Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/August 2001 (Peanut Press edition)

Precipice. Ben Bova.

The third instalment of a Ben Bova novel. As I don’t review novels, I shall press on.

Bug Out! Michael A. Burstein & Shane Tourtellotte.

An enjoyable and well written contribution to the First Contact genre, although neatly flip-flopped.

Intelligent life has been found on another planet, and a team of scientists have set up a base on the planet’s moon, monitoring the life on the planet.

When those being studied make an unexpected technological leap and start sending satellites into orbit, the mission is put in jeopardy: they are under strict instructions *not* to make themselves known, and to return to Earth, leaving no trace of their presence.

The team of scientists breaks into factions, one of which is intent on doing all it can to remain and to make Contact.

Naked Came the Earthling. H.G. Stratmann.

In this story it is Earth who has an alien visitation. And one of the requests from the aliens is extremely strange…

Slightly overlong and slightly strained humour, very much reminscent of sf humour of bygone ages.

Schrodinger’s Cat-Sitter. F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre.

More humour, and even longer and even more straining for effect. Not a sentence is left unturned in the search for an apposite phrase, alliteration or pun.

The Ground He Stood On. J.R. Dunn.

Space miner Keenan makes a claim for the mineral rights to an asteroid, and goes head to head with the corporation. Can he outsmart them? Well, there are different kinds of smarts, and one man can have much more motivation that a team of suited lawyers.

The Gelatin Conspiracy. Laurel Winter.

Yet more SF humour. A Jello-based secret recipe.. Again, throwback sf…

Happy Deathday. Robert Scherrer.

Maybe I’m feeling a little liverish, and I did read James Blish’s ‘Statisticians Day’ quite recently, so a slightly flaky logic and premise based on individuals knowing the day of the year, but not the year, of their death, felt a little to me as begging the question : why?

The Walls That Bind. Jayge Carr.

Aliens are abducting whole chunks of communities. One group of females find themselves placed with a group of evidently male, and quite evidently alien, abductees. Links are forged when one of the aliens takes ill.

Conclusion.

The Burstein/Tourtellotte story gets the issue off to a good start. Three humorous stories in one issue is way too much for me (1 per year would be my quota). And other then the opening story, many do feel slightly ‘old-fashioned’ – which might be a good thing if you like that sort of thing, but pretty uninspired stuff all told.

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