Analog Science Fiction and Fact, February 2002

The issue starts with Part II of IV of Robert J. Sawyer’s novel ‘Hominids’.

Presence of Mind. Edward M. Lerner.

The story follows a short ‘biolog’ of one Edward J. Lerner – not the first name the middle initial has been problematic in electronic format for this author!

Lerner provides a near-future techno-thriller in which scientists (regular characters in his fiction) at the leading edge of neural interfacing between computers and humans realise that a disproportionate number of their small specialist community are meeting unsavoury ends. Is this a pattern? And if so, what is causing it?

Computer viruses have been plagueing the lab, and it appears that may be a root cause. With one scientist compromised by the mind-altering virus on the loose, can the potential danger be identified and prevented.

A well-handled thriller.

Powered by Water. Mia Molvray.

A new author to me, and a pleasant introduction.

A put-upon scientist with a workload that is getting way too problematic comes across an ingenious solution. Instead of working himself harder, why not make everyone else slow down. How to do this? Caffeine.

Molvray handles the humour just right – not too OTT, just the right amount.

Dumptown. Mark Rich.

A curious little tale. A sculptress on the moon takes on a commission – to build a sculpture of Atlas as part of a new tourist project which will replace her humble home town.

One of Earth’s mega-corporations is behind the scheme, attempting to steal a march on competitors by being able to build on the otherwise protected moon. But other forces come into play, and what the corporation had intended to be a watertight contract preventing any kind of sabotage missed out one crucial element.

Conclusion.

The lengthy novel extract leaves little space for anything else, but fortunately the three short stories are each enjoyable in their own way. If you aren’t an Analog subscriber or reader, why not try an issue in electronic format at Fictionwise?

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