Asimov's Science Fiction - February 2011 - Vol. 35 Nos. 2 - (Whole Number 421)
Edited by Sheila Williams
Cover Artist: Paul Youll for
Review by Sam Tomaino
Asimov's Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: 30 December 2010
Links: Asimov's Science Fiction / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Asimov's Science Fiction's February 2011 issue has its usually good selection of stories.
The issue begins with the novelette, "Out of the Dream Closet" by David Ira Cleary. It takes place in some far future Earth in which Sasha, who prefers to be called Little Girl, collects souls. These souls are some sort of biocode that stores parts of personalities. Her father, who will soon be giving up his life, has forbidden her to experiment with souls because he had made that mistake a long time ago. Little Girl does what she wants to do. This was a strange story, set in a very alien culture, but Cleary makes it accessible.
Brother Beussy finds "Waster Mercy" in the story by Sara Genge. In a future devastated world, the priest ventures into the Waste, in search of redemption. He meets a boy who lives in the Waste and learns something in another pretty good tale from the author.
In "Planet of the Sealies" by Jeff Carlson, Joanna is part of an archeological team, researching a toxic area. Eventually we find out what Joanna is, where the dig is and what they are searching for. I won't spoil it but say that the revelation is well worth the reading. Aliette de Bodard frequently writes of Aztec cultures.
"Shipbirth" takes place in a space-faring Aztec culture in which Acoimi, a doctor has been sent to help a pregnant woman who is to give birth to a Mind that will inhabit the ship in which she travels. Things are not easy and Acoimi must deal with his own past and help the woman. This was another fine story from one of our newer authors.
"Brother Sleep" by Tim McDaniel takes place in some future Thailand in which people can have treatments and not have to sleep. Horse is a university student that has had that treatment and must fill his long day with activity of some sort. His relationship with his girlfriend, Sky, has come to an end and he is not dealing with it well. It seems that not sleeping doesn't particularly change your life. This was a good look at a possible future.
Bill Pronzini and Barry N. Malzberg contribute a grim tale of the future with "Eve of Beyond". Chester`Kampman is CEO of Eve of Beyond, a company that specializes in making clothes that will not outlast their wearer. That way they won't waste money at the end of life. Chester's son wants to sell out to a large company, but Chester refuses. What is really happening makes for a real chiller.
The issue concludes with the novella, "The Choice" by Paul McAuley. Lucas and Damian are two boys who lived in what is left of a flooded Norfolk, England, sometime after an apocalyptic event called the Spasm and the visit of what seems to be friendly aliens to Earth. Damian has heard that an alien craft they call a sea dragon has been beached at a nearby town. He convinces Lucas to use his boat to row there. When soldiers blow the dragon open, a shard lands in Damian's shoulder. They get it out but Damian is affected by it. He makes some disastrous choices to escape his abusive father and Lucas must make a choice of his own. This was an interesting story with some well-drawn characters.
Once again, I recommend that you subscribe!