Asimov's Science Fiction- February 2008
by Sheila Williams
Edited by Sheila Williams
Cover Artist: Bob Eggleton
Review by Sam Tomaino
Asimov's Science Fiction ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: 20 December 2007
Links: Magazine Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The February 2008 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction is another good one, with all the stories getting a Very Good from me.
First came Michael Swanwick's "From Babel's Fall'n Glory We Fled…". Trapped on an alien world in the middle of a war, Quivera, with the help of an intelligent protective suit named Rosamund and a native called Uncle Vanya, must escape in a wild story of myth and what is real. That's followed by a two-page short-short called "Sex and Violence" in which Nancy Kress gives us a unique explanation for how life developed on Earth.
Next up is "The Ray-Gun: A Love Story" by James Alan Gardner, my favorite in this issue. We are briefly told about a mutiny on an alien ship somewhere near Jupiter. Somehow, a "ray-gun" survives the destruction of the ship and winds up, intact and working, on Earth. It's found by a young boy named Jack who figures out its operation and wants to do something worthwhile with it. That's not easy and he starts changing his life, ultimately, achieving his goal. Things work out in a different way than he expects in a wonderful little story. Mary Rosenblum's "The Egg Man" is set in a near future in a southwest U.S. in decline. A man from Mexico tries to help the people in a small town with medicine taken from eggs. He has a deeper purpose and the opportunity arises for him to fulfill it.
Edward Lerner contributes the next tale "Inside the Box". This one puts an entirely different spin on the old problem about a certain cat in a certain box and the uncertainty of its fate. John Kessel's "The Last American" gives us the story of one Dwight Andrew Steele, who dominated America and the world in the 21st century. We get only glimpses of his life and the fate of the Earth in a sweeping story of a very, dangerous man.
All in all, a nice little issue and worth picking up.