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Analog Science Fiction and Fact - October 2011 - Vol. CXXXI No.10
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: Mark Garlick
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog  ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 22 July 2011

Links: Analog Science Fiction & Fact / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The October 2011 of Analog features stories by Janet Catherine Johnston, Jerry Oltion, Brad R. Torgesen and Carl Frederick, a Probability Zero by Alastair Mayer, along with the conclusion of a serial by Edward N. Lerner and the usual features.

The October 2011 issue of Analog has some of its usual good stories.

The short fiction begins with "Of Night" by Janet Catherine Johnston. A family is telling stories around a campfire when a young woman shows up. She says her name is Frances and that she has a ghost story to tell. They agree to listen to her and she tells them that she was part of a crew of a Star Merchant Marine vessel called the Zvezda Nochi on a five-year mission to space. They had traveled far and were returning when they came upon a Kuiper Belt Object and they all decide to leave the ship to explore it. When they return, Frances is convinced something is different about the ship. Then, crew member start disappearing. This had a steadily increasing uneasy feel to it and was quite a good story.

"The Last of Lust" by Jerry Oltion. Martin and Laura are working on a project to identify the center of lust in the brain. They actually find a way to shut it off. Unfortunately, religious fanatics use this to create a plague that sweeps the world. Martin and Laura become infected and lose interest in each other. This has an interesting twist at the end, but I didn't much care for it.

"The Bullfrog Radio Astronomy Project" in the story by Brad R. Torgersen is the dream of an eccentric billionaire to communicate with whoever is out there. He enlists the aid of Ron Kelly who operates a community FM radio station. The station broadcasts out of Utah and is being beamed out to space. Things are OK until the alien version of the FCC comes calling. Torgersen writes a nicely-done tale here.

In "The Lycanthropic Principle" by Carl Frederick, Professor Paul Campbell suddenly finds his e-mail filled with unsolicited pornography. He consults a grad student named Alf Larsen, who fashions himself a werewolf, and Alf tells him he has been "q-slapped". His internet "quiddity" has been trashed so that he has a bad internet reputation. Alf teaches him a lot about the internet so he is not a "wuggy" (short for wuggy-bip, referring to buggy-whip), a backward techdummy. With Alf's help, he finds who has trashed his quiddity and has his revenge. All in all, a wild story and lots of fun.

The issue also has a Probability Zero story, "The Sock Problem" by Alastair Mayer. This one is about the old problem of socks disappearing in the dryer. It has a clever solution to the problem.

You really should subscribe to Analog.

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