Alec Nevala-Lee. The Proving Ground. (Analog Science Fiction and Science Fact, January/February 2017).

Read in The Year’s Best Science Fiction Thirty Fifth Annual Collection (Dozois, 2018).

A story which suffers a bit from being just two stories after Barber and Saab’s ‘Panhumanism : Hope and Pragmatics which was also a story about scientists in a near-future addressing climate change.

That story was an inventive, complex one with an interesting range of characters in a subtly different society and with a subtle plot. In contrast, this is a more straightforward story, very much in the ‘Analog’ vein, of scientists coming across a scientific challenge/conundrum and having to resolve it. You can read Nevala-Lee talking about the story here,which, TBH, I enjoyed reading more than the story. The story : scientists raising wind turbines find that the local avian population take objection, and they have to work out why that his happening, whilst repelling attacks on them by the birds (because science). Bob Blough reckoned this was the best of ‘the most mediocre issue of any SF magazine I have read in many years’ in his review on TangentOnline.

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