Analog Science Fiction and Fact – September 2008 – Vol. CXXVIII No.9
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: David B. Mattingly
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 25 July 2008
Links: Magazine Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The September issue of Analog is another good one. With all the stories getting a Very Good from me.
"The Last Temptation of Katerina Savitskaya" by H.G. Stratmann features Katerina Savitskaya and Martin Slayton, who first appeared in "The Paradise Project" in the November 2007 issue. The Russian and the American are alone on a Mars, terra-formed by a mysterious alien race. Katerina is a devout Russian Orthodox and Martin a very lapsed Catholic but they are in love and plan to marry when they return. But these mysterious aliens have something planned for them and the title gives a clue to that. This is a dramatic well-written story and I wonder if there will be a part three.
"Once in a Blue Moon" by William Gleason is a story far enough in the future for there to be a colony on the Moon and highly developed Virtual Reality games. Brody is a retired VR player who had been injured in a computer malfunction. He has bionics in him now so he can see. He's offered the chance to experience life again through a new VR device. But once they turn things on, things go spectacularly wrong. There's a bit of scientific jargon here but the solution to the problem is quite imaginative.
In "The Fourth Thing" by Stephen L Burns, Noelle gets a message from aliens that Earth will be destroyed by a black hole in minutes. She can take three things with her. What will she choose? A short but effective story.
David Grace's "Forever Mommy" is a scary tale that will remind you of Jack Williamson's "With Folded Hands". Jimmy is a seven-year old boy in some not-so-distant future. Like everyone else in the world, he has a chip implanted in his brain called an "Advisor". This chip tells him the correct thing to do in all circumstances. If he disobeys it, there are consequences. Jimmy begins to find out ways to get around it in this nice little cautionary tale.
"Invasion of the Pattern Snatchers" by David M. Goldman takes place in some far future in which worlds are dominated by "Affiliated Planets". Vik is sent to a distant planet that had been lost track of during something called The Collapse. The planet had been rediscovered by the AP, 200 years ago, and a "stealth depopulating agent" had been sent to infect it. It hadn't worked. Vik awakes to find himself in a hospital and carrying some kind of disease. There is, of course, more going on in a wonderful "twists and turns" kind of story of interplanetary intrigue.
This issue maintains the quality of the title and I recommend that you subscribe.