Analog, November 2008

Robert J. Sawyer. Wake.

First of four installments.

Carl Frederick. Greenwich Nasty Time.

A physics undergraduate is off to the Isle of Wight with his English Lit studying girlfriend (helpful to have a non-scientist along so that he can explain the science to the reader via her), when an experiment he and his thesis adviser undertake proves to be successful beyond their dreams. With the whole of mainland Britain swopped out for a far older version of itself, the pair have to escape ancient locals, until normality can be restored.

Routine scientist fiction.

Alan Dean Foster. Cold Fire.

An altogether more assured story from an altogether more experienced writer, of a more acceptable standard for Analog. A photographer in the remote Artic tundra believes that his time has come, after crashing his vehicle, cold and hurt, with no means of raising help, and a hungry wolf on the prowl.

Saved by a local, he is recovering in their home when he finds out that there is an altogether closer relationship with the otherwise inhospitable elements, and the daughter has indeed a link with the northern lights that has to be seen to be believed. And which has to be kept a secret, which he is happy so to do.

The characterisation, dialogue and story telling is handled more than competently, making the most of a similarly competent without outstanding premise.

Richard A. Lovett. Bug Eyes.

A lot hinges on your acceptance of the premise that a Mars Rover mission can be so successful that it becomes so mundane that there is only one guy monitoring the transmissions, and so the First Contact that appears to be made is someting that is his alone to come to terms with, and that the BEM that the Rover meets is going to head to Earth to meet him personally.

Oz Drummond. Re/Creation.

A story from a non-regular Analog writer, which has a novelty value to it. And it also one of a better, more imaginative story than the Analog norm. It doesn’t feature scientists, neither does it have a contemporary US setting. Gale is the protagonist – a virtual construct, one in a sequence brought into ‘life’ by her Creator, and we follow her relationship with him as she is eager to please in the variety of environments, and embodiments that he creates for her. She is, however, able to learn from him, more than he appreciates, and in the end the tables are turned.

Paul Levinson. Unburning Alexandria.

Ancient Alexandria is the setting, in which humans from the future attempt to save materials for future study, as they are unable to return non-living material to their time. There’s a large cast, and lots of to-ing and fro-ing, conversation and revelation, to little effect.

Conclusion.

Drummond and Foster provide better than usual fayre for Analog.

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