Sunday, November 22, 2015

Analog Magazine The 1,000th Issue!

You may have noticed that my previous post included the first story of this issue.  I was toying with the idea of writing a separate post for each individual story.  This was simply because I've been randomly reading from the magazine, a collection of Alberta based mysteries and a non-fiction book about the food industry.  With three things on the go I haven't been posting here at all and I was beginning to feel that I should upload something.

Part of me wants to give proper credit to each author without making a post too long with pictures and website links.  Then, if I post for each short story like I do for novels, it seems I'm just trying too hard to add content.  It's a first-world problem to be sure.

It seems likely that my goal of reading 100 short stories in 2015 will not be met but I will come close, enough to be happy that I've challenged myself to it.  I tend to follow my nose when it comes to reading and that can lead to neglecting challenges that I've set for myslef.

But what about the June 2015 issue?

I read every page and found it to be wonderful.  This is the kind of SF I love and I feel lucky to have a copy in my sweaty hands.

I've subscribed to the magazine for years and only manage to read one or two issues a year.  Part of the reason I resubscribe every year is simply to support the magazine.  The other is that I love the cover art.  The stories become a bonus whenever I decide to read an issue.  Besides, paper lasts a long time, if taken care of.

One of the things I do not like about the physical issues is how fragile the covers are; they smudge, tear and fade while I read them.  Starting with issue 1000 I've doubled my subscription to include a digital copy that I read on my iPad.

Below are my thoughts about the offering of this installment to Analog's long history.

The Wormhole Wars -  by Richard A. Lovett - 42/100 - my god the science went right over my head. Thank goodness there was a scene at a bar with coins to explain things. It was a very good first contact story with crisp believable dialog and a good dose of wit.

The Very Long Conversation - by Gwendolyn Clare - 43/100 - Language.  What an interesting twist on our understanding of it.  This was a warm, gentle piece that takes its time to reveal itself. 

It reminded me how unprepared we are to encounter something truly alien.

The Kroc War by Ted Reynolds and William F Wu - 44/100 - If you liked World War Z, the book, not the movie, then you'll be happy to read a space opera done in thensame style.  

Like WWZ I liked how this story was able to capture so many stories in so few pages. 

Well crafted and left me thinking that this world they created could be just as big as Star Wars.

Reynolds -
Wu -

Strategies for Optimizing Your Mobile Advertising by Brenta Blevins - 45/100 Taking wearable technology and advertising to the next logical level.

Well thought out and seemingly inevitable.

The Odds  by Ron Collins - 46/100 - Ooh.  What a wondeful couple of pages!  This opens the door to en enormous epic. This could be the very beggining of a new novel. I don't know. I must look the author up on the internet. 

Hugely cinematic. 
The Empathy Vaccine by C C Finlay - 47/100 - Genetic modification through an IV treatment. What if you could change your personality traits with a visit to the doctor?  Would you try to become more assertive or compassionate?

It's an interesting question in a story that has an interesting answer.
Three Bodies at Mitanni  by Seth Dickinson - 48/100 - Picture humanity sending out seedships to colonize the galaxy.  Now imagine a trio of people sent out to check on and judge the results.  Their mission is to decide which colonies are a threat to the very society that sent them out.

A heavy subject, to be sure, and the author worked the story with the gravitas it deserves.  It had all the elements of a good science fiction story without it being about that.  No, it was an exploration of what it meas to be human and how we adapt to survive.

The story takes place late in the mission, having already visited and pasing judgment on two other worlds, we see how deeply the crew has been affected by their previous decisions. I came away from this story wishing I could have witnessed those previous decisions. 

"Always leave them wanting more," is the saying; I think seeking out the author's other works is recommended.
Ships In The Night by Jay Werkheiser - 49/100 - A spacer walks into a bar and begins to tell the patrons a story about one of his trips. 

I just love stories where people are people and space travel is as common as driving a car.  This makes way for human centric adventures.  I belive an author gets it right when the story can take place in the past, present or future because people are people, you know?

The Audience by Sean McMullen - 50/100 - A fasinating take on a first contact senario.  It takes the classic question of "how much information do we share with an alien race?" and boils it down to one person's decision.

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