Jupiter XXVI: Isonoe – October 2009
Edited by Ian Redman
Cover Artist: Michael King
Review by Sam Tomaino
Jupiter ISBN/ITEM#: 1740-2069
Date: 23 November 2009
Links: Jupiter website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Another issue, another moon! This time we travel to Isonoe for Jupiter XXVI, the October 2009 issue and yet another fine one.
The issue begins with "The Space Sphinx" by Edward Rodosek. Vicki Lonnegan is a reporter who had traveled to the planet Cetus to find out all the facts about a mysterious creature called the Sphinx. She offers Kirk Reuben, an old man who was one of the colony's oldest settlers, a great deal of money to tell her what he knows. He tells her of a foundling who grew up to be a beautiful woman, a young man who took his place as colony hunter when he was disabled and the strange creature that he called the Sphinx. This was a fascinating story, beautifully told and up to the finest standards of this magazine.
The Octagon in the story of the same name by David Conyers is an alien artifact on which the ultimate reality show is filmed. Two colonies on this artifact have disappeared. Now, in 2280, it's the location of a Survivor-type show in which the contestants aren't voted off, they die, taken away by some native things called geotherms. We are introduced to the last contestants and the producer of the show in this grim, but effective, tale of a nasty future.
In "Cold Pressure", Rosie Oliver tells a story of a rich woman named Latimer who is lost under the sea when the craft she is riding in has an accident. She miraculously survives because of a man she meets, under the sea. This was a well-told tale and a good read.
The last of the stories is "In the Shadow of Hemera" by Will Styler. This is a quiet, moving tale. A young girl on a tour of a space exploration museum does not follow the tour that most of her classmates are taking. Instead, she watches the flight log of a man named Jim Hill who is on a one-way mission to Pluto and its moon, Charon. There, he will perform a useful service, land on Charon and die. As we get reports through the years of the mission, we learn more of his past and what compels him on a suicide mission. It's a very good story and Styler leaves us with one more revelation at the end.
As we visit each moon of Jupiter, this magazine gets better and better. By my records, we have at least 23 more named moons and another 14 numbered ones so, at a quarterly rate, that's good for more than nine years. Let's hope they discover more moons by that time. You can do your part for the continued existence of this magazine and subscribe!