Asimov's Science Fiction - April/May 2007
Edited by Sheila Williams
Review by Sam Tomaino
Penny Press Zine ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: 1 April 2007
Links: Asimov's Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
TOC (short) - Novellas: The River Horses by Allen M. Steele, Dead Money by Lucius Shepard * Novelette: The Rocket into Planetary Space by William Barton * Short Stories: A Small Room in Koboldtown by Michael Swanwick, Wolves of the Spirit by Liz Williams, The Eater of Dreams by Robert Silverberg, Lilyanna by Lisa Goldstein, Distant Replay by Mike Resnick, End Game by Nancy Kress, Always by Karen Joy Fowler, Fifth Day by Jack McDevitt, Green Glass by Gene Wolfe * Poetry: Where the First Backyard Starship Lifted Off by Robert Frazer, Soular by Peter Payack, The Dimensional Rush of Relative Primes by Bruce Boston, Leaving for the Mall by Roger Dutcher, Alternate Astrology by Ruth Berman
The first of the Excellent ones is "Dead Money" by Lucius Shepard. Jack Lamb finds himself involved with a resurrected man named Josey Pellerin and some gamblers in New Orleans. Something is different about Pellerin and, as Jack learns more, things get stranger. In the end, he learns more than he wants to. Also in this issue, Mike Resnick gives us another tale that is certain to be nominated for a Hugo. In "Distant Replay", an old man sees a young woman who is the image of his deceased wife. He strikes up a friendship with her and is amazed how much like his wife she is. He eventually finds out why this has happened and the end of the story will touch your heart.
Also in this issue we have a new Coyote tale from Allen M. Steele. This actually takes place between the second and third novels of his trilogy an must be read by fans of that series. It concerns the exile of Maria Montero, Lars Thompson & Manny Castro after events in Coyote Rising. The three meet up with other exiles and things change for them & Coyote.
"The Rocket into Planetary Space" by William Barton is a nice little story about a private individual and his friends who are able to build a rocket to an asteroid. Everything in the story is done in a way that could happen if someone has the vision. My only quibble is that it gets a bit bogged down in jargon. I hope someone takes up Barton's idea, though.
The first of the short stories in the issue is Michael Swanwick's "A Small Room in Koboldtown", another set in the Faerie world of "Lord Weary's Empire" and other tales. This one is a mystery story in which two detectives must solve the murder of an unpopular "boggart". The next short story in the issue is the only one I found disappointing. "Wolves of the Spirit" by Liz Willams is set on some distant world in which a lighthouse keeper must deal with a malignant creature. There was just not enough detail here and I could not get caught up in it. The next story makes up for that in spades. Robert Silverberg gives us a very short gem in "The Eater of Dreams". A pure fantasy, this is the tale of a man who can take away the dreams of the Queen-Goddess of the city and keep the city safe. He is confronted with a great challenge.
Veteran writer Lisa Goldstein contributes "Lilyanna" in which a man working in a library finds a photo of a woman and becomes obsessed with finding out more. Other artifacts of this woman's life, years in the past, start just showing up. In an unexpected way, his quest changes his life. Next comes a chilling tale from Nancy Kress. In "End Game", a man decides to clear people's mind of "static" which prevents them from concentrating on the most important thing in their life. He succeeds but the results change the world. "Always" by Karen Joy Fowler is the story of a cult of people who think they can be immortal and its one true believer. Jack McDevitt's "Fifth Day" is about a man who died but had made an important discovery about the origin of life. Why did he not reveal it? The issue concludes with "Green Glass" by Gene Wolfe, about a man and a woman trapped in s strange place. How do they escape?
The rest of the issue is filed with reminiscences by former editors and others over the 30 years of the magazine's existence. With issues like this one, it will go another thirty... and another… and another....