Jupiter XXIX: Thyone - July 2010
Edited by Ian Redman
Cover Artist: Daniel Bristow-Bailey
Review by Sam Tomaino
Jupiter ISBN/ITEM#: 1740-2069
Date: 23 September 2010
For the second month in a row, we travel to a moon of Jupiter. Jupiter XXIX takes us to, for its July 2010 issue. I liked all but one of the stories.
Our sojourn on Thyone begins with "Agents of Repair" by Rosie Oliver. Our narrator for this story is an unusual one. As we hear talk about agents being late, we realize that we are getting a story from an artificial intelligence, the General Maintenance AI on Callisto (yes, a moon of Jupiter). GMAI is very dedicated to its work and when it tries to replenish its stores of polystring reserves by sending an order to Ganymede through the Space Manifest AI (SMAI), it discovers something is wrong. Thus begins a battle between GMAI and SMAI which becomes more and more dangerous. Oliver tells a good story and brings some real humanity to an artificial intelligence.
Next up is "Hybrid" by Emma Knight. As it opens, Henry discovers the door to his lower floor ajar and realizes he is in trouble. It seems one of his Eternity Partners, Zara, has discovered his deepest darkest secret. She has found the body of something from another world. Travel between worlds is forbidden and this body will get Henry into big trouble with the High World Council. As the story develops, we get a clearer picture of what kind of person Henry is. This one was a very effective little chiller.
The next story, "The Bottle Garden" by Mike Wood, is a rare story in Jupiter, one that I did not care for. Kyra is a wealthy young girl who lives with her mother, Elise, and uncle, Luther, on an asteroid. Also, there is their servant, Wynn Powell, whom Kyra loves. Elise is a haughty aristocrat, clueless about reality. Uncle Luther brings a machine from Earth that can produce a copy of anything from just garbage, As this includes things like money or precious metals, Wynn immediately sees the problem with this. This is not very believable. What government would allow such a machine to be sold to anyone who could afford it? The whole story seems to be about 19th century characters and social thought, instead of 22nd century in which it is set. The ending is not very satisfying either.
In "Oil on Canvas" by Nigel Fisher, Marcus Breame is an artist on an interstellar voyage. On the same spaceship on which he is traveling are some non-Terran races, most of them part of the Union of Seven alliance of worlds. Also, on the voyage is a member of a race called the Vor, who years before had elected not to join the Union for reasons unknown. Marcus approaches the Vor with the request to do a sketch. The Vor, which is female, is also an artist and they do sketches of each other. Over the voyage, they become friends and this has an affect on their races. Fisher weaves a good story here, with details about other alien races, creating a well-thought out universe that I'd like to visit again.
Finally, there is "The Earth Beneath My Feet" by James Lecky. Jemison Brand and Galina Anokhin are both people with a Talent that allows them to travel with their minds to other planets, looking for hospitable environments. This is not without drawbacks and their Remote Jaunts leave them ill for a long time. Their superiors on Earth want volunteers to Virgo. Jemison volunteers first, and, out of love, Galina follows. What they find and what they do about it makes for a nice little tale.
Even with a rare misfire, I still recommend that you explore the moons of Jupiter, and subscribe!