Asimov's Science Fiction - July 2006
by Sheila Williams (ed)
Review by Sam Tomaino
Zine ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: June 2006 /
Asimov's Science Fiction - July 2006 - Vol. 30 No. 7 (Whole Number 366)
Table of Contents: Novelettes: The World and Alice by L. Timmel Duchamp * The Djinn's Wife by Ian McDonald Short Stories: Nano Comes to Clifford Falls by Nancy Kress * You Will Go to the Moon by William Preston * Bitterseed by Ted Kosmatka * Impossible Dreams by Tim Pratt * Snail Stones by Paul Melko * Fireflies by Kathe Koja Departments: Editorial: Moon Day by Sheila Williams * Reflections: The Thumb on the Dinosaur's Nose by Robert Silverberg * Thought Experiments: Preserving the History of the Future by Therese Littleton * Suduko Contest Results * On Books by Paul Di Filippo * The SF Conventional Calendar by Erwin S. Strauss
The July issue of Asimov's Science Fiction is a pretty good one. With one story getting an Excellent from me, one story that I did not much care for and the rest all "Very Good".
Oddly enough, the best and worst of the stories are the two novelettes. "The Djinn's Wife" by Ian McDonald is another story set in a future, divided India: the same setting for McDonald's previous story for Asimov's, "The Little Goddess" and his Hugo-nominated novel River of Gods. In it a dancer falls in love and marries an artificial intelligence who is a diplomat for one of the other countries into which India is split. Her country and his are at odds. Another problem is that the dancer cannot tolerate the fact that her husband can be in more than one place at the same time. She can never have all of him. This is a great story that I will consider nominating for a Hugo next year. On the other hand, "The World and Alice" by L. Timmel Duchamp is one of the typical Asimov's stories that I just find boring. We spend the entire story inside the mind of a girl/woman who meets her future and past selves at different times in her life. The story just did nothing for me.
I did like all the short stories! In "Nano Comes to Clifford Falls", Nancy Kress tells us what happens to society when machines are invented that can give people whatever they want for free. Needless to say, this is a very mixed blessing. "You Will Go to the Moon" by William Preston gives us the story of a man who must deal with changes to his life which make him leave his past behind him. Ted Kosmatka's "Bitterweed" is about a man who must survive a terrible ordeal and then make peace with his past mistakes that caused it.
"Impossible Dreams" by Tim Pratt is an enchanting little tale about a man who finds a very interesting video store...and something more important. This is a real film buff's story! "Snail Stones" by Paul Melko is set on another world but is a classic story about two boys who manage to set an injustice right. Lastly, "Fireflies" is a lyrical little story about a couple looking at the stars one night, but with more to it than just that.
This is one of the best issues of Asimov's this year. It is highly recommended.