Jim Baen's Universe - Vol. 1, No. 3, Oct. 2006
by Eric Flint (Ed.)
Baen Publishing Zine ISBN/ITEM#: JBU0610
Date: Oct 2006 /
Jim Baen's Universe - Volume 1 Number 3, October 2006
I have been given access to Jim Baen's Universe, an online magazine and the current issue, Volume 1 Number 3, October 2006, is the first one I'm reviewing. See the note on the table of contents page to see how it works. The magazine is edited by Eric Flint and is of remarkably high quality. Just look at the names in the table of contents! The stories by Mike Resnick and Gene Wolfe got an Excellent from me (and that should be a surprise?) and all the rest got a Very Good.
In "All the Things You Are" by Mike Resnick, Gregory Donovan, a policeman, wants to know why men and aliens who fought each other on a planet are all getting themselves killed by doing wildly heroic acts, like charging men with guns. He goes to the planet and finds out why in a beautiful and haunting story. Gene Wolfe's "The Old Woman in the Young Woman" gives us the story of Long Tom, who in some post-apocalyptic America, comes across a young woman taking care of an older woman. How the women are connected and what one does for the other make for a great story.
"Every Hole is Outlined" by John Barnes is set in a far future. Xhrina becomes part of a group that transports cargoes over long distances and lives an interesting and beautiful life. In "A Time to Kill", Andrew Swain shows us that changing history might just make things worse. Gregory Benford's "The Man Who Wasn't There" is a near future tale of Jean and how he is dealing with terrorists who want to take over France. "Little Sips" by Barbara Ferrenz tells us about a doctor and a policeman who are investigating why people are suddenly having their spinal fluid sucked from their brain. Edward Lerner's "Great Minds" is a short-short about a physicist being visited by one of his other selves from another world. "The Power of Illusion" by Christopher Anvil is the story of how men from Earth repay a great deed done for them by the chief of an alien culture.
The next section is called Fantasy Stories and starts with Wen Spencer's "Protection Money". This is set in a Pittsburgh that has been transported to a place called Elfhome. Tommy Chang, who is half-oni (a Japanese legend), must find a way to maintain his independence in a world run by imperious elves. "Baby Girl" by Jon Skovron is a classic folklore kind of story about a man who must rescue a woman from the devil. In "Femme Fatale", Jason Wittman creates an otherworldly woman named Molly Flammare and how she helps people in a post-WWII Minneapolis, told from the point of view of a young man named Gabriel who plays a great trumpet. Rebecca Lickiss' "Gnome Improvement" is a funny little story about a couple who have their lawn gnomes improved by a very special service. In "A Hire Power", J. Simon gives us an amusing tale about a woman with a human resources-type job and an especially bad day.
The last section that I'll review is called "Introducing: Stories by new authors" and features stories by three very talented newcomers. "The Men in the Mirror" by Steven Ray is a caper story of sorts. This time the gang consists of a man and his future selves. Jeremy Sturgill's "Songbird" is a lyrical tale about a master singer and a persistent young man who want to learn how to sing. "Devil May Care" by Jason Kahn is about a "Torturer, Second Class" in Hell that enjoys his work, until he is sent to collect a soul on Earth.
I can't do justice to these stories in so short a space. I do strongly recommend that you check this magazine out!
(Source: Baen Publishing)