Asimov's Science Fiction - August 2010 - Vol. 34 Nos. 8 - (Whole Number 415)
Edited by Sheila Williams
Cover Artist: Michael Whelan
Review by Sam Tomaino
Asimov's ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: 28 July 2010
Links: Asimov's Science Fiction / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Asimov's Science Fiction‘s August 2010 issue and it's another good one.
The stories begin with "Superluminosity" by Alan Wall. In a near future time, Jack and Jenny are a couple on the outs. He badly botched a job for her pet grooming service. To prove his love, Jenny asks Jack to use a time machine to bring her back a leather handbag that she sees in an old catalog. Such things are now illegal. Jack agrees to go on a risky voyage and what happens to him makes for a very moving story.
Carol Emshwiller shows us once again why she is one of the best in the business with "The Lovely Ugly". This is told from the viewpoint of the native of a planet that people from Earth have landed on. They are actually a very intelligent and advanced species but they hide this from the people from Earth, making them seem very primitive. It is what happens when our narrator develops feelings for one of the visitors that really makes this another story to be remembered.
In "Crimes, Follies, Misfortunes and Love" by Ian Creasey, Earth has gone through a time euphemistically called the Transition, when oil is no longer a source of power. They have had to learn to live with less. Sonia is part of a group that is trying to recover memories form old data chips. Many of these still exist as the pre-Transition culture was very narcissistic (sound familiar?). Sonia must make a decision as to what direction her life should take in a very effectively written piece.
Pamela Rentz's "The Battle of Little Big Science" tells us about Agnes Wilder who heads up the Pacific Northwest History Viewer Project to use time travel to look at the past. It is funded by the American Indian Science Consortium and she must find a way to get them to continue to back the project. Rentz comes up with a good little story on how she means to accomplish that goal.
"Warning Label" by Alexander Jablokov is set in a future in which labels are attached to everything by use of software that runs though devices called "ogs" that one puts in one's eyes. This is all backdrop to our heroes Wedge and Groom who are trying to find out what happened to a statue to a failed bureaucrat of years gone by. This one was written with much wit and was very enjoyable.
In "The Witch, the Tinman, the Flies" by J.M. Sidorova, Nina is an eight-year old girl with a bad heart living in the Soviet Union in the 1940s. Her mother is more concerned with her new husband, an abusive man and Nina is on her own. One of the people that shares the house she lives in is a research scientist who has been studying fruit flies. The Soviet government has defunded the research and Nina's neighbor is trying to continue it. Sidorova gives us a good sense here of the time period and tells a memorable story about it.
Next up is "On the Horizon" by Nick Wolven. Our narrator is a troubled young man who has been altered so that he can read people's feelings. Of course, the government uses him from time to time. Here he is called to solve some murders amongst the immigrant population. Wolven fashions a goof story here.
Last of all, there's "Slow Boat" by Gregory Norman Bossert. NaN, Our Lady of Omissions, who has done much mischief in cyberspace finds herself alone on a cargo ship slowly moving towards Mars. Her enemies have kidnapped her and done this to her. She can't escape this slow boat but cleverly uses that to her advantage. This ends the issue on a very high note.
What are you doing just sitting around? Subscribe to Asimov's !