Asimovís Science Fiction - September 2015 - Vol. 39 No. 9 - (Whole Number 475)
Edited by Sheila Williams
Cover Artist: Getty Images
Review by Sam Tomaino
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: 26 August 2015
Links: Asimov's Science Fiction / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Asimovís Science Fiction September 2015 issue is here and it's a very good one with a Hugo-worthy novelette.
The fiction begins with "Biology at the End of the World" by Brenda Cooper -+- Dr. Paulette Rain is a new member of the Bureau of Diversity Protection, a organization that seeks to wipe out any life forms created by science and let only entirely natural processes work on Earth. This is because of bioengineered disasters of the past. She is young and feels bad about wiping out beautiful creatures. Her superior Sumot has no such doubts. They are confronted by a group that is trying to save the oceans of Earth which, they say, are dying. Both sides are represented fairly well but you know where this is going to end. OK.
"The God Year" by Jim Grimsley -+- The little town of Muglet-on-Stumpings gets the news that the "lotters" have deemed their town to be the place that a god will reside in for the upcoming god year. There are many gods and one never knows which one will show up. The town doesn't even have a church, something that is soon rectified. Our narrator's husband Mabus thinks he knows what is going to happen, but he's wrong. It all gets a little too cute.
"Duller's Peace" by Jason Sanford -+- Serija is a twelve-year-old girl living in an unnamed nation. The nation has been infested with "motes" (nanos) that monitor people's thoughts and kill them if they do not think they love the nation. Serija blames herself for the deaths of her family because she was thinking bad thoughts. Her grandfather is an old rebel who has somehow managed to stay alive. He is told because he has become irrelevant. But he has a weapon that can destroy the motes. He offers to give it up if they allow Serija to love. A real chilling end to another well-crafted story from Sanford.
"Calved" by Sam J. Miller -+- Our narrator is a refugee from a flooded New York City trying to make a living in Greenland and trying to relate to his son. Things donít work out for him. But that comes as no surprise. Just depressing.
"Last Hunt" by Vylar Kaftan -+- Our narrator describes herself as sipiniq which is, in Inuit culture, an intersex person. She tells us, "my penis had split into a vulva when I was born. So I must have babies like a woman, despite my male soul." Only a shaman could stay sipiniq for life, and I had no such gift. She is on her last hunt as a "boy" and, named after her grandfather, is more manly than her totally male cousin. On a hunt for seals, they find something else, obviously a traveler from the stars. Her experience helps her find a way to her future. Interesting look at another culture.
"Searching for Commander Parsec" by Peter Wood -+- Laura and her son, Brian, have been abandoned by her husband, Roy. Brian has been getting enjoyment from listening to an old radio show called Commander Parsec. It is being broadcast on a radio station that went off the air in 1962. Brian thinks Commander Parsec is real. Laura is justifiably suspicious of men. Who turns out to be right? An utterly delightful and fun story.
The issue concludes with "The Molenstraat Music Festival" by Sean Monaghan -+- Clancy used to be a musician but arthritis in his fingers forced him to give up playing an instrument. Now he does some painting and gardening. A young woman named Eleanor come to him because she needs lessons to help her play the cello for the eponymous music festival. She is brilliantly gifted but she cannot play long because a head injury has damaged her brain. She has refused implants that could fix this because she might lose something. Clancy has also refused implants for his fingers. They form a deep bond that is the core of this story which reaches its climax when Eleanor performs for the festival. I will not spoil the ending but will just say that it is perfect like this story. It will be on my shortlist for Best Novelette Hugo next year.