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Asimov's Science Fiction, November/December 2020

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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Search no further for the perfect holiday gift! Asimov’s November/ December 2020 is stuffed with two splendid seasonal tales. Spend “Christmas at the Hilbert Astoria” with Santa as he investigates a disturbing mystery. Sam Schreiber’s clever cover story is his first tale for Asimov’s. We’re thrilled to have a multiple-holiday-spanning new novella from Connie Willis! “Take ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 2020 by Penny Publications
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Jeppe Larsen
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a really good issue. A bit lighthearted for the most part. No really bad stories, but likely no award winners either.

The title story “Christmas at the Hilbert Astoria” by Sam Schreiber is a wild crazy story were Santa Claus is the protagonist in a murder mystery at a hotel with infinite rooms. Hard to explain and also pretty confusing, but great fun. 4/5.

“The Mirages” by Alaya Dawn Johnson is a bit more depressing set in a future wrecked by climate change, rising temperatures and diseas
...more
Sara
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I usually skip a story or two, but not in this one. Superb.
Poetreehugger
Nov 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Favourites:
The Hind by Kevin J. Anderson. Engaging characters, colourful setting, enjoyable story line.
Grief, As Faithful As My Hound by Marissa Kingen. Weird! Which is a complement. Original.
Return From the Stars by James Gunn. Far seeing and far reaching, in time, space, and evolving beings.
Pull It From the Root by Zack Be. Rollicking fun to read, with yucky alien life forms, rascally heroes, fast paced action, all in a unique other world.
Take a Look at the Five and Ten by Connie Willis. Chri
...more
Antonio Ippolito
Il vostro recensore ha una gran voglia di fantascienza tradizionale, che includa scienza, galassie, robot.. se il tutto ha un tocco bizzarro ed eganiano, come nel racconto di apertura “Christmas at the Hilbert Astoria” **** di Sam Schreiber, va benissimo! un folle racconto in uno scenario multidimensionale che piacerebbe a Egan, un Babbo Natale agente secreto riluttante per un’Agenzia galattica, e con un alter ego meno rassicurante.. ma anch’esso molto tradizionale. Divertimento sfrenato e intel ...more
Alex
Dec 31, 2020 is currently reading it
I've generally tried to leave out spoilers, but if you do not want any hint of what is in this issue, please don't read my reviews below.

Overall issue rating (as an average of rated stories: [still reading]
Favorite story in this issue: [still reading]

NOVELLA
"Take a look at the five and ten"

NOVELETTES
"Christmas at the Hilbert Astoria" 4/5
This was a fun story - wacky, a bit outrageous and just a great time.
If you love hard science fiction, this story is expressly not for you - although if you can
...more
Boat Onion
I really enjoyed this issue.

Grief As Faithful As My Hound / Footprint / Return To Glory / Take A Look at the Five and Ten were standouts. They felt uplifting. A sense of heart and optimism ran concurrently between them that I didnt know I was craving.

Christmas At The Hilbert Astoria was a weird mindf*ck that I couldnt get enough of. Santa and a winged monkey travel through a hotel with infinite rooms, briefly interacting with neutron stars only to uncover a murder plot? Brilliant.

The Hind felt
...more
Kevin Phyland
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sam Schreiber has Nick (a jolly bearded fellow) called in to help solve the murder of 47 guests at “Christmas At The Hilbert Astoria” which has ∞ rooms and never any empty ones. But when Nick and his detective sidekick find that there do seem to be empty rooms and the kill count is in billions, things get crazy. The generation ship “The Hind” was holed by meteoroids 50 years ago and now if a baby is born someone must die. To this end the council have a list of people the mothers must kill…but wh ...more
Denise Barney
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm always excited when I see Connie Willis's name on the cover, especially in the November/December issue! This year's novella, "Take a Look at the Five and Ten," doesn't have aliens lurking 'neath the Christmas tree, but is a delightful story about memories and family and, sometimes, a little outside help--from relatives and, maybe, from science. I would love to see this story made into a holiday movie! (Hallmark Channel--are you listenin'?) And it didn't hurt that I remember Woolworth's. :)

I
...more
Michael Frasca
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Here are my favorite stories from this issue:

- Take a Look at the Five and Ten by Connie Willis.
I’m going to wait until I receive my copy of the Subterranean Press edition before I review this novella.

- Grief, as Faithful as My Hound by Marissa Lingen.
Orange-colored banana-flavored alien anthropologists silently follow around humans to ?? A great story for close reading to understand the grieving process of our patients.

- Footprint by Kate Maruyama.
Building a rocket and parenting a child—you do
...more
Paul
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ratings for this issue:

A+ (outstanding):

The Hind by Kevin J. Anderson & Rick Wilber
The Long Iapetan Night by Julie Novakova
Take a Look at the Five & Ten by Connie Willis

A (excellent):

Return from the Stars by James Gunn
Return to Glory by Jack McDevitt

B (very good):

Christmas at the Hilbert Astoria by Sam Schreiber
Forger Mr Z by Chen Qiufan
Pull it from the Root by Zack Be

C (average):

The Mirages by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Grief, as Faithful as my Hound by Marissa Lingen

D (poor):

Footprint by Kate Maruyama
Bradism
Jan 20, 2021 rated it liked it
Best Stories:
Pull it from the Root by Zack Be
Take a Look at the Five & Ten by Connie Willis
The Long Iapetan Night by Julie Novakova

Christmas at the Hilbert Astoria by Sam Schreiber was good, and deserves a special acknowledgement for determining that a dimension-hopping, time travelling sci-fi Santa's natural nemesis would be an evil hunk of coal.
...more
Brian
Dec 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Christmas at the Hilbert Astoria - 4/5
The Mirages - 2/5
The Hind - 3/5
Grief, as Faithful as My Hound - 3/5
Forger Mr. Z - 3/5
Return from the Stars - 2/5
Footprint - 3/5
Pull It From the Root - 1/5
The Long Iapetan Night - 4/5
Return to Glory - 3/5
Take a Look at the Five and Ten - 4/5
Ian Woody
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun read. A good selection of stories and even a sprinkle of Christmas which was irresistible to engage with.
Rachel
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Excellent issue!
Kathy Gill
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Dec 16, 2020
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Nov 29, 2020
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Sheila Williams is the editor of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. She is also the recipient of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Editor, Short Form.

Sheila grew up in a family of five in western Massachusetts. Her mother had a master's degree in microbiology. Ms. Williams’ inte
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