Analog Science Fiction and Fact – July/August 2016 – Vol. CXXXVI No. 07
Edited by Trevor Quachri
Cover Artist: Joel Iskowitz for
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 28 June 2016 / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The July/August 2016 of Analog features stories by Arlan Andrews, Sr., Brad R. Torgersen, Ian Creasey, Nick Wolven, John Shirley, Christina De La Rocha, Andrew Barton, Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle, Elisabeth R. Adams, Karl Bunker, Sean Vivier, and James Van Pelt, a special feature from Stanley Schmidt, a fact article by Richard A. Lovett, poetry by Scott E. Green & Herb Kauderer, plus the regular features.
The July/August 2016 issue of Analog is here and it's got some good stories.
The short fiction begins with the novelette, "No Strangers Any More" by Ian Creasey. -+- In 2066, Princess Rose is a pretty member of the British Royal family. She decides to use her popularity to get the public to like the alien Felorians who want to buy the Moon. How will this affect a referendum on whether keep the monarchy? Nice story.
"The Metal Demimonde" by Nick Wolven -+- A hundred years from now, Tipper works at a fairgrounds with all the rides intelligent, but still with human barkers. But she meets Luke, who hates the intelligent machines and has his own agenda. Nicely drawn, bittersweet tale.
"Pleistocene Brains" by Christina De La Rocha -+- Professor Irma Chretin demonstrates how the Neanderthals carved a stone axe blade. This leads to speculation as to whether the Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals interbred. Could a strain of Neanderthal show up in a human today? Clever
"A Violent Wind" by Andrew Barton -+- The ship Li Qingzhao is disabled in space. There is a place that the crew can evacuate to awaiting rescue. But the captain thinks of the AI controlling the ship as more than a machine. Touching story.
"Story Night at the Stronghold" by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle -+- What happened when the big comet hit. Okay.
"Mandalas on the 405" by Elisabeth R. Adams -+- Traffic patterns look just a little too good when viewed from above. Amusing.
"The Battle of Ceres" by Karl Bunker -+- Competing companies mining the asteroids start sending rocks at each other's crafts. When her lover, Jeff, is killed, Kathryn must do something like heroic moments in the wars of the past. Touching.
"Fall" by Arlan Andrews, Sr. -+- Part of a continuing story, that began with "Thaw" (July/August 2013) and continued with "Flow" (November 2014). We get brief summaries of those stories. Here, Rist has escaped the city of God's Port with an enormous quantity of the miracle invulnerable material called godscloth and the scissors to cut them with. He manages to survive a descent down a huge waterfall and winds up in the Sisterdom of Shadowfall, ruled by the teenage Princess Perneptheranum who is part of a competitive group of twelve sisterdoms ruled in total by the mother of twelve sisters. She rules with help from the high priest, Wakan. While she must have one Chosen Man, who first makes love to her, beheaded once a year on the longest day of the year, she is mainly a beloved despot. Pernie (who would not be called that to her face) and Wakan are fascinated by Rist who is only half their height, but well endowed enough to give pleasure to the princesses handmaidens. Wakan, who is something of a scientist, learns much from, Rist, who becomes a champion of fighting on a emu. That will be useful in the tourney held on the shortest day of the year to compete for favor with the Mother. We learn that they are actually on Earth, specifically Mexico, some hundreds of years in the future where "gods" have done some genetic engineering and left some technology behind for a very primitive culture. Great story and I hope we don't have to wait long until the next part.
"Fallacious" by Sean Vivier -+- Professor Tim Morrow thinks the brain would be improved if one could remove its facility to make logical fallacies. His colleague, Evan Baldwin, thinks that's not a good idea but can't convince his friend without committing a logical fallacy, which is unfortunate. A cleverly written cautionary tale.
"Death of a Starship Poet" by James Van Pelt -+- On the spaceship Vita-More, Mewlana's body is discovered stabbed in the back. She had not been back been backed up for 114 days so that part of her is lost and that's the outrage. Interesting idea.
"Cory for Coriolis" by John Shirley -+- Noel Gibbon takes his son, Cory, short for Coriolis, on an airplane ride through the biggest hurricane of all time for what seems to me a stupid reason. Never really could get into this one.
The issue concludes with the novella, "Purytans" by Brad R. Torgersen. -+- Poat and Serl live in a future society. Horrified at the destructive nature of mankind, they have been changed into a genderless society. All are "skeinborn" with a "nanoskein" that suppresses their genitals and other gender characteristics. They pursue their interests and desires and can live forever, unless killed by chance. They have relationships with Duomates or Triomates (or maybe more?). But Poat and Serl are attending the art-suicide party of their friend Gorj who ends life while indulging in art. At the party, Serl, tells Poat incredible news, their Triomate Anth is alive and on a world called Plymouth that has rejected the Treaty. But Anth will not communicate with Serl and they must travel there to get Anth back. When they get there, they find a society where people have become natural humans again with gender and limited lifespans. Anth has become Sister Melissa and is pregnant and married to Brother James. Poat and Serl have different reactions to this. Classic tale of a future utopia that isn't and very well done.