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Asimov's Science Fiction - March 2016 - Vol. 40 No. 03 - (Whole Number 482)
Edited by Sheila Williams
Cover Artist: Fred Gambino
Review by Sam Tomaino
Asimov's Science Fiction  ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: 24 February 2016

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

The March 2016 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction has stories by Ted Kosmatka, Dominica Phetteplace, Dale Bailey, Julie Novakova, Sunil Patel, Ray Nayler, R. Neube, and James Gunn, along with the usual poetry and columns.

Asimov's Science Fiction March 2016 issue is here and every story is worth reading.

The fiction begins with "The Bewilderness of Lions" by Ted Kosmatka. -+- Caitlin crunches numbers and predicts events. She is good at it. She is working for an presidential candidate, warning him against pitfalls. But she comes across people who are better than her at that. People who can control others by warning them about events. But there is a price to pay. Good story and a but chilling. The flashbacks to her childhood are especially interesting.

"The Ship Whisperer" by Julie Novakova -+- Icarus Caille is the ship whisperer who can communicate with the AI mind quantum computer that controls the ship Giordano Bruno. Icarus feels something go wrong temporarily but the captain will not tell her what is going on. Icarus eventually learns what is happening and is horrified. She comes up with a plan. Good solid science fiction.

"A Partial List of Lists I Have Lost Over Time" by Sunil Patel -+- A story told through lists made by a mad scientist who is contemplating a dangerous experiment. Very Clever!

"Project Empathy" by Dominica Phetteplace -+- Our narrator is in charge of taking care of Bel, a young woman who works for Blue Cup, a restaurant chain that puts a high value on serving its customers. Bel is very good in Concord, the small town she grew up in, but is having some trouble fitting into life in San Francisco. The narrator is actually an AI and tries to help her navigate her life. But it has goals of its own. Interesting look at a near-future society that I'm not sure I would like.

"Do Not Forget Me" by Ray Nayler -+- Batyr enters Leila's room late one night and she asks him about his meeting with The Great Poet, whom we assume is Omar Khayyam, quoted at the beginning. Batyr tells her that The Great Poet had told them a story that had been related to him years ago by a man with a long face and large ears, "like a Greek jug". The man, a slave raider, tells the Poet a tale about a man he met years ago after he and his companions had slaughtered the caravan the man had been with. The man asks to buy his life and freedom with his tale. His tale is very strange and philosophical and I will not spoil it. Beautifully told and wonderfully atmospheric.

"A Little Bigotry" by R. Neube -+- Rachel Hoffman, down on her luck has arrived on an orbital city in the Hanah system, looking for a job. The city is run by the Irlane whom Rachel had fought in a war. She accepts a job with an escort service merely to meet with one of the Irlane named Moth, who fought on the other side. She meets Moth and his family and they learn from each other.

"New Earth" by James Gunn -+- A colony ship from a doomed Earth arrives after, more than 100 years of traveling, on a planet that had flora and no fauna. Those awakened debate the wisdom of immediate settlement. There may be hidden dangers. Should they colonize at all? Interesting discussion of the issues.

The issue concludes with "I Married a Monster from Outer Space" by Dale Bailey. -+- Ruth Sheldon feels sorry for the seven-foot tall alien who has an exposed brain when he can't pay for the items he wants to buy at her register at Wal-Mart. So, she takes him home. Her husband, Donny, allows him to stay and Ruth winds up getting close to Gorr, as they call him. She finally deals with her baby dying. Donny fixes Gort's ship and things change for Ruth and him. A poignant story with a lovely metaphor about how we put up pictures over people and don't really see what they are.

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