Analog Science Fiction and Fact - March/April 2017 - Vol. CXXXVII, Nos. 3 & 4
Edited by Trevor Quachri
Cover Artist: Tomislav Tikulin for
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog Magazine / eMagazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 26 February 2017
Links: Analog SF & F / How to Order / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The March/April 2017 issue of Analog is here and it's a great one with a Hugo-worthy story.
The short fiction begins with the novella, "Nexus" by Michael Flynn. -+- This is a tour-de-force great tale that brings together several incidents involving an immortal, a time-traveler, an alien who has been genetically enhanced to look human, an android, and a telepath all together to confront a very non-humanoid alien who would just as soon wipe out everyone on Earth without a thought. The characters are all interesting. The story is a page turner. There's even some philosophical musings thrown in about how random events can come together. Enjoyed this thoroughly and it will be on my Hugo Short List for Novella when I nominate the stories from 2017 a year from now.
"Europa's Survivors" by Marianne J. Dyson -+- Dr. Cassie McGarity has terminal cancer but they let her take a one-way trip to Europa so that she can spend her last days studying bacteria with Dr. Lee. The bacteria may be truly alien life. There are a few perils on the way but things work out, maybe a little too well.
"Eli's Coming" by Catherine Wells -+- Eli ben Aryeh runs a business in time travel. He's arranged to take a trip himself back to see Herod's Palace atop Masada in 10 BC. But a technical glitch puts him 75 years later, when the Romans are besieging the palace. Good story.
"Time Heals" by James C. Glass -+- John has a job going back in time to retrieve lost articles which isn't always easy. He has attempted before to make a side trip to kill the younger self of his abusive step-father. He has failed twice. He intends to succeed this time. Really liked the way this one worked out. Perfect little story.
"Shakesville" by Adam-Troy Castro & Alvaro Zinos-Amaro -+- Our narrator is visited by 50 versions of himself from different possible future. This is due to an anomaly and only one can tell him not to make a life decision that will be disastrous but, obviously, not fatal. What can he do to resolve the situation? One of his future selves offers him a deal. Is this the right thing? Another good story.
"Host" by Eneasz Brodski -+- Julian is an angst-ridden teenager on a space station orbiting around Jupiter. Things have gone bad there due to something called the Abominations. We eventually find out what is going on but this isn't much of a story, just a lecture by the author.
"The Snatchers" by Edward McDermott -+- Our narrator has the job of being a snatcher, someone who goes back in time to retrieve someone valuable without messing with history. But Time always tries to stop him. The job here is to save Antoine de Saint-Exupéry from dying when his plane is lost on July 31, 1944. What will happen? Nicely done!
"Unbearable Burden" by Gwendolyn Clare -+- Our narrator is one of a group of AIs not happy in their work. What can she do? OK.
"Grandmaster" by Jay O'Connell -+- Shortly after the end of World War II, a woman who writes stories with her husband is visited by a fan from the future. A nice, poignant tale.
"Alexander's Theory of Special Relativity" by Shane Halbach -+- Alexander invented a time machine and sent Maria into the future. But she returns changed. Another sad, touching story.
"Concerning the Devastation Wrought by the Nefarious Gray Commaand Its Ilk: A Men in Tie-Dye Adventure" by Tim McDaniel -+- Austin wakes up one night to see men wearing tie-dye shirts digging up his flowers. Why they are doing it makes for a hilarious story!
"Ecuador vs. the Bug-Eyed Monsters" by Jay Werkheiser -+- Aliens have asked that the last game of the World Cup, Ecuador vs. France be played on their ship and the UN has agreed. The Ecuadorian team figures out how to win. They will now play the aliens. But what are the stakes? Fun story!
"The Human Way" by Tony Ballantyne -+- Serena is part of the Second Antarctic Army, tasked with finding an alien of the race called the S kidnapped by a group called the Human Way. She winds up on a planet designed for a colonization that never happened with beautiful cities and great-looking automobiles to drive around in. They get some help from civilians and have a pretty good time on their mission. Good story.
The fiction concludes with the novella, "Plaisir D'Amour" by John Alfred Taylor. -+- Ben Niehaus is a sociologist from Earth who has been granted a chance to visit and stay with the asteroid mining unit ship Georgius Agricola as it passes by Earth on its way to a swingby of Venus. He is to live with them and observe and report on their culture. What is unexpected is that he meets and falls in love with Ellen Slade-Thomas. She falls in love with him but they cannot stay together. Most of the story involves his learning about the way things and people work on the ship, which seems to be a bit utopian for me. Nice enough, bittersweet story.
There is also a Probability Zero story, "Hidden Intentions" by Mary E. Lowd in which the dragon-like alien S'lisha finds a way to deal with an annoying human child. Mildly amusing.