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Analog - July/August 2005 by ( 05/06/2005 / ) - Analog - July/August 2005 - Vol CXXVNo. 8 - ISSN 1059-2113

Table of Contents: Novella: Chandra's Pup by Bud Sparhawk - Novelettes: Of Kings, Queens and Angels by Rajnar Vajra; In the Loop by Brian Plante; Endeavor by Robert R. Chase; Telepresence by Michael A. Burstein - Short Stories: The Keeper's Riddle by Joe Schembrie; The Time Traveler's Wife by Scott William Carter; Prayer for a Dead Paramecium by Carl Fredrick; The Pain Gun by Gregory Benford; Climbing the Blue by Stephen Baxter - Science Fact: Mission to Utah: A Science Fiction Writer's Adventures At the Mars Society Desert Research Station by Wil McCarthy - Probability Zero: July Fourth, 2213 by Peter L. Manly - Reader?s Departments: The Editor's Page; 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 July/August 2005 issue of Analog is (obviously) a double issue. Most of the stories get my very good rating with only a few a little less than that. There is, however, one exceptional story. "In the Loop" by Brian Plante tells us of a young man named Dave, who gets a job in a virtual retirement home. These are places where people who are close to death have their personalities uploaded into a virtual realm where they can be as young and fit as they want and do whatever they want. The problem is that they get caught in loops of doing the same thing over and over again. His job is to visit this virtual reality and find ways to get them out of these ruts. In doing this he gets out of a loop of his own.

"Endeavor" by Robert Chase is a sequel to a previous story, "Transit of Betelgeuse" that was published more than 15 years ago, but you don?t need to have read it (or remember it). A space ship named Endeavor must find a way to escape from a disaster with the added problem of having warring factions aboard. "Telepresence" by Michael A. Burstein is a sequel to his first story "Teleabsence" but also stands on its own. The always reliable Burstein tells a story here about a man who wants to give back something given him by an inspiring teacher. "In The Keeper's Riddle", Joe Schembie gives us a riddle that we and the stories characters must solve. "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Scott William Carter is a charming tale of two forms of time travel. "The Pain Gun" by Gregory Benford is a story about a future war and a weapon that will work fine for a while. Last year, Stephen Baxter published a story called "PeriAndry's Quest" about a world in which time moves at different speeds depending on your altitude. In this follow-up, a man makes the ultimate sacrifice to save his wife's life.

The other stories in this issue are pretty good, too. "Chandra's Pup" by Bud Sparhawk, a sequel to his "Clay's Pride", continues the story of how humans must deal with an aggressive alien race. Unfortunately, this just seems like part of a novel and does not stand on it's own very well. In "Of Kings, Queens and Angels" by Rajnar Vajra is a nice story about a man who must figure out how to get out of a increasingly desperate situation. Lastly, "Prayer for a Dead Paramecium" by Carl Fredrick tells us how two boys deal with the death of their father in a war.

So this double issue does have one exceptional tale and the rest are worth reading.

Asimov's Science Fiction - July 2005 by ( June 2005 / ) - Asimov's Science Fiction - July 2005 - Vol. 29 No. 7 (Whole Number 354 - ISSN 1065-2698

Table of Contents Novellettes: RAW by Daniel Grotta; Girls And Boys, Come Out to Play by Michael Swanwick - Short Stories: The Children of Time by Stephen Baxter; Clipper's Last Ride by Richard Mueller; Killing Time by Kristine Kathryn Rusch; Walking Chang-Er by Samantha Ling; The Real Deal by Peter Friend; The Compass by Edd Vick - Poetry: The Physicist's Warning by Sandra Lindow; Economy by Mario Milosevic; Daredevil by Steven Utley; Earth of Mercy by Roger Dutcher; Robot Dog by Roger Dutcher - Departments: Editorial: 2005 Reader's Awards by Sheila Williams; Reflections: Two Worldcons, Worlds Apart by Robert Silverberg; On the Net: Bring on the Digital Hugos by James Patrick Kelly; Thought Experiments: Science Fiction Village by Walter Jon Williams; On Books by Paul Di Filippo; The SF Conventional Calendar by Erwin S. Strauss

The July 2005 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction is a good one with all but two of the stories getting my very good rating.

"RAW" is by Daniel Grotta, whose biography of Tolkien I bought decades ago. Grotta introduces us to several scientific concepts here to set up his story and does that effectively and economically. The story is about a man who finds he can communicate with another dimension, one in which his sister did not die in a childhood accident, but he did instead. This sets up a truly terrifying sequence of events. The introduction does not tell us if Grotta has written any other fiction. Based on this story, he should write more. "Girls and Boys, Come Out to Play" is Michael Swanwick?s follow-up to his "The Dog Said Bow Wow". His heroes from that story are searching for stolen British artifacts in a land called Arcadia. Returning these objects is not easy in a deliciously bizarre tale. "Clipper's Last Ride" by Richard Mueller introduces us to Clipper, a woman barber who has a hobby. This proves useful to her community in a surprising and thrilling way. In "Killing Time", Kristine Kathryn Rusch gives us an old woman, reliving her past through a special form of technology. She makes an important decision about how she wants to live out her life. "Walking Chang-Er" by Samantha Ling is a nice blend of Chinese mythology and science fiction. "The Real Deal" by Peter Friend features a group of humans who work for an alien race called (by humans) the Picassos. Just what is the real reason for this service is surprising.

