Analog - July/August 2006 by
(Dell Publishing June 2006 / ) - Analog Science Fiction and Fact - Vol. CXXVI, No. 7 & 8, July/August 2006
Table of Contents: Serial: A New Order of Things Part 3 of 4 by Edward M. Lerner Novella: Kremer's Limit by C. Sanford Lowe and G. David Nordley Novelettes: Witherspin by Alexis Glynn Latner * The Keeper's Maze by Joe Schembrie * Environmental Friendship Fossle by Ian Stewart * String of Pearls by Shane Tourtellotte Short Stories: Total Loss by James Hosek
* The Software Soul by Brian Plante * Willies by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
* The Teller of Time by Carl Frederick Science Fact: Messengers from the Earth's Core? The Great Plume Debate Heats Up by Richard A. Lovett Reader's Departments: The Editor's Page * Analytical Laboratory Results * The Alternate View by John G. Cramer * The Reference Library by Tom Easton
* Brass Tacks * In Times to Come * Upcoming Events by Anthony Lewis
The new issue of Analog is a double issue and a pretty good one with only one bad story. Except for that story, the rest of them all got a Very Good from me.
"Witherspin" by Alexis Glynn Latner is an exciting chase story in which two people must navigate the perils of amusement park type planet while someone is trying to kill them. "The Keeper's Maze" by Joe Schembrie is another adventure story. A group of salvage experts are hired to get a genetically-engineered unicorn from an abandoned facility in space. The job turns out to be a lot more than that. In "Environmental Friendship Fossle," Ian Stewart takes us to a future China, in which a man must find out the mystery behind a report of a wooly mammoth hunt. "String of Pearls" by Shane Tourtellotte is a classic Analog story. A man is sent to a planet inhabited by an alien race that does not want us to know how their language works. The title refers to a game played by that race that is like our Scrabble except that it puts sentences together rather than words. This is the kind of story that has should be published more often.
The short stories are, also, well worth reading. "Total Loss" by James Hosek is a story about a man who runs afoul of a particularly noxious health insurance company policy. How he turns the tables will make you smile (even if it would seem unlikely an insurer could get away with anything like this.) "The Software Soul" by Brian Plante is a tale set in the future in a Virtual Reality Roman Catholic Church. The priest is an artificial intelligence, based on a real priest. Suddenly, real parishioners (actually their VR avatars) start showing up for the first time in years. In "Willies," Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff comes up with a new way to discourage a binge eater. Carl Frederick's "The Teller of Time" features an interesting experiment with church bells that give the experimenter something he had not bargained for.
Unfortunately, the only really bad story in this issue is the novella, "Kremer's Limit" by C. Sanford Lowe & G. David Nordley. This is just a nasty little political diatribe with black and white cardboard characters. The end will leave you with a nasty taste in your mouth. The attempt to make one of the chief villains a little more than one-sided fails completely. Do yourself a favor and just skip this one.
So I can recommend this issue. Just skip that novella.
Asimov's Science Fiction - July 2006 by Sheila Williams (ed)
( June 2006 / ) - (see review)
Interzone #204 by Andy Cox (Editor)
(TTA Press June 2006 / ) - Interzone #204 – June 2006
Table of Contents: Fiction: Longing for Langalana by Mercurio D. Rivera * The Song by Tim Akers * Palestina by Martin J. Gidron * The Rising Tide by C.A.L. * Summer's End by Jamie Barras * A Short History of the Dream Library by Elizabeth Hopkinson Interviews: John Picacio Interviewed by Steve Badrich * Mike Carey Interviewed by Stephanie Burgis * Toby Longworth Interviewed by Sandy Auden Non-fiction: Interface: Editorial: Not Quite Live From Eastercon * Ansible Link: Science Fiction News by David Langford * Mutant Popcorn: Films by Nick Lowe * Scores: Book Reviews by John Clute * Book Zone * Audio Zone: Space 1889
The latest issue of Interzone is as great as ever. One story got an Excellent from me and the rest I rated Very Good.
The best story is the first one "Longing for Langalana" by Mercurio D. Rivera. In it, we meet Shimera, a female member of the race known as the Wergen. When she was young the Wergen and the people of Earth had started a colonization project of the planet Langalana. The young Shimera falls in love with a Earth boy named Phineas. There is something about humans that makes the Wergen find them incredibly beautiful. The story about Shimera's doomed love is sad and touching.
