Asimov's Science Fiction - December 2006
by Sheila Williams (Ed)
Zine ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: November 2006 /
Asimov’s Science Fiction – December 2005 – Vol. 30 No. 12 (Whole Number 371) – ISSN 1065-2698
The December 2006 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction is one of the best of the year. Two stories got an Excellent from me and the rest were Very Good.
The first of the Excellent stories was "Lord Weary's Empire" by Michael Swanwick. This features the character of Will that we last met in Swanwick's "The Word that Sings the Scythe" in the October/November 2004 issue of the magazine. It is set in a world a little like ours but inhabited by elves and other fantasy beings. Will becomes involved with a group of people who live underground, led by an elf-lord named Lord Weary. The story features some great characters, lots of action and a very surprising conclusion. The other story I especially liked was "Yellow Card Man" by that fantastic new writer Paulo Bacigalupi. It is the story of an old man named Tranh, an ethnic Chinese who was once a rich man in Malaysia. Malaysia kicked out the Chinese and now he does what he can to survive in Thailand.
The short stories are all interesting. "Plausible" by Robert Reed is set in some future where a young boy buys a lottery ticket and has an absolutely wondrous day. Susan Forest's "Immunity" is set on a remote mining planet where a deadly disease forces a woman to make a painful decision. "Safe!" by Brian W. Aldiss is a darkly satirical tale about an astronaut who proclaims that "the human species is a farce" and the effect that this has on the world. Christopher Priest contributes "A Dying Fall" about a man's vision just before he meets death. Last, "The Golden Record" by Ian Creasey tells what might happen to a future Earth and what this means for space travel. The title refers to a disc on Voyager 2.
The magazine continues to improve under Sheila William's leadership.