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Analog Science Fiction and Fact - September/October 2017 - Vol. CXXXVII, Nos. 9 & 10
Edited by Trevor Quachri
Cover Artist: Eldar Zakirov for
Review by Sam Tomaino
Analog Magazine (print/digital)  ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: 30 August 2017

Links: Analog Science Fiction and Fact / How to Purchase / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The September/October 2017 issue of Analog features stories by Bud Sparhawk, Edward M. Lerner, Tracy Canfield, Rich Larson, Craig DeLancey, Norman Spinrad, Eric Del Carlo, Marie Vibbert, Simon Kewin, Lettie Prell, Jerry Oltion, Robert R. Chase, Christina De La Rocha, Tom Jolly, James Van Pelt, Christopher L. Bennett, and Stanley Schmidt, a fact article by Richard A. Lovett, a Probability Zero by Michael F. Flynn, poems by Mack Hassler and Bruce McAllister, plus the regular features.

The September/October 2017 issue of Analog is here and it's a another good issue.

The short fiction begins with the novelette "My Fifth and Most Exotic Voyage" by Edward M. Lerner. -+- Put simply, it's the fifth voyage of Lemuel Gulliver and it's to 2022 Chicago. He learns a lot and figures out what's best. Very entertaining!

"I Know My Own & My Own Know Me" by Tracy Canfield. -+- In 2164, someone on Shennong Space Station uplifts the cat, Maneki Neko, and it starts typing out messages. This causes consternation and a whole story of messages from the cat, the humans on the station, and a couple of other uplifted animals. Well done!

"Ghostmail" by Eric Del Carlo -+- Kushal's wife, Svetlana, was killed in the space war with the Cadres. He had been in a brain-connected "meatmail" touch with her. He had been told he would still get some ghostmail messages. But when he does, it's from a still-alive Svetlana in an alternate universe. Very original idea. Good story.

"The First Trebuchet on Mars" by Marie Vibbert -+- On the first Mars Colony, Jill Cooper makes a model of a medieval French Trebuchet. Is this a waste of resources? It proves otherwise. Amusing!

"Climbing Olympus" by Simon Kewin -+- Florian, who had not always been close to his mountain-climbing father, ascends Olympus Mons on Mars, his late father's words in his head. Poignant.

"Emergency Protocol" by Lettie Prell -+- A set of instructions on what might be needed in an emergency. Not much here.

"A Tinker's Damnation" by Jerry Oltion -+- Henry is a tinker on a space colony. Their nanofabber has been out of commission for a long while and they have had to live more primitively. Is this a good thing? What if it really works? Nicely done in so few pages by the most prolific author in Analog!

"The Old Man" by Rich Larson -+- The Old Man is an escaped domestic terrorist who trained his three sons to be the same. Escaped, they have sent the last one to track him down. Good character study.

"Orphans" by Craig DeLancey -+- Probes had been sent to Betelgeuse 2 but they had stopped working. Now they have sent a crew of five. A breach in the ship forces them to land and they make some discoveries. Can they explain the Fermi Paradox? Good ideas. Good characters.

"The Absence" by Robert R. Chase -+- John Hollowell had undergone an experiment with LSD in college. Now, many years later, he is in charge of a massive space elevator project. He also seems to be in touch with something called The Absence that tells him ways to fix minor problems. But what if a big one happens? Bizarre!

"Arp! Arp!" By Christina De La Rocha -+- What's the problem with the mining-phosphorus-from-the-sea project? Professor Monique Jackson figures it out! Clever and entertaining!

"The Mathematician" by Tom Jolly -+- A look at the Keltki, beings who cluster bodies together to make a whole. Ciketat wants to cluster bodies and not take on more, so as to dedicate himself to mathematical thought. This type of thing is frowned upon by the other Keltki. But is there value in it? Imaginative.

"Coyote Moon" by James Van Pelt -+- Hale and his wife have fallen on hard times and been working menial jobs. But a shady character offers them the chance to get on a secret rocket to the Moon to be one of its first citizens. But how do things really work out? Good story with an appropriate ending.

"Abductive Reasoning" by Christopher L. Bennett -+- Cjek has to land on Earth to repair the sail of her wafer-ship but runs into a UFO-paranoid farmer named Roy. But the real story is much better. Hilarious!

"Invaders" by Stanley Schmidt -+- Retired astronomer Abe Svenson is in North Carolina for the total eclipse and sees reports on the news of increased UFO sightings. Then, there's the curious couple that's in the group he's with. Not surprising but a fun story.

"The Sword of Damocles" by Norman Spinrad -+- To observe far out into the universe, the Galactic Eye is built 100 astronomical units from the Sun. After much observation, it has discovered hundreds of civilizations. Their next mission is to observe them more closely. What do they discover? That these civilizations never get very far out of their backyard owing to the cold equations of the impossibility of travel at anything close to the speed of light. But one more observation changes everything. Good solid story from an old pro.

The fiction concludes with the novella "Heaven's Covenant" by Bud Sparhawk. -+- Larisha's family had lived on the planet called Heaven for forty generations, a thousand years. Now a new planet called Meridian is to be settled and Covenant, the ship that had brought them to Heaven, was being outfitted for the 400-year voyage to Meridian. Larisha's parents and brother had died and she been selected to go. She has fallen in love with Tam. She and Tam are married and will be the leaders of the new settlement. But they differ over the people that Larissa calls the Folk and Tam, the mongrels. The Folk are human but they are not part of the religious dogmas that say that god will emerge in Man. Neither included are those called Halflings. Tam's family is part of the group engaging in a pogrom against the Folk. How can Larissa protect her people? Interesting politics here and there is a twist at the end.

There is also a Probability Zero piece called "Viktor Frankenstein's Bar and Grill and Twenty-Four-Hour Roadside Emporium" by Michael F. Flynn. Let's just say that it has a monstrous clientele. Very funny!

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