Asimov’s Science Fiction/ Mar 2008

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Sheila Williams (editor), writes about the importance she places on new writers. Mentions cover letters, how ultimately the story you submit is the most important. Says thousands are submitted each year but they can only print max 800 stories.

Column by James Patrick Kelly, on a sci-fi genre called Mundane Science Fiction.

“Following the pharmers” by Brian stableford.
A story based on speculation on the wanderlust and homeboy phenomenon. Ending was quite unexpected, in that I thought the guy was going to poison the other woman (he did, in a way, but not resulting in death but in wanderlust).

Tom Purdon – “Sepoy Fidelities” (aliens called the tucfra)

p. 114. “Master of the road to nowhere” by Carol Emshwiller.
Made me wonder what being ‘alien’ meant. About a gp (humans but who choose to live in largely female packs with an alpha female – Grandma -and alpha male – Big Man, where group consensus is all and individuality is taboo).

“On Books” column. Peter Heck recommends Charles Stross’ The Merchants’ War isbn 0765316714. Says series is addictive and leaves fans gritting their teeth while waiting for the next one.
Reprint of Isaac Asimov’s Pebble In The Sky isbn 0765319128. Says he envy those who have not read asimov yet and should read this one and be amazed by it.

New Theories Of Everything. John D. Barrow isbn 0192807212. “… in discussing the laws of nature, he lists all the ways the universe, scientific laws, and God might be able to interact–including the possibility that any or all of the three do not exist. A lot of scientists are ready to dispense with the notion of God; it takes a brave one to look solipsism or chaos in the face and admit that the search for meaning might itself be an illusion.”


Analog science fiction & fact/ Nov 2007

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p.10 “Murder in parliament street” by Barry B. Longyear.
Another story based on the Shad (duck bio suit) and Jaggers characters. Detectives in the Artificial Beings Crime Division (ABCD). Royal pigeon airforce. Cleverly interwoven story and subplots – detective parker the gorilla who can’t help but shat in the most awkard of times.
P19 “tellynet media vans, a blogosphere pool mobile”
p23 “Ferdie’s Freepaedia”
(see other issues: nov 06 “the good kill” & oct 07 “the hanging stone rat”_

p48 The search for the world’s first equestrians, by Richard A. Lovett
About archeological research on the domestication of horses. Also points out how modern archeology “is heading toward a lot more physics and chemistry” rather than past practice of throwing away soil and materials at site digs. Old techniques reply on direct observation while new ones are shifting towards indirect evidence from seemingly mundane sources (e.g. Presence of phophorous to indicate existence of horse manure, while lack of potassium rules out phophorous generated from camp site fires.)

p59 These are the times, by John G. Hemry.
Time Intervention (TI). A twist to the story of which side fired the first shot that sparked off the US revolution of 1775. British fanatic. Suicide bomber. Struggle. Detonator in a Franklin stove.

p95 The Suit, by Bud Sparhawk.
Smart suits, prgs embedded in clothes, fridges, even underwear. Automatically adjusts the weave for the weather or temperature conditions. The underwear announcing that you shouldn’t eat the icecream bec you’ve already gained an inch on your waist line. Fridges that remind you, and keep reminding you, to stock up on groceries. Suit-to-suit downloads (new way of meeting people, and saving the hassles of pick-up lines)

Permission To Speak Freely, by David Walton.
Sympathology. Measurement of pain – scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “absolutely no pain” to 10 being “the worst pain you ever felt”. Story is also about integrity of a researcher, and that honesty still is the best policy.

Tom Easton (The Reference Library) recommends:

  • The Sons of Heaven, by Kage Baker (“Don’t miss it”)
  • Allen Steele’s Coyote series (“If you’re a Steele Fan, read Spindrift, hunt down the other Coyote titles, and become one.”)


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