Analog, May 2008

David Bartell. Test Signals.

A multi-limbed geek involved in computers is rapidly involving in something or other – sorry, this was just way too clunky to persevere with.

Dave Creek. No Traveller Returns.

Further adventures of Mike Christopher.

Eric James Stone. The Ashes of His Fathers.

Looks at the price someone is willing to pay to honour the memory of his ancestors, up against the recalcitrant authorities who will not yield, save for one human who is willing to bend the rules in his favour.

Sarah K. Castle. Still Hunting.

Story told from the perspective of a polar bear – if you imagine the perspective of a polar bear being pretty similar to the perspective of a human, as opposed to being an entirely different species and fundamentally seeing and sensing the world in a quite different matter.

Walter L. Kleine. Petite Pilferer Puzzles Piedmont Police.

Humor.

Carl Frederick. What Drives Cars.

Looks at the perils of giving car computers too much AI.

Robert R. Lambert. Consequences of the Mutiny.

A starship with a payload of mostly cryogenically frozen passengers, but with a live, generation spanning crew, gets into the kinds of problems fundamental to the basic setup of the ships crew/passenger structure, which have to be resolved (and which you’d guess would have been sorted out well before launch).

Edward M. Lerner. The Night of the RFIDs.

Looks at the perils of allowing the technology of RFID tags to be misused, rather too-neatly progressing the story, and rather unbelievably seeing the protagonist elevated to the President of the USA. The play on words in the title is the highpoint, and its generally downhill from there.

Conclusion.

I read all the stories (with the exception of the first one, which I skimmed through after several pages) a couple of months ago, and they’re mostly the usual Analog kind of story, which is to say, easy to read, nothing to stretch the reader, often simple ideas handled routinely, competently written at best and clunkily written at worst, and generally not doing anything that hasn’t been done before, with very little sticking in the mind after having been read, hence the very short summaries. Stone gets the Pick of the Bunch award this issue, FWIW.

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