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Asimov's Science Fiction – September 2014 – Vol. 38 No. 9 – (Whole Number 464)
Edited by Sheila Williams
Cover Artist: Kinuko Craft
Review by Sam Tomaino
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: 28 July 2014

Links: Asimov's Science Fiction / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The September 2014 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction has stories by Tochi Onyebuchi, Amanda Forrest, Tom Purdom, James Gunn, Kelly Sandoval, Rick Wilber, and Susan Palwick, along with the usual poetry and columns.

Asimov’s Science Fiction September 2014 issue is here and it's a pretty good one.

The fiction begins with "Patterns" by James Gunn -+- Jeremy is good at finding patterns and works for a firm that provides analysis services for the NSA. He has access to a tremendous amount of data about people. He realizes that someone can use this data to predict human behavior and he's convinced his firm has been hacked. But by whom? The answer will send a chill up your spine.

"Place of Worship" by Tochi Onyebuchi -+- Our narrator is unnamed and he doesn't give us any details about where in space he is. We are just told it's a colony. When this is happening is really unclear. His boyhood seems to just talk about late 20th century things. Most of what we get are his theological musings and his alcoholism. Not much else.

"Everyone Will Want One" by Kelly Sandoval -+- Nancy gets a present from her father for her thirteenth birthday. It looks like a standard synth-pet, which is what it sounds like. But it's a "reimager" and her father says it's experimental and soon everyone will want one. When Nancy turns it on, it begins communicating with her, giving her advice how to navigate the perils of middle school. She begins to do better but is the reimager giving her good advice. Things take an interesting turn for the conclusion of the story. Nicely told.

"Scouting Report" by Rick Wilber -+- I always like reading science fictional baseball stories and Rick Wilber is one of the best. Here, Robert Johnson is down in San Juan, scouting a prospect for a major league team, The kid's name is Aloysius Stevens-Arce and Johnson thinks he is ready for the big leagues. He sends his boss a report telling him. Then. he meets a woman in a bar who shows him some disturbing footage of the kid. Seems he is a bit "wall-shy", scared of hitting the back wall. Also, while his vision is twenty-twenty, most major league ball players have better. Is Johnson in trouble? Or can the kid be helped in some way. This being a science fiction story, it's something different. Very entertaining tale. "A Lullaby in Glass" by Amanda Forrest -+- In a future Vietnam, Tuan has a problem. He works in factory producing "diatoms" and something has gone wrong with them. His mother might be held responsible for it so he want to say nothing. But the factory is his father's responsibility. When the problem is eventually discovered, he will suffer. There is also this mysterious woman named Anh who is supposed to be a refugee. He then finds out that the leaders of his country have horrifying plans for dealing with the famine. Pretty good story.

"Windows" by Susan Palwick -+- Vangie takes a long trip to visit her son, Graham, in prison for his birthday. She has a thumb drive with a message for Graham from her daughter who is on a generation ship headed out to a distant planet. Will things work out for Vangie. Her luck has been good so far. Touching, poignant story.

"Bogdavi's Dream" by Tom Purdom -+- The table of contents that I received for this issue calls this a novelette, but the introduction calls it a novella. As near as I can figure it is of novella length. The characters names are familiar and so is the back story we are given. The introduction does not tell us anything about the previous stories but I remember reading them. Here, on Delta Pavonis II, Harold, Joanna, and Leza are the humans leading the native itiji and tree people on an assault on the humans that destroyed their city of Imeten. They are going take out Emile Ditterman who had murdered Harold's father and taken over the settlement. The back story is told succinctly and easily so you do not have to have read the previous stories. This one is exciting and seems to bring the larger tale to a close. Good, solid writing like we always get from Tom Purdom!

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