Jupiter XXXVIII: Pasithee – October 2012
Edited by Ian Redman
Cover Artist: David Conyers
Review by Sam Tomaino
Jupiter eZine ISBN/ITEM#: 1740-2069
Date: 24 November 2012
For Jupiter XXXVIII we have landed on Pasithee with stories by Alex Weinle, Lou van Zyl, Jon Wallace, Colum Paget, Rosie Oliver, and Allen Ashley.
With Jupiter XXXVIII, we are exploring Pasithee, the October 2012 issue and it's a very good one!.
The first story in this issue is "Quicker" by Alex Weinle. Our unnamed narrator is a young woman walking to meet her boyfriend, Jimmy, at his mother's house. But there is something about this world. She is wearing something called a "weightcoat" and there is a lot of talk about the wind. It turns out that there has been some kind of climate change, but it's not getting warmer, just a whole lot windier. We find out just how much and something of its effect on people's lives. This was a great story and a good beginning to the issue.
In "Star Fall" by Lou van Zyl, Rime Eventide and his people have been through some hard times. Plague has decimated their number and many children are orphaned. Rime's mate, Tarn, are amongst those that have died and it is up to him to raise their as-yet-unnamed child. As the story progresses, we begin to realize that we are not on Earth. Rime calls what seem to be trees "kindred" and they can communicate (albeit slowly) with Rime. Rime and his people are also telepathic. When he witnesses a star fall from the sky, he goes to where it crashed to investigate. Rime is perplexed by the 'star beast' that emerges from the ruins of the star. The story cleverly tells us what the creature is doing through Rime's eyes and we realize that the star-beast is probably from Earth. What was particularly good about this tale is how it makes us understand what is happening. Nicely done!/p>
"Gone Antiquing" by Jon Wallace takes a little explaining the set-up of the story. It's a future in which a process called 'nano-youthing' had given people an average lifespan of 160 years. Unfortunately, a virus hit the nanotech that ended the lives of people with it after 8000 days, just under 22 years. The rich managed to get off-planet in time, but billions died. Joseph, our narrator, was allergic to the nanotech and was never exposed to it. He has aged normally and is in his late fifties. He has bopped around Earth in his spaceship, Midday Nap, while his partner, an intelligent rat named Achilles, has found items he can sell off-planet. He is contacted by Ginoux, a woman who is an 'allergic' like him and finds her young again. She has found another process. Is it immune to the nanotech virus? She hires Joseph to investigate a woman who is living on Earth and has visible signs of aging, leading a band of under-22-year olds. Then, the adventure begins and it's a good one with a nice sense of humor. I liked this story quite a bit.
In "The Secret Weapon" by Colum Paget, The Hiven is standing in front of the Great Sanctuary of the Artefact. It is awaiting someone's arrival. When that someone, a great warrior named Taren-eta-Merek, arrives the Hiven is ordered to be taken to it. It is some sort of absolute weapon. We find out what this weapon is and that's where the extreme cleverness of this brief tale lies. An utter delight!
"Ripple Effect" by Rosie Oliver starts at some time in the future with a woman named Hermione looking back at a meeting with her boss, the Minister of the Environment, had with other ministers of the British government. It seems like a meeting about maintaining the status quo until one minister's forceful sneezing and Hermione's quick action gets things on another tack. I won't say more to not spoil this wonderful little story.
The issue concludes with "Dead Simon and his Secret Astronautics" by Allen Ashley. When Russ's friend, Simon, dies after a ling illness, he is asked by Ellie, Simon's widow, to look over what he had been writing when he died. It turns out that Simon had come to believe that the science fiction movies of the 50s and early 60s were messages to space to our creator to come back for us. Even the name van Danniken is mentioned. That's the first thing I'm asked to swallow. There is also a bogus-sounding group called the Anti-Space League, some inexplicable bad behavior on the part of Russ and a couple of other things. There is not even much of an ending. Sorry, this one just did not work for me.
Well, 5 out of 6 is pretty good! The next moon should be Hegemone, make sure you're on board in ninety days! Subscribe to Jupiter!