Novella "Fall" by Arlan Andrews, Sr. "Purytans" by Brad R. Torgersen
Novelettes "No Strangers Anymore" by Ian Creasey "The Metal Demimonde" by Nick Wolven "Corey for Coriolis" by John Shirley
Short Stories "Pleistocene Brains" by Christina De La Rocha "A Violent Wind" by Andrew Barton "Story Night at the Stronghold" by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle "Mandalas on the 405" by Elisabeth R. Adams "The Battle of Ceres" by Karl Bunker "Fallacious" by Sean Vivier "Death of a Starship Poet" by James Van Pelt
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, June 2016, Volume CXXXVI No. 6 Trevor Quachri, editor Cover art by Joel Iskowitz
A good one. How social media & your reputation cloud might evolve in a few years -- and how the world might react if an enormous alien starship arrives -- and the aliens want to buy our Moon. Clever, witty and fun. The MC is a future British princess, modeled on Princess Diana. Recommended. My second story by this new-to-me author. He has 15 more available at http://iancreasey.com/free.htm
A few pretty nice stories – and a few pretty average ones.
No Strangers Any More • novelette by Ian Creasey Aliens have arrived. They want to purchase the moon. Why? They are not telling and there is a lot of mistrust towards them. The princess of Great Britain befriends one of the aliens (a referendum of continuation of the Monarchy is closing and voting will be tight). They go together to art shows and so on and tabloids are having fun at their relationship. What is the agenda of the aliens? Somehow this story feels too short and too long at the same time. It is a bit sketch-like and fairly little happens, but at the same time it feels like there would be many interesting plots that could be told from this background. It wasn’t bad, but not something really exceptional, either. ***+ The Metal Demimonde • novelette by Nick Wolven Highly sophisticated robots have taken over almost all jobs. A young woman manages an amusement park with robotic rides. She meets a young man who has a rare and at almost illegal non-self-driving car. But he has a secret agenda. Overly long story with too much irritating and boring teen romance. Writing, in and of itself, was pretty good. *** Pleistocene Brains • shortstory by Christina De La Rocha A professor gives a demonstration on making Stone Age flint tools. At the same times she speculates about human and Neanderthal genetics. And apparently she and at least some of the students are Neanderthals. Ok, but not really a story with a real plot. *** A Violent Wind • shortstory by Andrew Barton A research space ship is falling into a gas giant. The crew is abandoning the ship, but the captain is reluctant to leave. The writing was ok, but the background was very sketchy and the emotional involvement in characters wasn’t very deep.*** Story Night at the Stronghold • shortstory by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle The survivors of a global catastrophe discuss what happened to them. Would never have been published if written by unknown authors. Possibly there is a point somewhere. **- Mandalas on the 405 • shortstory by Elisabeth R. Adams Remote-controlled cars start to form patterns. Perhaps the computer controlling them tries to communicate or something. Short and silly. ***- The Battle of Ceres • novelette by Karl Bunker The asteroid miners fall victim to the “low grade” war the mining companies are fighting with each other. One woman whose partner dies decides to do something. A pretty good story. The best so far in this issue. ***½ Fall • novella by Arlan Andrews [as by Arlan Andrews, Sr. ] Continues an earlier story. A young adventurer has escaped with superconductive cloth. He meets new people and has new adventures. He draws attention from a spunky princess, who drafts him to fight in some sort of game with an important reward. Clearly better than a few earlier parts of the series –there is a bit more plot and not only sightseeing. ***½ Fallacious • shortstory by Sean Vivier A man uses brain surgery to remove cognitive biases from his thought processes. It doesn’t end well. Another short and stupid story. **+ Death of a Starship Poet • shortstory by James Van Pelt A poet on a spaceship has been killed. By whom? And why? Sshe doesn’t stay dead as her uploaded memory can’t be run on a computer. Unfortunately, she has been pretty lax and her last recording isn’t very recent. As she hasn’t made any notes, her last poems have apparently been lost. A pretty nice story but a bit too short; the ending was too impossible to guess due to insufficient data. *** Cory for Coriolis • novelette by John Shirley Cory wants to fly inside a hurricane in a near future where hurricanes are very common. His father is also a hurricane flier. An overly long story with not very believable plot points. ***- Purytans • novella by Brad R. Torgersen A member of social group “marriage” between future androgynous humans has gone missing. She is assumed to be dead, but then she is found on a protected planet that isn’t part of the “federation” which has stabilized practically all conflicts in human-inhabited space. The protected planets are kept separated from the rest of space and are considered technologically and socially backward. It turns out their friend has changed: she has been transformed to be physiologically female and horror of horrors, she is pregnant and living with a single man. Has she gone mad? A pretty good and well-written story in spite of some oldish attitudes. ****-
10 • No Strangers Any More • 14 pages by Ian Creasey Very Good+. The public opinion of the aliens is pretty negative. Princess Rose decides to she needs to do something about it and starts organizing public appearances.
