Asimov's Science Fiction - March 2006
by Sheila Williams (ed)
Zine ISBN/ITEM#: 1065-2698
Date: March 2006 /
Asimov's Science Fiction - March 2006 - Vol. 30 No. 3 (Whole Number 362)
The March 2006 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction has a mix of stories, one of which got a Great from me and the others worth reading, too.
It really comes as no surprise to me that I would think that Robert Reed's story, "Rwanda" is the best of the lot. Reed is one of the best writers of the short story around and this is another great one. The story is not set in Africa but in what seems like a more or less contemporary America. The story starts off quite mundanely until we find out what has happened to Earth in the recent past. It's not anything good. All this makes for a chilling tale with an unforgettable end.
Four of the remaining stories all got a Very Good from me. "The Gabble" by Neal Asher is a sequel to his previous tale "Softy Spoke the Gabbleduck" in the August 2005 issue. Two researchers on the planet Masada are trying to figure out how its inhabitants, gabbleducks, hooders, tricones, etc all relate to each other. They witness the death of one of the creatures and come to some interesting conclusions. "Dead Men Walking" by Paul J. McAuley (part of his "Quiet War" series) centers on a former soldier, an artificial man who calls himself Roy Bruce. He has tried to leave his past behind and live as a normal human being but a series of murders puts this in jeopardy. In "The Kewlest Thing of All", David Ira Cleary gives us a world in which one Bonny Brood tries to lure a woman from a consumerist culture called Stewardship to something kewler. Cleary gives us a interesting take on a future Earth with some very different technologies and the people that use them. Deborah Coates' story "46 Directions, None of Them North" is an amusing tale told from the viewpoint of a 16 year-old girl who must get to Fairbanks, Alaska by June 21 because she is convinced that aliens are going to land there on that day. How she swings it makes for a nice little story.
The other two stories while not quite as good as the others are still worth reading. "Dark Eden" by Chris Becekett tells about two people who really don't like each other very much having to survive and procreate on a sunless but habitable planet. "Companion to Owls" by Chris Roberson centers on Steeplejack North, a man who takes care of the northernmost steeple of a cathedral which serves all creeds and covers thousand's of square miles.
This is a very good issue and well worth buying for the stories and for a new take on the Sudoku craze, puzzles which were not by the Japanese but by man named Howard Garns for Dell Puzzle magazines back in 1979!