Asimov's Science Fiction – June 2007
by Sheila Williams (ed)
Edited by Sheila Williams
Cover Artist: John Allemand
Review by Sam Tomaino
Dell Magazines Zine ISBN/ITEM#: 10652698200706
Date: 23 April 2007
Links: Asimov's June 2007 Issue Page / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
I enjoyed the June 2007 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction quite a bit. The best story, which got an Excellent from me, was "Tideline" by Elizabeth Bear. In the introduction to the story, we are told that Bear shares a birthday with Bilbo & Frodo Baggins. If that's the case, she shares a birthday with me, too, but that did not prejudice my review. "Tideline" is the story of an intelligent war machine named Chalcedony. Chalcedony's platoon has been wiped out and "she" is slowly running out of energy, dying. She meets a boy named Belvedere and they help each other. Chalcedony tells the boy stories, true and fictional, and changes his life. This is a poignant, beautiful tale.
Except for one, the rest of the stories are well worth reading. Neal Asher sets "Alien Archaeology" in his Polity universe and tells us about the battle between Rho & Jael over a "memstore" of the lost Atheter race. Readers of previous stories know the connection between the Atheter and a beast called the gabbleduck but this is summarized in the story so you don't need to have read any previous ones. The introduction to "News from the Front" by Harry Turtledove cautions that one should not make any assumptions about the author's political views from this story any more than a story he did for F&SFa while back in which George Bush & Saddam Hussein were married in a same sex wedding ceremony in Massachusetts. I thought that story went on too long and was just a one-joke thing. The present story could be called "what if today's anti-war liberal media (as viewed by Rush Limbaugh) was around for the start of the U.S. involvement in World War II." Turtledove is being very satirical here and one should not take it as serious alternate history. I liked the story, but I think this one also went on too long. R. Neube contributes an interesting story in "Studies in the Field" in which a professor of "xenopology" becomes a little too involved with the species he is studying on a remote planet. "Don't Stop" by James Patrick Kelly is a nice little tale of a jogger who sees dead people.
Jack Skillingstead's "Scrawl Daddy" is the story of clones created for a certain kind of travel in space and how they deal with that in their lives. I liked "Marrying In" by Carrie Vaughn about a woman immigrating to Colorado in what seems like a very fractured future U.S. The problem is that, while Vaughn live in Colorado, the way she portrays the people that live there doesn't make me want to visit. The only story in the issue that I did not care much for was "Three Days of Rain" by Holly Phillips. I thought the story was boring and plotless and it's not worth trying to write a summary.
Nonetheless, with at least one Hugo worthy story makes this issue well worth picking up.