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Asimov's Science Fiction January 2016 Vol. 40 No. 01 (Whole Number 480)
Edited by Sheila Williams
Cover Artist: Donato Giancola
Review by Sam Tomaino
Asimov's Science Fiction Print / eZine  ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: 26 November 2015

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

The January 2016 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction has stories by Allen M. Steele, Dominica Phetteplace, Ian McHugh, Ted Kosmatka, Nathan Hillstrom, Robert R. Chase, and Genevieve Williams, along with the usual poetry and columns.

Asimov's Science Fiction January 2016 issue is here and it's got some good stories, especially the novella by Allen M. Steele.

The fiction begins with "The Baby Eaters" by Ian McHugh -+- Our narrator meets with the alien Meychezhek of the krithkinee and finds out how alien she is. Well-crafted look a very different culture. Ending is not entirely unexpected.

"Chasing Ivory" by Ted Kosmatka -+- Adia is taken to British Columbia where herds of mammoths, brought back by cloning decades ago roam. She is stalking them very carefully. The mammoths are the only Elephantidae that survive because they live in places less hospitable to humans. Adia has a reason for doing what she is doing and that makes for a good, solid story.

"Atheism and Flight" by Dominica Phetteplace -+- Bos had a motorcycle accident and lost an arm, but incredibly, it is growing back. He is obsessed with using mechanical wings devised by a man named Wang Lee to make a flight over Spirit Canyon and is focusing on that. Interesting.

"White Dust" by Nathan Hillstrom (FIRST) -+- Margery is using limited alien technology to transfer Sam's mind to a duplicate in a remote part of space for a vital mission. It involves exposure to radiation so the duplicate only exists for a short time. Something is going wrong and the duplicate cannot focus on the mission. So Margery tries something new. Good story and a nice debut.

"Conscience" by Robert R. Chase -+- In a near-future war in southern Russia, Warrant Officer Constanza Hernandez completes a mission transporting a man to a remote location. She picks him up five days later. She repeats the process a number of times. Based on information she learns in the news, she begins to question the morality of what she is doing. Interesting ethical questions make for a good story.

"The Singing Bowl" by Genevieve Williams -+- The ethnomusicologist is present at the alien gis singing at their Singing Bowl. She thinks she has an insight into their culture but a momentary lapse leads to disaster. A story well-told in only five pages.

The issue concludes with "Einstein's Shadow" by Allen M. Steele -+- James "Sonny" Egan is an American private detective in London in October, 1933. But it's alternate history and the President of Germany is Gregor Strasser, a Nazi. Adolph Hitler, apparently, shot himself. Albert Einstein is in London, and has accepted a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. To get him to the U.S., he and his wife are actually being flown to New York on a German airplane called The Valkyrie and Egan is asked to be his secret bodyguard. The airplane is huge and was designed by an American named Norman Bel Geddes and a German named O.A. Keller, a design never used in our own history. It's an amphibious plane and "resembled an enormous silver boomerang mounted atop two giant pontoons, with a smaller boomerang on top of the first...a giant wing with a span of 528 feet..235 feet long...tall as a nine-story building." This sets up a fascinating story that involves more alternate history and then some. One very good read!

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