Analog Science Fiction and Fact – December 2016 – Vol. CXXXVI No. 12
Edited by Trevor Quachri
Cover Artist: Vincent DiFate
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog Magazine / eMagazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 28 November 2016
Links: Analog SF & F / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The December 2016 issue of Analog is here and it's a pretty good one.
The short fiction begins with the novelette, "Prodigal" by Gord Sellar. -+- When our narrator and his wife have their dog, Benji, sentientized (made intelligent), they think it's going to be a great thing. But troubles develop. Sad story. Very well done.
"Black Orbit" by Martin L. Shoemaker -+- Internal Affairs agent Cynthia Allen has been working undercover and has left the Initiative transport with evidence of criminal activity. How can she hide it so the criminals don't get it? Then, how can her superior, Inspector Park, find it? That will take a complex system known as the Trust Economy. Good solid story as to how everything must work out.
"Like the Deadly Hands" by Nisi Shawl -+- Life on the penal colony of Amends is cheap. That's something Wayna already knows. The trustee who calls herself Carpenter Marie is going to find out. Just a very negative story not worth reading at all.
"Fermi Meets Sagan" by Robert Scherrer -+- The Xarl are looking for worlds to destroy. They intercept a message from one with instructions on how to find their planet. Nice little short-short with a twist.
"Jewels from the Sky" by Brendan DuBois -+- Amy works salvaging satellites for the Company and is good at her job. But when we find out her back story, we learn what she's really about. Good solid story with an engaging main character.
"In Boonker's Room" by Eliot Fintushel -+- Saul is an abused high school boy and the alien, Boonker, impersonating a human takes an interest in him. He shows him a very special game and Saul takes to it very well. But what is the real point of the Game? Good story!
"Evolution" by James C. Glass -+- A series of entries track a robotic cleaner that gets more intelligent over the years. Real changes happen over centuries. Nicely done.
"Sister: Loki" by Arlan Andrews, Sr. -+- Loki is a warrior in a not very distant future and we see her over the course of a day. Well done.
"Crowdfinding" by Eric James Stone -+- Maria Aguilar is piloting a drone delivering a package when she witnesses a boy being kidnapped. She calls the police and is even able to give them a license plate number. An Amber Alert puts a lot of other people on the chase. But this story has a great little twist in it. Just perfect.
The fiction concludes with "The Continuing Saga of Tom Corbett: Space Cadet" by James Van Pelt -+- With the a last name of Corbett, Tomika is soon called "Tom Corbett: Space Cadet" and the character becomes an abiding interest for her. She fantasizes about joining the Solar Guard in space. One night, she has a dream and must make an important choice. Utterly charming story.