G. David Nordley. The Fountain.
Nordley was (and probably is still) an Analog regular, and I stopped reading that magazine a while back as their stories mostly failed to engage me – as did this story. It features a non-human protagonist, some politics, xenophobia, and a teenage Princess going through that rebellious period, and some creaky dialogue.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Skylight.
The prolific, extremely prolific, Rusch provides a taster of (I’m guessing) things to come, introducing a young woman, name of Skye, who faces a choice as part of her (ahem) practical studies at the Assassins Guild. And that choice appears to set her (and us) up for adventures to come..
Fine as far as it goes, but probably works better as a first chapter in a YA novel.
Eric Del Carlo. Hypervigilant.
Pheromonal aggression is a major public health risk post Neuro-Chemical War, and of the employees of The Agency uses his talents to spot those about to go apeshit, but he has an encounter that doesn’t go quite according to plan.
Megan Arkenberg. A Love Song Concerning His Vineyard.
A short, bittersweet story of love, a unique blend of Mars, race, wine and intolerance.
Robert Reed. Precious Mental.
Wowza, thinks I, virtually an entire half of the issue devoted to a Great Ship story. However, truth be told, I was running out of steam towards the end, as Reed does takes the reader, and the characters, a long way (and back), For devotees of the Great Ship there will be references and nuances that others won’t pick up, and there’s a tantalising peek being the backdrop curtains of the Great Ship stores (if such a thing as curtains can exist on such a scale of time and space) but for others the story does finish with perhap a frustrating lack of a big ending that a lengthy story might be expected to provide.
A fairly weak issue, truth be told, with Reed taking up a lot of space, but to slightly less than usual effect.