Analog Science Fiction and Fact - September 2010 - Vol. CXXX No.9
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: Alperium/Shutterstockimages.com
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 28 July 2010
Links: Analog Science Fiction & Fact / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The September 2010 issue of Analog is here, filled with good stories.
The fiction begins with "That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made" by Eric James Stone. Set in Sol Central Station,"“amid the fusing hydrogen of the solar core, 400,000 miles under the surface of the sun", this one is about faith and what to do about it. Harry Malan is branch president of the Mormon Church there. It only has six human members and forty-six swale members, plasma beings who live inside the Sun. They need three sexes to procreate: male, female and neuter. When Harry is called by a neuter who says he was forced into sex by a female, he decides he wants to convince the swales that rape is wrong. Harry also has problems with Dr. Juanita Merced, who studies the swales. She is opposed to his preaching to them. This leads to an interesting confrontation with the eldest of the swales and a unique story.
In "Pupa" by David D. Levine, Xinecotic-ki Ksho is a juvenile member of a race of beings who has opened a portal to Earth. When Ksho's mother is killed by another adult member of her race, she realizes that she can only save herself and her siblings by growing up fast, even before she goes into a cocoon to actually mature. Her only hope for survival is with the humans on the other side of the portal.This was a good look at an alien culture and a good “coming of age” story.
"Spludge" by Richard A. Lovett is the story of William Whilmer, who has had a penchant for practical since he was a child. This has got him into a lot of trouble and he has had to act more serious as an adult. But his special skills are just what Earth needs when aliens come and start what William realizes is a trick of their own. This was quite amusing and a good read.
The "Red Letter Day" in the story by Kristine Kathryn Rusch is the day when high school seniors get a message from their future selves (at age 50) in the form of a letter, telling them just one thing. This is a big day and very important to these young people. The letters may or may not be useful and sometimes the future is actually changed. However, some people don't get a letter and this can be devastating. This happened to our narrator at her time. Now, she is a high school basketball coach and counselor. She has the job of talking to the seniors who do not get their letter. Rusch sets up a very good story here, as she always does.
"Flotsam" by K.C. Ball features the three members of the crew of the Mary Shelley when a space accident puts their lives in danger. Quin has had problems getting along with Zoë and Jill who are lovers. Now they must work together to survive. This sets up a very classic Analog story.
"The View From the Top" in Jerry Oltion's tale is from a space station. Michael is one of the members of the crew and has developed a serious problem. He can't help crying at emotional moments. How he solves his problem might be anticipated by some, but the story is well-told.
Kyle Kirkland's "Sandbagging" is set on a college campus. Quinton is a graduate student on a college campus that has been largely abandoned because Earth is imperiled by an artificial intelligence called Distributed Computer Control. This story had a good solution, but the whole set up is justified by the sentence. "It had seemed liked such a good idea to put an advanced artificial intelligence in charge of the world." That's a sentence that no science fiction fan can swallow.
Last of all, we have "Eight Miles" by Sean McMullen. Set in 1840 London, it tells of a hot air balloon expert who is called upon to rise much higher than normal. The reason makes for a very good story and a good ending to the issue.
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