Analog Science Fiction and Fact - January/February 2010 - Vol. CXXX Nos.1 & 2
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: Courtesy of NASA
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 24 November 2009
Links: Analog Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The January/February 2010 issue of Analog is here with the usual well-written stories.
The fiction begins with "Neptune's Treasure" by Richard A. Lovett and features Floyd and his implanted sentient AI Brittney who have appeared in previous stories. Brittney has the personality of a young woman and half the story is told from her viewpoint, the other half is Floyd's. Between the two of them, we get the story of their adventures on two of Neptune's moons, Naiad and Triton. Naiad is the site of a disaster for the both of them and Triton the site for a great discovery. All this comes together for a tale of two people that is quite touching.
"Shame" by Mike Resnick and Lezli Robyn opens on the abandoned colony world of Fairview. The only town is just empty buildings and a gallows with a long-dead non-human swinging from a noose. Leaning against the base of the gallows is a sign with two-foot high letters saying SHAME. Our unnamed narrator finds an old man, the only survivor of the colony. The man tells him the story of the alien, a man named Charlie Drumm and what had happened to the town. As always, Resnick delivers a good story.
In "On Rickety Thistlewaite", Michael F. Flynn, Méarana and Donovan travel to the planet of Thistlewaite, in search of her mother, a high official, who has been missing for three years. Thistlewaite is a world of ritual and Méarana musty play her harp for the Emperor, Jimmy Barcelona, whom her mother had put in office after a disastrous quake, common on Thistlewaite. Flynn creates a interesting culture, here, and lets fall many details that it might be more interesting to explore.
"Rejiggering the Thingamajig" by Eric James Stone features Bokeerk, a Tyrannosaurus sapien and a Buddhist. She is stranded on a remote world when the transporters across the galaxy all go down. To leave this place in less than twelve years, she must venture out into a hostile world and retrieve something known only as a thingamajig. This will restore transporters everywhere. For help, she has an AI gun that has the personality of an old cowboy and a nanoswarm. How the mission goes makes for a fun story.
David L. Clements' "A War of Stars" is told from the viewpoint of Baker a downloaded personality that is on a mission against the inhabitants of the neutron star, Nergal. Things go wrong and Baker is the only survivor of the fleet to accomplish his mission. Things, however, take another turn in this look at future war.
In "Simple Gifts" by Maya Kathryn Bohnoff, Rhys Llewellyn is sent to Fourier's World to negotiate with the natives for supplies of useful metal dubbed "fools tungsten" for the Tanaka Corporation. He has to contend with hard-nosed corporate men who just want to make the best deal for Tanaka. He tries to protect the natives, and things take a funny turn in this delightful story.
"Thus Spake the Aliens" by H.G. Stratmann continues the story of Martin Slayton and Katerina Savitskaya from December's story, "Wilderness Were Paradise Enow". Because of Katerina's actions in the previous story, the aliens have said they will destroy the Earth. What can she do? Martin thinks nothing but the aliens have created a third artifact on top of Olympus Mons and Katerina thinks that they can go there to plead with them. They get there and discover the artifact to be a "tessaract - a four-dimensional hyper-cube - that's been unfolded into eight three-dimensional cubes." They discover that the wall of the thing is an illusion. Martin walks through the walls first, but eventually Katerina follows and they find themselves transported to another world, with only one hour of oxygen left. They walk towards yet another artifact. I'll leave the story there but will only say that Stratmann fashions an exciting story, with a dynamite last line.
The issue concludes with "The Possession of Paavho Deshin" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Paavho Deshin is a seven-year old boy who is a genius. His parents, Luc and Gerda Deshin, love him dearly, even though he is much smarter than them. They have sent him to the Armstrong Wing of the Aristotle Academy, a top school. One day, when the other children are playing, Paavo sees two people that he has thought of as "Ghosts" for much of his young life. This time, though, they are older and the woman touches him, calling him Enrique. This sets up a series of events in an exciting story that takes some turns you might not expect.
Analog reaches its eightieth anniversary with this issue. May it last more than eighty more. Subscribe!