Analog Science Fiction and Fact – July/August 2007
by Stanley Schmidt (Ed.)
Edited by Stanley Schmidt
Cover Artist: David R. Mattingly
Review by Sam Tomaino
Dell ISBN/ITEM#: 1059-2113
Date: / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The July/August 2007 issue of Analog is a double one and it's a great one. Hugo nominee Michael F. Flynn contributes a great story in "Quaestiones Super Caelo Et Mundo" and a fascinating article. Both of these relate to the themes in his Hugo-Nominated novel Eifelheim and should go a long way to dispel the myths about the "Dark Ages". We also get a new story in the Black Hole Project series by G. Stanford Lowe & David Nordley as well as a bunch of other great stuff. This is their best issue (so far) this year).
Double issues of the science fiction magazines don't always work out but the July/August 2007 issue of Analog is a great one!
The best story in the issue, and one that will be on my Hugo short list is "Quaestiones Super Caelo Et Mundo" by Michael F. Flynn. The story relates in theme to Hugo-Nominated novel Eifelheim but takes place in a different medieval world. This is alternate history which relates what might have happened if just one scientific principle had been discovered a bit earlier. It's a classic Analog story with a lot of scientific jargon, but set in medieval times. Flynn also contributes a science fact article called "De Revolutione Scientarium in 'Media Tempestas'" which dispels myths about the time before the Renaissance.
I enjoyed all but one of the rest of the stories in this issue. "Loki's Realm" by C. Sanford Lowe & G. David Nordley is another in their series about the Black Hole Project of the 23rd century. This one involves a history professor joining the project and helping it along. The series has improved since they got rid of the cardboard villains trying to stop the project. The story is about solving the technical problems, a classic theme for this magazine. "Bringing It All Back Home" by Bud Webster is another in Webster's tales of Bubba Pritchert, a good old boy who has a flying saucer and a great AI companion. In this one, NASA asks him to do an unusual towing job.
Yet another story that's part of a series is Amy Bechtel's "A Time for Lawsuits". This one involves veterinarian Michael Clayton and his unusual patients from previous stories. In "The Caves of Ceres", Joe Schembrie introduces us to Roger and Rebecca who are trying to help her father. What's unique is how this relates to a classic novel by Mark Twain.
The issue is rounded out by four short stories. "The Last of the Weathermen" by Richard A. Lovett is a tale of survival and how one should not put too much reliance on modern technology. Scott Virtes' "Jimmy the Box" is a cute tale about a sentient vending machine. "Do No Harm" by John G. Hemry is also a cautionary tale. This one is about how you can make a machine that works too well. Last is the only story that I didn't like. "Political Science" by C.W. Johnson should just be called "Political Vitriol" because that's all it is. I guess it's supposed to be satire because the science is on the level of Plan Nine From Outer Space.
That story, notwithstanding, this issue is well worth picking up.