The rest of the stories are all well worth reading, too. "The Song" by Tim Akers is the story of a man named Jacksom Tell who has heard "The Song" in his head all his life. He has become a great musician to try to duplicate it but has failed so far. He must now take desperate measures to achieve his goal. "Palestina" by Martin J. Gidron is an alternate history tale about a different fate for the Jews after World War II. There is no state of Israel and a new Diaspora is taking place. How this happened makes for a nice little story.
In "The Rising Tide" by C.A.L (all the name we are given), we see a future society in which a man named Rayleigh Marsonnet is hated by many people. The ruling society plans to isolate troublesome planets but things go awry. Marsonnet tries to play things both ways. "Summers End" by Jamie Barras is a brief tale in which aliens, called only "Hijackers", took over people's minds, moved them about and made vast changes to the planet. They are gone now, but what if they return? Finally, we have the winner of the James White Award, a short story called "A Brief History of the Dream Library" by Elizabeth Hopkinson. It's a wild story about a world where dreams could be recorded and borrowed by other people. This causes problems of a very familiar kind.
Once again, I recommend subscribing to this fine magazine. Check out their website.
Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - August 2006 by Gordon Van Gelder (Ed.)
(Spilogale, Inc. June 2006 / ) - The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction August 2006, 57th Year of Publication
Table of Contents: Novelettes: Penultima Thule by Chris Willrich * Okanoggan Falls by Carolyn Ives Gillman Short Stories: Another Word for Map Is Faith by Christopher Rowe * Pleased To Meetcha by Ken Altabef * Immortal Forms by Albert E. Cowdrey * Jack B. Goode and the Neo-Modern Prometheus by Robert Loy * Misjudgment Day by Robert Reed * Billy and the Spacemen by Terry Bisson Departments: Books to Look For - Charles de Lint * Plumage from Pegasus: Changing Teams - Paul Di Filippo * Films: Say You Want A Revolution - Lucius Shepard * Coming Attractions * Curiosities - Thomas Marcinko * Cartoons: Bill Long (95), Arthur Masear (117), J.P. Rini (123) * Cover by Cory and Catska Ench for "Penultima Thule"
The August issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is another fine one. All but one of the stories got a "Very Good" from me and that one story was only a little disappointing.
"Penultima Thule" by Chris Willrich is another adventure featuring Persimmon Gaunt (a poet) and her lover, Imago Bone. They are in possession of a cursed book which is very dangerous and they must travel to the edge of the world to get rid of it. How this happens makes for a fascinating tale. "Okanoggan Falls" by Carolyn Ives Gilman tells us of a small town in Wisconsin on an Earth which has been taken over by aliens. The townspeople have been told that the town must be abandoned because the aliens must strip-mine the area. One woman attempts to communicate with the alien commander with interesting results. "Pleased to Meetcha" by Ken Altabef is an amusing tale about a budding author who meets a very successful writer that he admires. What happens gives an amusing answer to a question frequently asked of writers. "Immortal Forms" is another fine story by Albert E. Cowdrey, set again in New Orleans. Tommy Salvati inherits a house from an old woman that he knew but who had spent her last years in madness. One of the rooms is haunted by a malevolent spirit. The reason for this and how things are eventually resolved make for a chilling story.
"Jack B. Goode and the Neo-Modern Prometheus" by Robert Loy is a hilarious story about a detective trying to find the very unusual husband of a very unusual woman. This is also a great story for fans of puns. "Misjudgment Day" by Robert Reed is an interesting variant on the old idea that "in the kingdom of the blind, a one-eyed man is king". But in this case, it has to do with people's ability to judge their actions. Once again Reed gives us a story that no one else could have written. "Billy and the Spaceman" is another one of Terry Bisson funny little stories about a boy named Billy who encounters a strange creature. This time, it's a man from space.
The only story that I liked a little less than the others is "Another Word for Map is Faith" by Christopher Rowe. It gives us a glimpse of a strange future in which Christianity has somehow come to regard maps as holy writ. I am sure this is meant as some kind of metaphor for Fundamentalism but Rowe does not make me believe this world for a minute. It may just be me, but his stories do not impress me the way they apparently do others.
Nonetheless, this issue is well worth picking up for the Cowdrey story alone.
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