Asimov's Science Fiction - July 2010 - Vol. 34 Nos. 7 - (Whole Number 414)
Edited by Sheila Williams
Cover Artist: Tomislav Tikulin
Review by Sam Tomaino
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: 25 May 2010
Links: Asimov's Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Asimov's Science Fiction's July 2010 issue has the usual collection of nicely done stories.
The stories begin with "The Other Graces" by Alice Sola Kim. Grace Cho is a Korean-American sixteen-year old hoping to get into an Ivy League school. Her family struggles with many problems and she calls herself "yellow trash". She receives a psychic message from someone named Grace Prime, a version of her in an alternate dimension and the leader of a group called the "Other Graces", different versions of her. They help her achieve a perfect score on her SAT's. But she has a price to pay in this very interesting story.
Tom Purdom gives us a nice little escape adventure story in "Haggle Chips". Janip is on his way to deliver a special set of artificial eyes to Elisette, who controls a huge hydroelectric plant on the planet Conalia. She is building a new dam but is opposed by a religious sect called the Taranazzu Cultivators. They kidnap Janip and hold him hostage to get Elisette to agree to stop building the dam. His captivity is rather pleasant and he even develops a romantic relationship with one of the women. Purdom does his usual good job with creating good characters and this makes for quite an enjoyable read.
"Eddie's Ants" by D.T. Mitenko is a wonderfully imaginative story about Matt, a man upset that his fiancée Alexa, has left him for an alien hive mind known as a Spec Colony and going by the name of Eddie. The Specs work together to look like something human but as a race, they tend to want to kill other Spec Colonies. After one unsuccessful murder attempt, Eddie invites Matt to try to kill him. That would remind him of home. Matt tries a number of ways but finally hits upon the best solution.
I have reviewed Aliette de Bodard's stories of "Xuya, where the Chinese discovered America before Columbus" before and "The Jaguar House, in Shadow" is the latest in that series. It's difficult to say when the story is set. There are aircars, nanos, and other futuristic devices, but Greater Mexica still clings to human sacrifice, led by Revered Speaker Ixtli. In the Jaguar House, Onalli and Xochitl do not like the return to blood, but their former friend and now Commander Tecipiani has capitulated to the Speaker. Xochitl is a prisoner and being tortured. Onalli must rescue her. From when I first read a story by her, I’ve thought that Aliette de Bodard is one of our best new authors. This story makes her more worthy of that judgment.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch gives us an amusing piece in "Amelia Pillar's Etiquette for the Space Traveller". This consists of some short paragraphs about how best to enjoy a cruise with the Interstellar Travel Company. This was amusing and delightful.
The novella in this issue is "A History of Terraforming" by Robert Reed. It takes us through a man named Simon's very long life, some thousand years, starting from when he was a small boy. This story is more than just transforming planets. Humans themselves go through great changes as do other creatures. Wars and mass extinctions are only referred to. Yet through it all, Reed takes the story full circle and, once more, shows his prodigious talent.
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