Analog. November 2010.

A quick whizz through the issue.

Richard A. Lovett & Mark Niemann-Ross’s ‘Phantom Sense’ looks at how a special ops vet, now retired, integrates back into society. A feature of his speical ops skills are his ‘Sense’, which is the subject of a Science Fact article by the same authors. (Related fiction and fact pieces – it doesn’t get better than this for lovers of Scientist Fiction!)

Allen M. Steele’s ‘The Zoo Team’ sees him return to the theme of mental health in space, this time with a lighter tone as a crew of a Mars simulator in orbit see how far they can take a joke, and find that the joke is almost on them after a technical failure.

Jay Werkheimer’s ‘Contamination’ and Michael A. Armstrong’s ‘The Deadliest Moop’ are stories three and four in the issue, followed by Analog regular Carl Frederick’s ‘Howl of the Seismologist’.

The issue is rounded off by Brad R. Torgersen’s ‘Outbound’, which I read fully for the first part, then found myself skimming to the end. Kudos for Torgersen’s chutzpah in starting of with a pair of children tragically separated from their father, who dies on an orbiting spaceship that has come under attack. The story follows the elder child’s journey, one which has more grief, and a lot more to come to terms with, as the world which he knew has gone forever, and he finds himself on a journey of many years.

The regular treat of the Letter’s Page, with correspondents vying for just how long they have been reading Analog, is supplemented by a couple of adverts for novels that sell themselves so badly you just want to get the novel to see if they are equally as bad. The inside front cover has a novel ‘Mine’ whose strapline is ‘Selena claims to be an extraterrestrial, but purports to have no proff … her environmentalism is too radical!’ which sounds like something that has come from a (poor) online translation machine.

Hampton Bush’s ‘Brothers of the Light’ claims to be a ‘high-speed page-turner”, which will doubtless be the case, although for the reason the author would like. It seems he has been a roughneck, sailor, musician, newspaper reporter and magazine editor. He will be able to add that he has been a writer after this. (Hopefully not in the context of him now being a psycopath who thinks nothing of travelling halfway across the globe to wreak terrible vengeance on sarcastic Brits!)

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