"The Compass" by Edd Vick is an OK tale about how passengers in space have to sacrifice to guide their ships. "The Children of Time" by Stephen Baxter is a disappointing tale telling us the stories of a series of 11-year olds on a future Earth which is just depressing and boring.

Interzone Issue #198 - May/June 2005 by (Publisher ? TTA Press, 5 Martins Lane, Witchcam, Ely, Cambs CB6 2LB, UK ? www.ttapress.com May 2005 / ) - Interzone Issue #198 - May/June 2005 - ISSN 0264-3596

Table of Contents New Fiction: Piccadilly Circus by Chris Beckett; Go Tell the Phoenicians by Matthew Hughes; Bastogne V.9 by Christopher East; The Court of the Beast-Emperor by John Aegard; The Clockwork Atom Bomb by Dominc Green - Features: Interface by David Mathew; Ansible Link by David Langford; Nights Plutonian Shore by Mike O'Driscoll; Interlocutions (Book Reviews); Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe

I am getting to like Interzone more with each issue and the May/June 2005 issue is the best yet. It has only five stories and three of them, I rate as exceptional!

"Go Tell the Phoenicians" by Matthew Hughes is a delightful tale about a man named Kandler who doesn't like his job of finding ways for Earth to exploit alien races. On K'fond, he encounters a race that looks very technologically advanced but leads nothing but a shallow life of sex and other fleshy pursuits. No, they are not Eloi but the explanation is a truly ingenious one. When he finds it, this gives Kandler a way out of his problem.

"Bastogne V.9" by Christopher East is from the point of view of Sergeant Glitch who is part of a VR recreation of World War II. He is aware of what he is and finds himself with a Private Brown, a real human who is experiencing this but is not aware that it?s a simulation. The third great story is "The Court of the Beast-Emperor" by John Aegard. A man named Evan wants to free the woman he loves from having to serve in combat. To do so, he must make an appeal to a judge called an Equitor. The truly unusual thing in this culture is that as the author puts it "the pain of the judged shall be on the judges and thus pain will be diminished." This makes for a truly unique tale.

The other stories are both very good. "Piccadilly Circus" by Chris Beckett is about a world in which there are very few physical people and most are virtuals called "consensuals". One old woman has an increasingly difficult time with this. In the "Clockwork Atom Bomb" by Dominic Green, a man must deal with a seriously dangerous weapon, a lot more dangerous than an atomic bomb.

With great other features, you should all be subscribing to this magazine.

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - July 2005 by Gordon Van Gelder (ed) ( June 2005 / 3.99) - The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction July 2005 - ISSN 1095-8258 - Vol. 109, No. 1, Whole Number 641

Contents: Novellettes: The Tournament at Surreptitia -6- John Morressy; Hero, The Movie -139- Bruce McAllister - Short Stories: The Pitiless Stars -46- Jim Young; Angry Duck -60- Scott Bradfield; Twilight States -71- Albert E. Cowdrey; Think So? -90- Robert Reed; Promised Land -96- Steven Utley; Old as Books -118- Mike Shultz - Departments: Books to Look For -35- Charles de Lint; Books -40- James Sallis; Films: Post Traumatic Straitjacket Syndrome -112- Kathi Maio; Coming Attractions -129-; Competition #69 -159-; Curiosities -162- Paul Di Filippo; Cartoons: Joseph Farris (70), Arthur Masear (111), S. Harris (117); Cover by: MICHAEL GARLAND FOR "HERO, THE MOVIE"

The July issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction has stories by many of the usual suspects and that's a very good thing. The best story in the issue is "Twilight States" by Albert E, Cowdrey. This should come as no surprise as he is one of the most consistently great storywriters for the magazine. This story is set (as many of Cowdrey's are) in New Orleans. Milton, a bookseller, sells an old pulp magazine to a psychiatrist name Dr. Erasmus Bloch. It contains a story about a boy transported into another dimension. The story and its author have a connection to Bloch and Milton but not what we think at first. This all makes for a wonderful tale of horror.

All but one of the other stories in this issue get my very good rating. "The Tournament at Surreptitia" by John Morressy is another in his long running tales of Kedrigern and Princess. In this one they help a knight find an elusive land that is hosting a tournament that he must attend. "In The Pitiless Stars" by Jim Young, a father/daughter team of "compressed personalities" are sent out to investigate a pulsar. What they find is something very different and provides an answer to Fermi's question, "Where is everybody?"? "Angry Duck" by Scott Bradfield is a hilarious spoof on retrospectives of dead iconoclastic writers. This one is a duck-poet named Sammy. "In Think So?", the always entertaining Robert Reed gives us a peek into a world where Intellectual Property Rights have got out of control. "Promised Land" by Steven Utley is a tale of how a scientist manages to satisfy a dying colleague's last wish. The lead character in "Old as Books" by Mike Shultz is a librarian of the future and tells us how he deals with his advanced age.

The only disappointing story in this issue is "Hero, The Movie" by Bruce McAllister. This is the story of what happens after one of those 1950's monster/science fiction flicks. Unfortunately, it is written in the style of a movie proposal and this gets tedious after a while. It goes on a bit long and the end is not worth it. I guess you can't win them all.

But the whole issue is still worth getting, maybe for the Cowdrey story alone.

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