Analog Science Fiction and Fact - September 2011 - Vol. CXXXI No.9
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: NASA and Lynn Barranger
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 26 June 2011 / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The September 2011 of Analog features stories by Gray Rinehart, Carl Frederick , Emily Mah, Brad R. Torgersen. and Craig DeLancey along with the third part of a serial by Edward N. Lerner and the usual features.
The September 2011 issue of Analog has some good stories.
The short fiction begins with "Therapeutic Mathematics and the Physics of Curve Balls" by Gray Rinehart. Joey Carter, only eleven years old, lives in a freak show in 1941. He is "Baseball Boy" because he has a birth deformity that looks like a baseball was stuck in his head. He finds release in the world of mathematics. He can perform complex calculations in his head. He can also read minds and, slightly, influence them. The freak show manager beats him and he must figure a way to escape. This was a nicely told tale with a good sense of the time in which it was taking place.
Up next is "Hostile Environment" by Emily Mah. Mala and Jasraq are two kids who wind up getting in trouble all the time. The problem with that is that on Mars, that could be trouble. When they're jumping of an ATV ends with a weather station blowing up, they are blamed even though they didn't do anything. It doesn't help that the son of the base commander is good at manipulating things to get them in trouble. The real problem is that they are all three annoying kids. It doesn't help that Mala develops something I'll call Wesley Crusher syndrome.
"The Chaplain's Assistant" in the story by Brad R. Torgersen is our narrator. The chaplain himself is dead and our narrator does what he can for the "multi-dimensional" chapel that many come to. The chapel is on a colony world called Purgatory on which most of the humans have been killed by an alien race they call 'the mantes', because they look like a large mantis. One day, one of these beings, calling himself a professor, enters the chapel, asking the assistant about the human belief in God. The reason why the professor is in need of this information fills our narrator with terror. You don't get much deep theology here, but this was an interesting piece about the clash of cultures.
"Asteroid Monte" by Craig DeLancey is an old fashioned cop partnership story. Amir Tarkos is recruited by the Galactic police force whose official name is the Harmonizers but that everyone calls the Predators. His partner is a Sussuratian whose name is Briaathursiasaliantiormethessess, Bria for short. On their first mission, Tarkos' familiarity with an old card game scam, helps them figure out what is going on. This was nicely done.
In "Helix of Friends" by Carl Frederick, Mark has the ability to mind-link. So does his best friend Gary and Gary's adopted son, Adrian. Gary has been having problems with Adrian, who has been talking about someone named Eric who he is communicating with. Gary is convinced that Adrian is lying and this has caused an estrangement between the two of them. Because you can only link with someone close to your age, Mark agrees to try "helix of friends" therapy in which one links with someone a little younger who links with someone else a little younger and so on. That way Mark can link with Adrian. He does this, but also links with Eric and what is really happening is quite surprising. It also makes for a good story.
Again, I recommend that you subscribe to Analog.