Asimov's Science Fiction - January 2006
by Dell Publishing
Dell Zine ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: January 2006 /
Asimov's Science Fiction - January 2006 - Vol. 30 No. 1 - (Whole Number 360) - ISSN 1065-2698
Table of Contents: Novelettes: In the Space of Nine Lives by R.R. Angell | World Without End, Amen by Allen M. Steele | Ghost Wars by Stephen Baxter | Short Stories: An Episode of Stardust by Michael Swanwick | World of No Return by Carol Emshwiller | The Last McDougal's by David D. Levine | Storm Poet by Kim Antieau | Poetry: Field Trip by Sophie M. White Tesla's Pigeon by James Gurley | Compute This by Kendall Evans & David C. Kopaska-Merkel | Departments: Editorial: Interaction by Sheila Williams | Reflections: Levitating Your Dinner by Robert Silverberg | Letters | On Books by Paul Di Filippo | 2005 Index | Twentieth Annual Reader's Award | The SF Conventional Calendar by Erwin S. Strauss
The January 2006 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction is an issue of mixed quality but one story is exceptional and makes the issue worth buying. "Storm Poet" by Kim Antieau is a lyrical, beautiful tale set in Michigan in 1932. Billy's family has trouble farming because of a devastating drought. When his Uncle Andy comes for a visit, things change.
Three stories get a very good rating from me. "An Episode of Stardust" by Michael Swanwick is set in Faerie. A dwarf hears a tale from a 'fey' who gives him some advice on how to get started in the confidence trade. The end of the tale is very amusing and classic Swanwick. In this issue, we also get a wonderful tale by Carol Emshwiller. In "World of No Return", she tells us of an alien stranded on Earth who must find a way to survive. The end is surprising. "The Last McDougal's" by David D. Levine is set in a future where beef is considered too risky too eat. One franchise of a fat-food enterprise survives and is the setting of a tale of love and sacrifice.
The other stories are a notch below but still worth reading. In "Ghost Wars" by Stephen Baxter a fighting group on Earth must take out the Black Ghost, a leader of the aliens who fights like a human. This is not a bad tale but uses some clichés, like 'the gloating villain' which takes it down a bit. "In the Space of Nibe Lives" by R,R. Angell is an okay tale about a boy who is part a succession of pilots who must helm a generation ship to its destination. "World Without End, Amen" by Allen M. Steele features a man who cannot deal with a computer-dominated world for which he is responsible. The end is a little too pat.
Not a perfect issue but the Kim Antieau story makes it worth picking up.