Analog Science Fiction and Fact – September 2012 – Vol. CXXXII No. 9
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: Donato Giancola
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 26 June 2012
Links: Analog Science Fiction & Fact / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The fiction begins with "Done That, Never Been There" by Brad Aiken. Doctor Roger Bennett performed an operation three years ago. What's extraordinary is that he was on Earth and his patient was on the Moon. A reporter want to interview him about it. Turns out the patient had just died in an accident on the moon. Then, the reporter threatens Bennett with death unless he erases all the files on the patient. Bennett manages to kill the reporter and save his life. All this sets up an investigation as to what is really going on. Bennett, his secretary (and former lover) Doris and others are interesting characters, but this is one of those standard stories in which an ordinary man discovers a sinister plot and foils it. The plot itself is way too complicated to seem credible.
"Elmira, 1895" by Michael Flynn has two famous guest stars, Rudyard Kipling and Mark Twain. It details a visit by Kipling to Twain in (one presumes) 1895. Kipling is interested in reports of saucer-like craft in the sky. He shows the reports to Twain. Twain has some unusual experiences of his own, one involving what he calls "mental telegraphy", being mental contact with someone else. He takes Kipling to see something quite startling to them, but not as much to us. This was a very enjoyable story with Flynn doing very well at portraying the two literary icons.
"The Voices" by Alec Nevala-Lee almost takes us into the realm of fantasy. January has heard voices since she was ten-years old. The only one she can understand calls himself Elfric. She has come to the conclusion that she is suffering from schizophrenia and has decided to seek treatment for it. It's a special treatment of "magnetic stimulation of the left temporoparietal junction". The voices disappear, but something else happens. This one had a nice twist that I did not see coming.
The "Rent in Space" in Susan Forest's story is a tear in space and it's in Willy Kavenaugh's living room. It's spherical, roughly a foot in diameter and everything that gets put in it disappears. Willy has enough trouble. He's a research scientist who has just lost his job. His girlfriend dumped him. What can he do? He manages to get help from a physicist, but that all seems strange, too. Things get wilder and wilder and we get a great conclusion in this fun story.
"Mythunderstanding" by Carl Frederick features Roger and Duncan of the Angloterran Trade Agency, who we have seen in previous stories. Roger is on vacation and happens upon an odd religious group called the Appelonians who regard Johnny Appleseed as a prophet. By chance, he finds out about a world that the Appelonians rejected because apple trees could not grow there. The reason is that the soil is filled with osmium, which Roger and his company are looking for. Roger and Duncan arrive on the world finding that the Appelonians have re-evaluated it because of its money-making potential. All this makes for an amusing story about understanding another culture.
The fiction concludes with "The Long View" by Jerry Oltion. Dave is a rich man who has financed his own trip back to the moon. He wants to inspire humanity and leave a time capsule there for some future aliens to find. Something that will show them that people lived on Earth and what they accomplished. On the moon, he finds something startling, one that requires the long view of the title. A good way to finish this issue.
Another good issue of Analog. Subscribe!