Analog Science Fiction and Fact November 2010 Vol. CXXX No.11
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: Dominic Harman
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 10592113201011
Date: 24 September 2010
Links: Analog Science Fiction & Fact / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The November 2010 issue of Analog is here and its got some good, solid stories.
The fiction begins with "Phantom Sense" by Richard A. Lovett & Mark Neimann-Ross. Kip McCorbin is a retired staff sergeant in the CI-MEMS Corp. CI-MEMS stands for Cyborg Insect Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems. Through a tattoo implant, he was able to control insects that could spy for him. This was very useful for combat work and many other things. The problem was that he became alienated from his wife and daughter. Through an unfortunate set if circumstances, he had actually hit his wife when he was being decommissioned, cut off from the "flies". Now, their daughter has been kidnapped by one of his fellow ex-Corpsmen. He and his ex-wife must team up together in this well-told novella.
Allen M. Steele's "Zoo Team" in his story of the same name consists of Miguel, Ron-Jon, and our narrator. They comprise Team Zulu in the Mars Expedition Simulator orbiting Earth. Since the first flight to Mars resulted in the crew at each other's throats, it was decided to test crews and see which would be best able to survive their flight. What Team Zulu wonders is, "Why were they chosen?" They were all known as screw-ups and the other crews are perfectly boring, normal people. They find out that they were supposed to fail to make the other teams look good. They decide on a bit of revenge but things do not go as planned in this amusing story.
"Contamination" by Jay Werkheiser is the story of Nouvelle Terre, a planet that its settlers will not come close to until they have entirely studied its ecology. This has been going on for a generation. Now, people have arrived from old Earth and they want to land. Ari is a skimmer pilot who has been set to intercept them and finds out that it is a suicide mission. Bill, his opposite number with the people from Earth doesn't want to kill him. What can they do? This was an interesting study of the conflict of cultures.
The first question one might have about "The Deadliest Moop" by Michael A. Armstrong is "What is moop?" It's an acronym for "material out of place" and that's an especially bad thing in orbit when even something small could wreck a satellite. When most of Earth's satellites are put out of commission, craft such as the Anna Marie are sent to scoop material up and get it out of the way. They are called crabbers. The Anna Marie picks up something anomalous, the crew does what it can and finds out the answers to some questions. This was nice little short story.
The "Howl of the Seismologist" in the story by Carl Frederick, is that of Alex Prendergast's dog Wegener, who howls whenever an earthquake is about to happen. Alex had just met Takeo Wakabayashi and Katerina Schneider, when a quake occurred. Alex gives Katerina data on the dog's howls and she is able to correlate them with the earthquakes. They also correlate with cosmic ray bursts and the Tevatron at Fermilab and the Large Hadron Collider being turned on at the same time. Did that cause an earthquake? Alex, Katerina, Takeo, and Wegener must prevent that from happening again. The story got a little bogged down in scientific jargon but was still quite good.
"Outbound" by Brad R. Torgersen begins with Earth being destroyed as are all the settlements as far as Jupiter. Through just plain luck, Miroslav Jaworski, an 11-year old boy survived in a life pod to be picked up by Tabitha Marshall who was in charge of an observatory near Jupiter assisted by her husband, Howard, who is actually only the original personality uploaded to the observatory's computer. They are headed for the Kuiper belt and something called the Outbound. This was a privately-funded mission into deep space to see if there were any planets that might be settled. They had not been heard from after they passed Pluto. Tabitha and Howard think they were headed in the wake of Pioneer 10 and are looking for it. Thus, we get a good little story of survival.
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