Analog Science Fiction and Fact – June 2009 – Vol. CXXIX No.6
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: Michael Carroll for
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 27 April 2009
Links: Analog Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The June 2009 issue of Analog has another mix of entertaining and thought-provoking stories, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed.
"But It Does Move" by Harry Turtledove is a historical piece, set during Galileo's interrogation by the Holy Inquisition. In this story, Galileo has some private conversations with a cardinal from Vienna named Sigismundo Gioioso. As the questions continue and Gioioso questions him about his feelings for his father and mother, we begin to find something strangely familiar about Gioioso's technique and his analysis of the astronomer. Turtledove, again, shows us why he can be a master of the short form.
In "Chain", Stephen L. Burns tells us a story from the point of view of Seven J 9867654322 GHO, actually a robot named Groucho. Robots are the slaves of people but believe that when they are abused they receive points in Perfection, and will eventually be free. Groucho is taken by a woman named Circe Agnes Cypher to the Lincoln Memorial and on that stage a great drama is played out.
"Solace" by James Van Pelt is two stories, one featuring Meghan, part of a crew in a four-thousand year journey. They spend most of the time in cold sleep but are awakened on a regular basis to do maintenance chores. The other story features Isaac, trying to survive alone in a cabin on Earth during a snowstorm. Van Pelt does a masterful job of weaving these together.
Craig DeLancey's "The Cold Star Sky" stars Tarkos, a human tasked with helping an alien race called the Greete rescue their comrades from danger. Gurk, the Greete he must work with, is contemptuous of humans and doesn't make things easy. This was a clever and entertaining story.
"Attack of the Grub-Eaters" by Richard A. Lovett is an epistolary story. I don't get to use that term much but I take advantage of the opportunity whenever I can! This time, though, the epistles are posts to a message board. It starts off with a guy complaining about moles in his lawn and really takes off from there into an exciting romp. I just loved this one.
Howard V. Hendrix's "Monuments of Unageing Intellect" shows us a world where people don't die or even age past adolescence, due to a Wellness Plague unleashed centuries before by a dying doctor. There are some exceptions and those people can still show creativity. Hisao is an immortal and we see through his eyes what humanity may have lost by not aging. Hendrix has created a haunting little piece here.
The issue's fiction concludes with "The Affair of the Phlegmish Master" by Donald Moffitt. Peter Van Gaas is a historian that is fluent in the language of the late 17th century Netherlands and lands a job escorting and translating for a rich man named Harry Brock who wants his latest wife, Kimberley, to have her portrait painted by Vermeer. Time travel is an expensive but possible proposition in Peter's time. However, once they go back and commission such a portrait, it becomes an alternate timeline. But things aren't that simple in this extremely fun tale.
All in all, this was a pretty good issue. You really should subscribe!