Asimov's Science Fiction - June 2006
Zine ISBN/ITEM#: ASMOV0606
Date: June 2006 /
Table of Contents: Novelettes: The Leila Torn Show by James Patrick Kelly * A Flight of Numbers Fantastique Strange by Beth Bernobich Short Stories: Life on the Preservation by Jack Skillingstead * The Tiger in the Garden by Scott William Carter * Eight Episodes by Robert Reed * The Ninth Part of Desire by Matthew Johnson * The Edge of the Map by Ian Creasey * Chu and the Nants by Rudy Rucker Poetry: Growing Old the Mythic Way by Jane Yolen * The Analects of Decomprecius by Wil McCarthy * Reiko by W. Gregory Stewart * The Unified Field of Dreams Theory by Laurel Winter Departments: Editorial: The Yellow Pill or Altered Perceptions by Sheila Williams * Reflections: Sixtus the Sixth by Robert Silverberg * On the Net: Adventures in Podcasting by James Patrick Kelley * On Books by Peter Heck * The SF Conventional Calendar by Erwin S. Strauss
The June 2006 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction is a pretty good one. I gave all the stories except one a Very Good Rating.
"The Leila Torn Show" by James Patrick Kelly takes us through the filming of a popular long-running television series that has gone through a lot of changes in its run. The odd thing here is that the story is told from the point of view of the show itself, which seems to be sentient. Surprising things happen and the show seems headed for disaster. All this makes for a very clever story. In "Life on the Preservation," Jack Skillingstead presents us with a world that ended on November 9, 2004. But that day in Seattle is preserved somehow. A young woman named Kylie visits and things happen. "The Tiger in the Garden" by Scot William Carter is a story about a man named Jose who must turn in his former mentor, now senile, over to the authorities because the man was a revolutionary. How he solves his problem makes for a good story.
I always look forward to a Robert Reed story and "Eight Episodes" is a strange as any of them. It's about a failed TV series called Invasion of a Small World that was canceled after only five episodes were shown. There is a lot of mystery about the series and when the whole eight episodes are released on DVD, it becomes a sensation. "The Ninth Part of Desire" by Matthew Johnson is a grim tale about a man named Raf who tries to cure his wife of Prospero's Disease in which someone loses the power to feel emotions. Johnson creates a lot of interesting detail about how this would all work. "The Edge of the Map" by Ian Creasey is wonderfully imaginative. Rudy Rucker always writes an unusual story and "Chu and the Nants" is certainly one of them. The Nants are bio-mimetic self-reproducing nanomachines and they are literally consuming the whole world. A man must find a way to introduce a virus into their system that will reverse everything. How this is accomplished makes for a great little story.
I only found one story disappointing in this issue, "The Flight of Numbers Fantastique Strange" by Beth Bernobich starts off well, set in an alternate universe in which a series of murders is taking place. The problem is that it ends very chaotically and tediously.
Nonetheless, the other stories in this issue make it worth picking up.