Asimov's Science Fiction - March 2007
Edited by Sheila Williams
Review by Sam Tomaino
Penny Press Zine ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: March 2007 / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The March 2007 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction continues their 30th year celebration with some fine stories, all of which got a Very Good from me.
The novella in this issue is "Doctor Muffet's Island" by Brian Stableford and is a sequel to his previous story. "The Plurality of Worlds" in the August 2006 issue. This takes place in an alternate late 16th century in which the Queen of England is named Jane, not Elizabeth. Sir Francis Drake, in the previous story, took a trip into space and saw an interesting island in the Pacific. In this story, he finds it with his ship. It is the island of Tahiti but there are already Englishmen there. This makes for a grand adventurous tale, of which I'd like to see more.
In "Breeze From the Stars", Mary Rosenblum gives us a story of the future in which people mine the asteroids. One young man discovers that the time of his birth gives him a special power to aid in this endeavor. "Public Safety" by Matthew Johnson, also take place in an alternate Earth in which, apparently, the French Revolution did not go wrong and The Goddess of Reason is revered in Nouvelle Orleans. In this setting, an officer of the law must solve what is behind a mysterious message that says, "She dies on the thirteenth." The solution to the mystery is a surprising one.
The issue also has four short stories. "The Lion" by Bruce McAllister is a story set in the standard French Revolution about the myth of a lion that appeared suddenly to defend the royal family. This makes for an enchanting tale. Jim Grimsley's "The Sanguine" tells of a near future in which people who have done something wrong have their mind wiped of the event but must remember it once a year. We get the tale of one such individual. In "Babel 3000", Colin P. Davies gives us a culture which thrives on learning words from the distant past and using just one such word to make people happy. In this one, a man named Smith pays for a "new old word" from 1236 and makes good use of it. Last of all, "Chainsaw on Hand" by Deborah Coates tells of a woman whose ex-husband sees "fairies" and how she reacts to that.
All in all, Sheila Williams is making Asimov's 30th year a great one!