Analog Science Fiction and Fact – October 2016 – Vol. CXXXVI No. 10
Edited by Trevor Quachri
Cover Artist: Sandeep Karunakaran
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog Magazine / eMagazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 28 September 2016
Links: Analog SF & F / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The October 2016 issue of Analog is here and it's a pretty good one.
The short fiction begins with the novelette "Progenesis" by J.L. Forrest. -+- The BioNoven Corporation has had great success in creating a new breed of intelligent rodents and means to improve the human race. This has earned them the ire of Muslim and Fundamentalist Christian groups who have attacked their facilities and killed hundreds of their employees. This has not stopped the company from making advances but the terrorists have not given up. This all leads to a conclusion which I found as unsatisfactory as the rest of this story.
"Angles of Incidence" by Nancy Fulda -+- Kitty is a xenoarcheologist on the planet Kokkal IV, studying the species that have died on the planet. She is asked by the planet's human official in charge to help them interpret a demand from the natives so that the humans can export the biological crystals that offworld investors would buy. They must talk to the Blind Queen who rules the planet and must "assimilate the shadows", whatever that means. This proves to be quite and adventure for Kitty and she figures things out. Good story.
"The Blue Lady of Entanglement Chamber 1" by Ron Collins -+- Some years before, a scientist and astronaut named Selma Distofani had died in an accident on the first use of the Entanglement Drive, which involved a pilot making a copy of themselves of zero-mass particles. An accident killed her. Now, Izna Keyes has been asked to research the mathematics behind it. Over the years, there have been reports that some sort of blue ghost of Selma haunts the chamber. Izna's boss, who had been Selma's lover has ordered her to stop her research. Of course, Izna does not and finds out the truth of the matter. Good solid story.
"Mom in the Moon" by Muri McCage -+- In an annual ritual, Captain Drew Starke takes a young girl named Poppy to the summit of a mountain on the colony planet so they can communicate via some sort of radio with her mother, Rory, who is on one of the planet's moons. How this developed is never fully explained. They both talk with Rory for the brief time that they can. But there is much that is unsaid in this sad, bittersweet tale.
"Revenge of the Invisible Man" by Robert R. Chase -+- A corporation performed experiments that has made a man invisible. It turns out that they couldn't make a profit on it and they could not make the man they had experimented on visible again. They had signed him to a terrible contract that left him no compensation at all. Those in charge have been attacked by what seems by someone they can't see and the second time the invisible man was locked up and seems to have escaped. Our hero is asked to investigate and he solves this locked room mystery. Cleverly done with a good ending.
The fiction concludes with the novella "The Soul Behind the Face" by Adam-Troy Castro. -+- This is a sequel to the wonderful novella "Sleeping Dogs" in the July/August 2015 issue. In it, a man named Draiken was an ex-spy who had quit and had been made a Prisoner--tortured to determine why he quit. He had escaped and had been in hiding for thirty years. At the end of the story, he found out that his former captors no longer cared about him and he had hid for no reason. In the present tale, he is planning some sort of caper. He changes his appearance (probably looking less like Patrick McGoohan) and takes on a new identity, even hiring a woman with special skills to play his wife. This is all played out in a very entertaining spy thriller way with a great twist at the end. I'm guessing we might get a third part to this story. I will be looking forward to it!