Analog Science Fiction and Fact – June 2008 – Vol. CXXVIII No. 6
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: David A, Hardy
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 24 April 2008 / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The June 2008 issue of Analog features some fun stories by Richard A. Lovett, Ben Bova, Craig DeLancey, Bud Sparhawk, Susan Forest and Richard Lyon. The June 2008 issue of Analog kept up the good work, with all the stories getting a Very Good from me.
"Brittney's Labyrinth" by Richard A. Lovett features Floyd Ashman and Brittney (an AI imbedded in his body), previously seen in "The Sands of Titan" in the June 2007 issue. In this sequel, they and their skimmer are hired by a rich man named T.R. Van Delp III (called Rudolph by Brittney) for an odd jaunt in and through the moons of Saturn. On their first jaunt around Iapetus, Rudolph seems interested in an odd black rock. It's when they go "spelunking" though a moonlet that things get really interesting. All this is told from the viewpoint of Brittney, who does a little "growing up" in the process. This is a nice novella to start the issue.
Next comes Ben Bova's "Waterbot." JRK49N is a "waterbot" that looks for water in the asteroid belt. All waterbots need a human aboard and the human is the narrator of the story. The human finds the intelligent computer annoying. Things don't get any better when the ship is attacked and disabled by freebooters. When the water is vented, the freebooters leave the ship drifting. What will happen to the man and computer? This is, all in all, a clever, little story by an old pro.
In "Demand Ecology", Craig DeLancey shows us a future after contact with aliens who do not look kindly on how we have treated the flora and fauna of Earth. Virgil is part of a team sent to the planet Purgatorio (Virgil? Purgatorio?) to mine a special kind of carbon. There is another race there called the Greete who have another goal. Virgil has taken drastic action about the situation. Can things be made right?
Susan Forest's "Back" is set in a near future in which two friends, Alan and Victor, are working on a time machine, using Victor's knowledge and Alan's money inherited from a rich uncle with the same name. Let's just say they run into problems proving it actually worked and something predictable happens, but still, this was a fun read.
"Finalizing History" by Richard K. Lyon is an amusing little story that features a meeting between Erle Stanley Gardner, John W. Campbell, Edward Teller, Douglas MacArthur, Robert A. Heinlein, Ronald Reagan and Jacqueline Kennedy. They all share a strange dream that involves an alien and changing history. Since Jackie is not pregnant and is referred to as the wife of the president-elect, this means that the story takes place after November 25, 1960 (when John Jr. was born), and before January 20, 1961 (Inauguration Day). This is a clever little story with lots of historical detail. One anachronism is that I don't think "gay" was commonly used as a synonym for homosexuality at that time. Still, it's a fun story with all these people and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The issue concludes with "The Late Sam Boone" by Bud Sparhawk, another in his series of stories about the galactic adventurer named in the title. Sam is trying to prevent the murderous Sith from wiping out the peaceful, cute Arasoes. He winds up on the run with a Sith artifact and finds out that things are not what they seem. Add a beautiful blond named Roxanne and you get an utterly delightful tale.
Analog continues to feature enjoyable stories. You should be subscribing!