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Analog - April 2007 by Stan Schmidt (Ed.)
Review by Sam Tomaino
Dell Magazines Zine  ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: February 2007 /

The April 2007 issue of Analog is a pretty good. All the stories are written well and get a Very Good from me in terms of quality. I just have deep reservations about one of them.

Table of Contents
Serial: Queen of Candesce, part II of IV by Karl Schroeder
Novella: Trial By Fire by Shane Tourtellotte
Novelette: Things That Aren't by Michael A Burstein & Robert Greenberger
Short Stories: Don't Kill the Messenger by Kim Zimring * As You Know, Bob by John G. Hemry * Crackers by Jerry Oltion
Science Fact: The Ice Age That Wasn't by Richard A. Lovett
Departments: Reader's Departments * The Editor's Page * In Times to Come * The Alternate View by Jeffrey D. Kooistra * The Reference Library by Tom Easton * Brass Tacks * Upcoming Events by Anthony Lewis

The story I have a problem with is "Trial By Fire" by Shane Tourtellotte. It's one in a series of stories he has written about "overlays". These are personalities that scientists can lay over the minds of criminals to "cure" their bad qualities. I have had some problems with this and the stories have been presented with the moral questions explored. In this one, a horrible national disaster ratchets that up and the lead character must make a decision on what to do. I think the decision she makes will lead to worse things down the road and I assume that Tourtellotte has, at least, one more story to write. Still, Analog used to be about scientists solving a problem involving technology. This isn't one of them and is part of an increasing trend of stories with negative endings in this magazine. I hope Stanley Schmidt gets off that kick soon.

The rest of the issue is a bit more positive. "Things That Aren't" by Michael A Burstein & Robert Greenberger features a scientist/FBI agent and a cop trying to solve why three people have fallen into comas in which their brains still show activity. One of them is a scientist working on a new VR technique. While there is no mystery about what is happening, the authors give us a nice little story about bringing a killer to justice.

The three short stories are pretty light in tone. "Don't Kill the Messenger" by Kim Zimring is an amusing little two-pager about the finding of a cute little alien that is more like a pet. How it is dealt with is pretty amusing. John G. Hemry writes some good satire in "As You Know, Bob". He gives us several drafts of the beginning of a story utilizing that classic line of the title, spoofing the way bad SF is written. Last of all, "Crackers" by Jerry Oltion features a homeless man who is convinced his force field device was stolen from him. This one has a good ending.

So, while the issue is a bit of a mixed bag, I still give this a qualified recommendation.

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