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Analog Science Fiction and Fact - June 2010 - Vol. CXXX Nos.6
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: Vincent DiFate
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog  ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 23 April 2010 / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The June 2010 of Analog features stories by Bond Elam, Jerry Oltion & Elton Elliott, Kyle Kirkland, Tracy Canfield, Richard Foss, Edward M. Lerner and Michael F. Flynn , along with a Probability Zero by Alastair Mayer and the usual features.

The June 2010 issue of Analog is here and the stories are all well worth reading.

The fiction begins with "The Annunkai Legacy" by Bond Elam. Taking place in a future in which humanity has explored much of the galaxy, the story revolves around the quest for a race humans call the Annunkai that may have stopped on Earth and modified humanity's DNA. Ensign Elizabeth McBride is a science officer, specializing in archeology and desperately wants to find the Annunkai. She has been assigned to investigate what may be a crashed Annunkai ship, one that has crashed more than a thousand years ago on a planet they call Slag. The only problem is that the Consortium, the commercial arm of the Fleet, wants to dig needed ore from the planet immediately. Liz and Dr. Tobias, a geneticist, are given just 4 days to make an investigation. They don't find artifacts of the Annunkai but something even more amazing. I'm sure this story will surprise and delight you as much as it did me.

Well, you'd probably guess that a story with the title "Space Aliens Taught my Dog to Knit!" is not going to be very serious and, indeed, Jerry Oltion and Elton Elliott take us on a wild ride. Delmer Dawkins is telling his friend Hollywood producer Leo Stevenson his conspiracy theory about a clandestine space program with a secret base on the far side of the moon. A mysterious woman walks up to their table, asks the time and touches Delmer's water glass. When Leo boldly drinks from it and collapses, Delmer is on the run. He briefly hires a private eye named Sid and they have a close encounter with a UFO. Delmer gets pictures but Sid disappears. All is eventually revealed in this amusing piece.

"Heist" by Tracy Canfield is the story of a sting operation that involves a regular guy named Bill Martin, playing a soon-to-be-discontinued on-line computer game named Realms of Daelemil. One of his game-playing partners is a female character named Opel. When she offers to buy him an expensive piece of gaming hardware, things take a curious turn. This was an imaginative tale of intrigue with many twists and turns that I enjoyed.

Richard Foss' "At Last the Sun" is set in the Gulf of Mexico where a team of scientists have hired an old fishing boat to study pollution caused by fertilizer and manure runoff all the way from Ohio. Dennis is a crew member and the boat's captain is Eddie Domingue, not happy to see his livelihood becoming extinct. But they all find something they are not expecting in another well-told story.

Next up is "A Time for Heroes" by Edward M. Lerner. Travis loves to read, watch movies and TV and play imaginative games. He wishes he could have some seminal moment in which in some act of heroism, he would save the world. After that introduction, we next see Travis in a virtual reality game, running around fighting some battle in an endless war, getting killed and rising again to fight. But what is really going on here? Lerner gives us a good ending and an interesting read.

"Cargo" by Michael F. Flynn is set in some primitive village where Little Jace is looking for an old man named Uncle Nob. He's got to tell him something that Bro Will has done. We soon learn that this is not in the past but in a post-apocalyptic future. That spoils nothing as Flynn gives us an unsettling picture of a real Dark Ages. He flawlessly creates the culture of this future world in the best story in this issue.

In "Connections" by Kyle Kirkland, Ellam K. Troy, a biodet in a near future is asked to investigate the death of scientist Arden Kirst. That request comes from Kirst, or rather his AI. Kirst was a friend and mentor and he decides to take the case. We are led through a future in which the government, called United Bureaus or "Yoobie" interferes in many personal freedoms, even though it is still democratically elected. Ellam is part of the "Opposition" but must keep it secret otherwise he'd be drugged into loving Uncle Barry (I wonder who that refers to?). His investigation leads him into some interesting revelations about his society and the story was a very good read.

The issue also has one of its Probability Zero stories, "Light Conversation" by Alastair Mayer. Our narrator tells us what happened when he went into his refrigerator for a late night snack and noticed that, as he was closing the refrigerator door, the light didn't go out. This one was a real hoot with a really good last line.

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