Analog Science Fiction and Fact - January/February 2017 - Vol. CXXXVII, Nos. 1 & 2
Edited by Trevor Quachri
Cover Artist: Kurt Huggins for
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog Magazine / eMagazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 29 December 2016
Links: Analog SF & F / How to Order / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The January/February 2017 issue of Analog is here and it's a pretty good one.
The short fiction begins with the novella, "The Proving Ground" by Alec Nevala-Lee. -+- Halety Kabua is helping to build wind turbines in a seastead being built to expand the Marshall Isalnds which will be flooded due to climate change. But when the local birds attack, killing people, the project doesn't seem feasible. Why did the birds attack? Interesting explanation. Pretty good story.
"Twilight's Captives" by Christopher L. Bennett -+- Madeleine Kamakau has been a peacemaker for decades, even at the cost of her own family. Now she must try to make peace between a human colony and a race called the Aksash'sk who have their own Code. They think it so important that they have kidnapped the human children to teach them their ways. The humans, understandably do not like this. What can Madeleine do? This one has a good resolution and an interesting look at an alien culture.
"Orbit of Fire, Orbit of Ice" by Andrew Barton -+- Chizuru Koyama and Layan Damji find themselves in a desperate position on an old Skylab. Will they survive? Not much new here.
"Long Haul" by Marie DesJardin -+- Jubrin has her own ship and makes a living trading from planet to planet. She adopts an alien pet that she calls Nirmalia and grows close to it. When she returns to the port from which she first acquired Nirmalia, she make an enemy but also a friend. Very good story.
"Catching Zeus" by Tom Jolly -+- Red and Churro are Americans up in Canada checking out curious fluctuations in the magnetic fields up there. They have heavy competition from the Russians and the Chinese but a chance occurrence works in their favor. Entertaining!
"Drifting Like Leaves, Falling Like Acorns" by Marissa Lingen -+- Bismuth is a sergeant assigned to a fort that is mostly mustered-out veterans. Their pains are eased by psychotropic frogs. There are also genetically-bred little humans that can fly called Gliders. They can take a part in the defense of the fort. Interesting set-up and I'd like to see more stories in this setting.
"Dall's Last Message" by Antha Ann Adkins -+- Dall is a creature called a seasaucer. It is getting old and wants to leave a good final message to the other seasaucers. But he has been captured by the waterwraiths. What can he do? Good little story!
"The Last Mayan Aristocrat" by Guy Stewart -+- IxChan Pana is Daughter Lord of Ajaw Kan Ek, the Lord of Zac PetÚn and the last Aristocrat of the Maya. Her father is a prisoner of the conquistadores and she rules his stead. But the Maya have another visitor who calls itself the god Canazotz. It only speaks in the language of the conquistadores because it knows the Maya are doomed. It is obvious that this god is a stranded alien. It makes a request of Pana so that neither it or the Maya will be lost to history. Interesting look at an old civilization.
"The Shallowest Waves" by Thoraiya Dyer & Alvaro Zinos-Amaro -+- A story told in two parts, obviously many years apart. One is that of Charlotte, who wants Europa explored, and another about a young man named Jurek, who takes risks diving into the acid on Europa. They come together in a beautiful way.
"Necessary Illusions" by Tom Greene -+- The rulers of Iolus have used illusions of archetypes to rule their people since they colonized the planet. Now, the Imperial Space Fleet has come to stop them as they are starting to expand. After her brother, the ruling Auruspex, is attacked, Ilra must find a way to deal with them. Lots of detail about how these people rule but the story itself is not exceptionable.
"Paradise Regained" by Edward M. Lerner -+- Our narrator is a young man who is one of the descendants of people who came to the planet he is on from Earth. His father and mother are dead and he must interpret the records left behind on what we assume is some sort of shuttlecraft. We learn his name is Jason. Nearby there is a young woman named Dana who is still shy around him. He must make a decision that will mean they have a future. Nicely done.
"Briz" by Jay Werkheiser -+- A tale of alien creatures called Briz and Squeech and their competition for success. Somehow it all seems very human. Well done!
"Split Signal by Joel Richards -+- Dorsey Parr is hired for an unusual job. She must help a dead author get back at someone who is using him against his will. The author has had his memories and personality downloaded into a computer and someone has made a copy of him and published a novel. Cleverly and entertainingly done!
"After the Harvest, Before the Fall" by Scott Edelman -+- At regular intervals, armed soldiers come to Daniel's people for Harvesting. Their bodies have been created in vats and mature rapidly. When they are Harvested, the bodies are taken and their brains are removed so that the brains of the ruling class can live in them. Daniel preaches a philosophy of acceptance but Ezra will not accept it. He tries to get others to agree with him. What can Daniel do? A truly horrifying story.
The fiction concludes with the novelette, "Whending My Way Back Home" by Bill Johnson. -+- Martin is a time traveler in ancient Carthage. Other time travelers from different timelines are there, too, specifically two women that he comes to care about. He has lost his timeline, what can he do? Did not find this particularly interesting.
There is also a Probability Zero story, "Throw Me a Bone" by Stanley Schmidt. -+- Bill Billingsley is on a dig and finds a single Titanosaur bone and nothing else. Everyone thinks that he was faking the discovery and his career is ruined. Until an esteemed colleague looks a little farther. Very Amusing!