Analog, July/August 2007

Michael F. Flynn. Quaestiones Super Caelo Et Mundo.

A lengthy offering from Flynn, providing a fictional angle on scientific enlightenment in medieval times – historical fiction about science, as opposed to science fiction. The story is followed up by a Science Fact piece which delves into the same territory.

Richard A. Lovett. The Last of the Weathermen.

An older hiker recounts at length, to a fellow diner, how relying on technology can lead you into a fix, and in his case how he saved himself and one other hiker through to determination, strength and knowledge of the mountains. The science involved is GPS equipoment.

Amy Bechtel. A Time for Lawsuits.

Further gently humorous adventures of vet Michael Clayton, and the problems he has with local folks, their pets, and some critters which are decidedly not local. Here the dying throes of one of these stranger critters ties in with owners having to come to terms with parting from their offspring, and the vet himself gets hit by the odd lawsuit.

Joe Schembrie. The Caves of Ceres.

There’s a mystery to be solved in the caves of Ceres, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer comes into it, but beyond that I cannot offer any more insight, as despite several attempts, whilst the words went from the pages through my eyeballs they just didn’t leave any impression on the grey matter.

C.W. Johnson. Political Science.

Analog does regularly feature writers/scientists berailing against officialdom, bureaucracy, politics, the religious right, funding etc, and Johnson goes for the throat in a short piece in which a scientist has found himself running afoul of the authorities. Is he to be rescued from his imprisonment, or is something else afoot? The ending leaves him and others agasp.

John G. Hemry. Do No Harm.

The expirimental, advanced AI controlling a spaceship is misbehaving, and the crew are at a loss. However, and surprisingly, it is the ship’s M.D. who has the relevant experience to resolve the issue.

C. Sanford Lowe & G. David Nordley. Loki’s Realm.

Another installment in the ‘Black Hole Project’ story sequence. This time there are no female leads, and the two male leads are particularly unimpressive specimens. The lesser of the two evils is a Scottish historian, who gets perilously close to being an ‘och aye the noo’ stereotype, and has some mannerisms that even in 2007 are old fashioned (the word ‘nonce’ isn’t regularly used as far as I’m aware in its original sense of ‘on the instant’, whereas it is quite commonly used over here as a synonym for a sex offender.)

Worse still is the very unreconstructed male chauvinist pig companion, who has views on women’s roles which would have been out of place in 1960, let alone 2260. Sadly for the story, when said pig is overheard by the female scientists about whom he is making some very sexist comments, their response is girlie tittering.

Story-wise, some obstacles are thrown in the path of the mission, and, erm, those obstacles are overcome.

Let’s just say the Tiptree Award won’t heading this way…

Bud Webster. Bringing it all Back Home.

Bubba Pritchett evidenty appeared in Analog stories in 1994 and 1996 (footnotes, no less, in the story, as opposed to a paragraph at the end), and a decade later the adventures of Bubba and his AI and alien friend continue, I would hazard a guess, in the same vein. It’s a vein that has been atapped by some writers for decades now, and for which there obviously continues to be a market. Personally I prefer the newer, fresher seams that a younger generation of writers are tapping, alongside the bewhiskered old folks who originally laid claim to the territory.

Conclusion.

Your average Analog scientist/engineer fiction.

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