Analog Science Fiction and Fact - July/August 2017 - Vol. CXXXVII, Nos. 7 & 8
Edited by Trevor Quachri
Cover Artist: Rado Javor
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog Magazine (print/digital) ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 29 June 2017
Links: Analog Science Fiction and Fact / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The July/August 2017 issue of Analog is here and it's a very good one.
The short fiction begins with the novella "Not Far Enough" by Martin L. Shoemaker. -+- This story uses characters that previously appeared in "Murder on the Aldrin Express" in the September 2013 issue and "Brigas Nunca Mais" in the March 2015 issue. In this story, Captain Nick Aames, Lieutenant Junior Grade Anson Carver, and our narrator Ensign Smith are aboard the Bradbury on a mission to Mars. Smith is excited about walking on Mars but during an unexpected storm, disaster hits with a lander crashing and the Bradbury in bad shape. Will Aames and the crew be able to figure out a way to survive until a relief ship comes? Exciting story with well-drawn characters and some good twists!
"The Fool's Stone" by Aubry Kae Andersen -+- Our narrator is an alchemist in the Egypt of some centuries ago. His mother finds a strange black rock which ultimately kills her. He studies it but it proves deadly to him, too, but not until he makes some use of it Another interesting story.
"The First Rule Is, You Don't Eat Your Friends" by Robert R. Chase -+- Brother Lawrence is a monk (and a former soldier) with the Order of Stewards. His monastery is helping a former strip-mining site back to health by planting things there. They are also doing research on the intelligence of animals. Brother Lawrence is especially attached to a pig named Mazer. This is in a near future in which animals are being modified and a scientist doing that research seeks refuge from a mob. This results in much discussion on the relationship between men and animals. Very good story.
"Alouette, Gentille Alouette" by Andrew Barton -+- Véronique Zhu and Emily Pine are tasked with retrieving an old space satellite called Alouette 1. Véronique finds a clever way to pluck it out of orbit. Nicely done!
"Fat Bubble" by Tom Easton -+- Our narrator learns something about how a product called FatBlaster really works and profits by it. Amusing.
"Perspective" by Kyle Kirkland -+- Kimberley Penner is 112 years old in a near-future America. Seventy-five years ago she was part of a team that invented a neural stimulator that reduces tension and pain, improves mood, and marginally improves memory. The current young President of the United States is running for re-election and abused a stimulator in his youth. It has left part of his brain damaged. What should she do? Good story which well covers the issues involved.
"For All Mankind" by C. Stuart Hardwick -+- The story begins in 1963, during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. An asteroid has been discovered that will pass by Earth in 1971 but hit Earth on its return trip 90 years later. It needs to be diverted and to save on the weight of those that are going to pilot the ship, it has been decided that two women will go. Our narrator, Katherine Ludlow, and Soviet citizen, Tatyana Tereshchenko are chosen and we get the story of their one-way mission. The two women becomes very real and the details of how they complete their mission are well-told. Makes for a great story of alternate or secret history. Well done!
"Clarity of Signal" by Holly Schofield -+- Marin leaves her husband for the opportunity to investigate a dying extraterrestrial called a stig. Are they sentient? Are they telepathic? She learns much from the experience. Good.
"Belly Up" by Maggie Clark -+- Imbra is a killer and his punishment is to be declawed, a neural block that deadens aggression and other emotions. He is set upon by former friends who just want to beat him up and Paloma whose mother he killed and despises him. His people are at war with another group and not doing well at it. Can his experience help? Interesting tale.
"Pitch" by Bruce McAllister & Patrick Smith -+- In 2169, a screenplay pitch for an upcoming production seems all too prophetic. Pretty good.
"Phuquiang: A History" by Uncle River -+- A history of the town named in the title. Much about papermaking and hot vents. Okay.
"Blinking Noon and Midnight" by Tim McDaniel -+- Len tries to set the heat up in his house. That's not easy. Amusing in a very familiar way.
"Teamwork" by Eve Warren -+- The station commander of the Mars colony is used to dealing with its various problems. One of the Martian-born has been injured in an accident. The commander is interrogating her companion to find out why. She learns something she wasn't expecting. Clever.
"Often and Silently We Come" by Ron Collins -+- A-Jin and 58-9 are members of the Carrisi race examining a creature of the Pakeshi. But it is the Carrisi that are truly alien. Interesting.
"Galleon" by Brian Trent -+- Galleon is an intelligent spaceship, engaged as a trading vessel, run by Captain Quinlan Bard. It considers Bard a friend. But Bard departs seeking happiness and Galleon acquires new ownership of a different type and gets involved in a war. That does not go well. But Galleon finds a way to also seek happiness. Great little story!
The fiction concludes with the novelette "Across the Steaming Sea" by Rob Chilson. -+- Luro is the third son of Eldrahim the Asireman of Wamjay. He is little thought of by his father, half-brothers, and half-sister. His older brother Galahim apparently rescues a manjack (a kind of nobleman) named Kangahan, a Baytic from Linllan Edd, from an assault. It seems that this manjack has a map that might lead to the fabled land of Empyrean. He is willing to lead an expedition to find it but needs funding. Eldrahim agrees to provide that but does not want to risk his beloved older sons, so Luro, along with his good friend, the black ogre Marace, is given the job. Thus starts a grand adventure that ends in a way no one expects it to. A lot of invention here about the milieu in which the story takes place. I'd like to see more stories about it.
There is also a Probability Zero piece called "A Little Spooky Action" by Howard V. Hendrix. A group of physicists go to a medium and contact Albert Einstein. Funny.