The fourth and final novel installment.
The King Who Wasn’t. Lloyd Biggle Jr.
Biggle returns to The Interplanetary Relations Bureau, which appeared previously in Analog way back in 1961 and 1971. After a few pages I found myself asking : “Why?” The scenario (humans observing less-developed society on another planet), characterisation and plot are quite dated, and the story very much feels of an older age. I have to admit to skipping to the end, and having read the final couple of pages concluding that I won’t lose any sleep over the unread section of the story.
The Upgrade. Brian Plante.
Another story which could almost be a homage to 1950s classic SF – domestic harmony is threatened by a wife demanding her husband upgrade his supplemental brain lobe. The bulbous lobes, advertising-spouting family robot, surburban socializing wife, and unsympathetic boss are all standbys of bygone days.
Lost Dogs. Christopher McKitterick.
A probe, a long, long way from home, leads to a young boy who is at home but equally lonely.
A stray dog and the alien provide the boy an insight into the human condition.
A Moment of Integrity. Jeffrey D. Kooistra.
An anomaly on Mars – irrefutable evidence of a Nazi mission during WWII. Is there a rational explanation? Nope.
Pretty modest fare.