Analog Science Fiction and Fact - October 2010 - Vol. CXXX No.10
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: Bob Eggleton
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 26 August 2010
Links: Analog Science Fiction & Fact / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The October 2010 issue of Analog is here and the stories are all good.
The fiction begins with the novella, "The Rift" by John G. Hemry. The people on the planet Imtep are called the Izkop, which means People in their language. They have been considered “competitive but non-belligerent.” So, why did they suddenly attack a research facility called Amity, massacre everyone there and nearly wipe out the soldiers that landed afterwards? Sergeant Singh, Corporal Johansen and the six surviving privates in their battalion do not know why. They just want to survive and are headed to another outpost, where they hope to find a way to send a distress message. When they get to that outpost, things get really interesting. Characters are developed well and the reason for everything makes sense in this well-written story.
"Midwife Crisis" by Dave Creek brings up memories of the movie Fantastic Voyage but this one is a journey into an ailing pregnant alien twice as big as a blue whale. On the planet Welkin, Carrie Molina is given this mission and is assisted by another alien called Sarbin. Their guide on the outside is Matt who cares a lot about Varis, the giant intelligent creature. All in all, this made for a good solid read.
Kenneth Schneyer's "The Whole Truth Witness" is set in a near-future in which court cases are frequently settled by juries relying on witnesses that have undergone a 'whole truth' process. This means they have perfect memories and cannot lie. Manny must figure out a way to win his case when he has to go up against one of these witnesses. How he does it makes for a clever and amusing tale.
"The Alien at the Alamo" in the story by Arlan Andrews is just that. Our narrator meets an extraterrestrial visitor in San Antonio and learns some interesting things in this witty story.
In "Never Saw It Coming" by Jerry Oltion, Craig has set up the Near Earth Asteroid Reporting Database (NEARD) to encourage people to monitor asteroids that come near Earth. When he finds a new object and tweets about it, things get out of hand quickly. This was a nice little amusing one.
Allen M. Steele tells us that "The Great Galactic Ghoul" in his story was something made up by a NASA official in the Sixties to explain why so many probes to Mars just disappear. Some one hundred years later, when an asteroid mining rig called the Ritchie Explorer is found on an asteroid with the command module dome blown away and its crew missing, the ghoul comes back. One of the people that found the original disaster wants to know the real answer and, thus, we are given a nice little detective story.
Finally, there is "Ghosts Come Home" by Justin Stanchfield. Dev Verlain had been genetically tailored to fly starships and also to love Kammie Tule. They had both been born on a gypsy freighter and the captain wanted to breed pilots together. However, they were split up when they were twelve when the freighter had financial problems. Now, he is an adult with a wife and a child on the way. Through happenstance, Kammie (also with a partner) comes back into his life and he can't help but be attracted to her. Stanchfield does a good job here with the characters and the story.
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