Space and Time #109 – Winter 2009
Edited by Hildy Silverman
Cover Artist: Ben Fogletto
Review by Sam Tomaino
Space and Time ISBN/ITEM#: 0271-2512
Date: 25 November 2009
Links: Space and Time / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The latest issue of Space And Time is #109, the Winter 2009 issue and it's a good one. Note that there is a book review in this issue by yours truly which I will be paid for.
The fiction begins with "Small Motel" by Dennis Danvers. The story is narrated by a man whose name we eventually find out is Casper. He tells us that he and some other humans are aboard an alien spaceship that was made to look like a small motel named the Starlite. The place is run by aliens who look like humans named Jim and Millie. Some of the other guests are friendly, others are not. Casper becomes involved with a young woman named Ann. Both have pasts that they share with each other. It all comes together for a pretty good story.
In "To Remember Riobarre" by Alma Alexander, the story is told by a woman who has just given birth to a still-born son, one who had wings. She tells of her people and how rare the births of boys are. She tells of her brother, Cam, much prized until he started talking about the world he said they all came from - Riobarre. He has told her that the red pills they take, supposedly nutritional supplements, make them, forget Riobarre. All this plays a part in her pregnancy in this beautifully written tale.
Patrick Lundigan's "Love and War" is a story of future war. Brent is a conscientious objector, serving in construction on a remote planet. His fellow privates are more enthusiastic and want to fight. Their lieutenant is a woman named Marsen and all the men are in love with her. The Corps has been around for 463 years and in the midst of a birthday celebration with soldiers from the front, there is a sudden attack by the enemy and Brent learns something of himself and the Corps. All in all, this was a very solid story.
"End of Our World as We Know It" by Robert Swartwood begins with a an English Professor named Charles who, after drinking a bit too much, proclaims to the rest of the people at his table that while a certain word is small and meaningless, it keeps the world together. He says that without it the world "would be in chaos." One of his companions takes him up on it and stops using it, leading to some startling events. This was a clever little story.
In "Saving Hitler", Chuck Rothman gives us a world in which time travel is possible but must be monitored. The lead character, Larry Kesterson, works for the Agency, which fixes things in the past that people change, before they become permanent (in about a day or so). The general in charge calls everyone together to tell them that "Someone got Hitler." Larry is sent back to save Hitler's life because not doing so would change too much of the world. His girlfriend, Carolyn, would not exist because her grandmother's family fled Nazi Germany and it was in America that her grandmother met her grandfather. Rothman does a good job of doing something new with an old time travel staple.
"Saint Michael's Sword" by Andrew Alford is an admirable first paid story and a heart-rending tale. Jake and Janet are dealing with their son Michael's cancer, each in their own way. Things come to a head with Michael's operation in this touching story.
For the last story in this issue, the prolific C.J. Henderson gives us "The Mambo King of the Inter-Dimensional Dance Floor". Gregory Shalo is a hot shot dirigible pilot who has cruised the multiverse with ease. He has done many wondrous things but now is in disrepute because he can't settle down with just one woman. He's been married many times. Then, he meets Dina Sinclair and changes completely. They fall in love with each other and, as it turns out, can team up as pilot and navigator on a dangerous mission. Henderson knows how to put together a crackling good story and succeeds brilliantly here.
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