Asimov's Science Fiction – August 2007 – Vol. 31 No. 8 (Whole Number 379)
by Sheila Williams
Edited by Sheila Williams
Cover Artist: Jim Burns
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 1 July 2007 / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The 30th Anniversary issue of Asimov's Science Fiction continues with the August 2007 issue. We get a bizarre but wonderful story from Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling. Old pro Tom Purdom contributes a fine tale. Also, in this issue are Jack Skillingstead, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Daryl Gregory and others.
I have been consistently pleased with Asimov's Science Fiction lately and the August 2007 does not disappoint. All the stories got a Very Good from me.
The cover story is "Hormiga Canyon" by Rudy Rucker & Bruce Sterling. Stefan is trying to solve the mysteries of the universe by using the computing power of old cell phones. When he finds his apartment and phones overrun by ants, he and his friend Jayson investigate. They travel through a bizarre canyon and shrink to ant-size. In this place, time moves slower and odd events happen. I can't describe it better as it is a truly strange story but lots of fun.
Kathleen Ann Goonan's "The Bridge" takes place in a near future where artificial beings (recreated from people's memories) walk around. A P.I. is asked by the sister of one to investigate her murder and things go in an unexpected direction.
Old pro, Tom Purdom, contributes "The Mists of Time." Emory, a man from our future, charters a trip to the 19th century to record an ancestor's exploits in the British Anti-Slavery trade. This is an interesting look at a bit of history that is usually ignored.
The issue also has four short stories. In "Dead Horse Point" by Daryl Gregory, a woman must help an old friend as she retreats further and further into a fugue state. Tom McDaniel's "Teachers' Lounge" is a funny story about how to forestall an alien invasion. "Prodigal" by Justin Stanchfield is the story of a woman who cannot return to Earth because she has had immortality treatments and Earth doesn't want her kind. Her father is in the same situation and she tries to find a way that he can be with his other daughter who is dying on Earth. Last of all, "Thank You, Mr. Whiskers" by Jack Skillingstead is a touching tale of a woman who finds a way to cope with the loss of her mind.
As I said, Asimov's is giving us a lot for its 30th anniversary!