Analog May 2014

analog1405After a run of excellent covers, a slightly less impressive cover!

Stories this month :
Dave Creek. All Human Things.
Alec Nevala-Lee. Cryptids.
Ellis Morning. In Perpetuity.
Sarah Frost. Bodies in Water.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Snapshots.
Aaron Gallagher. Repo.
Tom Greene. Another Man’s Treasure.

I only read the odd story from Analog these days, so for a fuller review of this issue :

Lois Tilton’s review in LocusMag Online

One Response to Analog May 2014

  1. Kevin Phyland December 24, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Hi Mark,

    I couldn’t find anywhere else to contact you that suited my purposes and since this post is about Analog I thought I’d just do it here.

    Some background. I’m 53yo and started reading SF probably about when you did. The Golden Age of SF is most definitely about how old YOU are when you discovered it and so it was with something akin to adolescent awe when I discovered Analog with the May 1975 issue. Yes, I know, The Bova years.

    I haunted that newsagent every damned day for a new issue. These were stories that weren’t in any anthologies that I’d bought from second-hand book stores. They were new. They were fresh. And some were cutting-edge.

    I found your site about 10 years ago and noticed that you were noticing similar things about Analog that I had noticed.

    Perhaps it is because we get older and possibly more sophisticated in our expectations but I don’t really believe that.

    I was born in that lucky area where Galaxy had its Jim Baen rebirth and read Varley and Fred Pohl’s ‘Gateway’…in magazine serialization! Then I haunted second-hand bookshops not for books…but for old issues of Analog, and Galaxy and F&SF, and even Amazing.

    Older stories are not necessarily unreadable, in fact some of my favourites are as old as I am.

    But, apart from the very occasional story, I find Analog practically unreadable now.

    I can’t put my finger on it. Is it the topics? No. Is it the quality of writing? Occasionally. Is it because they bore me to tears? Maybe.

    It’s a hazardous idea to suggest that a long time in a job may make you amenable to certain types and styles of story but by the time JW Campbell passed on it was obvious that writers write to sell their stories to the editor and even though the editorial decisions are semi-dictated by the audience it is only judicious to write for the market.

    Having said that, it doesn’t mean that Analog is a bad magazine. More like I’m a bad subscriber. Doing it now more in hope than anything else.

    I was a foundation subscriber from a far-off Australia, to Asimov’s. And to some magazines that have lasted shorter than prohibition. Galileo, Cosmos, and even a wonderfully-concepted broadsheet glossy called Science Fiction Monthly from the UK. I still have some of the artwork framed.

    It is my rather embarrassing admission that I couldn’t find Interzone in my small rural community here in Australia nor could get it into my local newsagent.

    I should finish I guess. I don’t think that Analog is a dead duck. And I don’t think it should become a clone of Asimov’s (which has it’s own identity disorder).

    There is nothing at all wrong with sophisticated writing and adult themes and literary prose and testing your understanding of the world(s) around you.

    Perhaps what is missing is that most over-used of phrases.

    A sense of awe…what used to be called a sense-of-wonder.

    I can’t leave F&SF out of this either. Fabulous writing. But GVG keeps wanting more SF to balance out the fantasy. Nothing wrong with fantasy by the way.

    Anyway, thought I should say that even if I don’t applaud your decision to pull full-on discussions of Analog (probably since about 2005 for me) I understand it and hope it’s not just because we are old farts.

    btw..I’m a physics teacher, meteorologist and wannabe writer. And if I ever got into Analog I would still dine out on it. :)

    Cheers,

    Kevin Phyland.

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