellow, a doctor must deal with how a child survived being locked in a basement for ten years. This is not a quiet story and is extremely nasty. ?The Family? by Scott Nicholson concerns a young man who wants to keep running the family funeral home business. How he does it makes for a good tale. In ?Going the Jerusalem Mile? by Chaz Brenchley, we get a story about a woman who tries to work a miracle to cure her infant son?s non-responsiveness. This is a very interesting story although I wager the practices described are not really part of Anglican tradition. As I read ?The Return? by Conrad Williams, I thought I was just getting a story about a man wandering around in a listless state. The end made it a very different story and well worth reading. ?The Sixteenth Man I Killed? by Martin Simpson is probably the most conventional story in the issue. A hitman is haunted by his sixteenth victim, warning him about number seventeen. Again, the end is something you?re not expecting.

If you like stories that are VERY unconventional, then The Third Alternative is for you.

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