34 • The Metal Demimonde • 24 pages by Nick Wolven Good. Tipper is very good with machines, and has gotten a job as sort of an apprentice for one of the rides at an amusement park. Luke is part of an anti-machine group. They don't like the way machines have taken over all the jobs.
58 • Pleistocene Brains • 7 pages by Christina De La Rocha Good. A professor demonstrates some stone age techniques raising some questions about early humans. With a vibe that this prof and at least some of the students have a bit of neanderthal in them.
65 • A Violent Wind • 8 pages by Andrew Barton Good. An exploration ship and its crew are refueling by a gas giant when there is a failure that threatens the ship. It appears they must abandon ship, but commander Krasniqi plans to go down with the ship.
74 • Story Night at the Stronghold • 3 pages by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle Fair. Post apocalyptic survivors share a little of how they survived.
81 • Mandalas on the 405 • 3 pages by Elisabeth R. Adams OK. I think they stopped labeling these as probability zero. The automated traffic is creating patterns.
84 • The Battle of Ceres • 8 pages by Karl Bunker Good+. Asteroid miners are being killed by meteor showers sent by competing mining companies.
94 • Fall • 24 pages by Arlan Andrews Excellent/Very Good. Rist an ice harvester from the north. After calving a berg, went south with the ice sellers, ended up having to run away to further south. He ended up in Princess Pernie's land, where he's taken captive. The little man works with Wakan to learn the language and adjust to the new surroundings.
125 • Fallacious • 5 pages by Sean Vivier Good. Morrow thinks humanity would be better off being totally logical. Baldwin says there are advantages to natural selection. Funny.
130 • Death of a Starship Poet • 8 pages by James Van Pelt Very Good. Mewlana is killed. Jayla investigates her death and finds there was an upcoming contest that now will be won by some other poet.
138 • Cory for Coriolis • 12 pages by John Shirley Good. Cory's absent father shows up and takes him storm chasing into a hurricane.
150 • Purytans • 35 pages by Brad R. Torgerson VG/Excellent. Anth was traveling on a starliner that was lost. Poat and Serl have mourned the loss of their triomate for two years. They now hear that Anth was recovered and is on Plymouth, a restricted world near the edge of Treaty space. When they arrive they find Anth is now Sister Melissa. She no longer has the nanoskein that all citizens have, and which allows them to live indefinitely. Poat and Serl have to come to grips with the choice their former triomate has made. They feel a sense of abandonment and betrayal, and revulsion at what she has become.
A fairly decent issue. Story highlights include "Strangers No More" by Ian Creasey, "The Metal Demimonde" by Nick Wolven (I'd love to see a sequel to this tale of an AI future), "A Violent Wind", Andrew Barton, "Mandalas On the 405", Elisabeth R. Adams, (an amusing AI tale), "The Battle of Ceres", Karl Bunker and "Fallacious" by Sean Vivier (another humorous story). I particularly enjoyed Brad R. Torgeson's "Purytans" (a story dealing with gender issues, among other things), "Death of a Starship Poet" by James Van Pelt was an excellent whodunit and John Shirley's first story published in "Analog", "Cory For Coriolis", an excellent character study, I thought.
Didn't really care that much for "Pleistocene Brains" by Christina De La Rocha. It wasn't bad, just wasn't something I really cared all that much about. Wasn't really a story to me. And while I loves me some Larry Niven, Niven and Jerry Pournelle's "Story Night At the Stronghold" wasn't all that impressive to me. Maybe if I had read "Lucifer's Hammer", the novel the story serves an epilogue to, I might have liked it better. Then there's Arlan Andrew Sr.'s "Fall", a sequel to "Flow" and "Thaw", novelettes previously published in "Analog". Now, I've only read "Flow", which featured a character named, Rist. Rist appears in "Fall", but he's more a background character in the tale. Briefly at the start of the tale, Rist is a point of view character, but then the p.o.v. is taken over by others, notably the priest, Wakan, who I didn't find particularly interesting. Actually, the story itself was pretty boring. Especially since in dozens of Edgar Rice Burroughs books, I've read stories of heroes being held in the castle of a foreign land, learns the native language and becomes a valuable and respected member of the new society. The difference is, Burroughs made the story more interesting. "Fall" felt like it was mostly setting up the tale, with no pay-off.