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Analog Science Fiction and Fact - March 2010 - Vol. CXXX Nos.3 by Stanley Schmidt
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: NASA
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog  ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 22 January 2010

Links: Analog Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The March 2010 issue of Analog features stories by Shane Tourtelotte, Christopher L. Bennett, Carl Frederick, Bud Sparhawk, Brad Aiken, and David A. Simons with a Probability Zero feature by Tocho Ligon.

The March 2010 issue of Analog is here with some good new hard science fiction.

The fiction begins with "Of One Mind" by Shane Tourtelotte. This is the concluding part of a series of stories Tourtelotte has written on a "neural overlay" process that could be used to change people's minds. Lucinda Peale has been working with this process for a long time but now has severe doubts about her work. Washington, D.C. was nuked and the cabinet member who is now President is using the process to crack down on any kind of dissent. She has found support from one of her colleagues and they have found a creative way to bring the brainwashing to a halt. Tourtelotte explores the issues and consequences of everything that has taken place. He's told a good story, too.

"Encounter in a Yellow Wood" by Bud Sparhawk is concerned with a man named Gus who must make a decision between two different alternatives. One would preserve an environment originally meant to be temporary. The other would make a mess temporarily, with the promise of something better to come. On the first side of the question also stands a lost love. Sparhawk details both sides of the question in this touching tale.

After his stroke, Troy Adams is "Locked In" in the story by Brad Aiken. Troy is the CEO of a company that makes, among other things, nuclear weapons. Most of the story revolves around his being hooked up to a computer interface that will help him communicate and get around. He is also haunted by the memory of his wife, Linda, who died in a traffic accident caused by his tiredness on the road. This is a well-written story about recovery and redemption.

"Dr. Kenner's Special Animals" by David A. Simons is the story of a vet and his assistant who wind up caring for genetically engineered mythological animals: mermaids, centaurs, dragons, etc. There are risks involve as these things are illegal. The doctor and his assistant work things out in this nice little tale.

"The Hub of the Matter" by Christopher L. Bennett is set in some distant future in which humanity has come in contact with numerous aliens because of a place called the Hub. It's a center of mass of the dark matter halo" that connects many places in the Galaxy. If you know the right entry vector, you can go anywhere. David LaMacchia is a plucky Earthling that wants to earn respect for his planet by finding out the secret of how the Hub works. He is assisted in this by an alien of the Sosytyn race named Rynyan and a human Hub pilot named Nashita Wing. They run into trouble because the aliens who control the area of the Hub don't want to lose their monopoly. All this makes for a fun adventure and interesting aliens of the kind that James White always came up with. I hope to see more stories with these characters.

The "Narrow World" in the story by Carl Frederick is the median strip of an interstate highway in upstate New York. Adrian winds up there when he escapes from a prison clean-up crew. He had been convicted of marijuana possession and sentenced to three months in prison. He wants to escape to his native Canada, but that doesn't look like a good possibility. He finds the ecology of this median strip interesting with feral dwarf cats and rats. There is more going on in this fascinating story.

Rounding out the fiction in this issue is a Probablility Zero story, "Ten Thousand Monkeys" by Tocho Ligon. This was a funny piece that did not involve monkeys but two cats and a cockroach. Two of them are famous literary figures and one shows up unexpectedly.

Analog still publishes the same kind of great fiction that it has for eighty years. Subscribe!

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