Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Analog Science Fiction and Fact", January/February 2012 (magazine): Annotated table of contents & review

Cover of the magazine Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January-February 2012 issue
While all stories are at least readable, there is only one I actually liked, "Humanity by Proxy".

Table of contents (only fiction, best first, unread last).

  1. [novelette] Mark Niemann-Ross' "Humanity by Proxy" (A): Illustrating good engineering.

    Added to my "best of 2012" list.
  2. [novelette] Sean McMullen's "Ninety Thousand Horses" (B): First big rocket wasn't built by Germans during WWII, but by a British eccentric in 1899. It burnt paraffin & liquid oxygen for fuel, & powered a railway train a yard above the tracks! I'm not sure of the exhaust - perhaps steam?
  3. [novella] Stephen Baxter's "Project Herakles" (B): After the coup in Britain in 1960s where the prime minister Harold Wilson was forcibly evicted by junta, a couple of patriots will restore democracy with help from the giants British military has been secretly breeding.
  4. [ss] Catherine Shaffer's "An Intersteller Incident" (B); humor: US President is hosting a dinner for an alien delegation - aliens whose eating habits humans despise, & vice-verse. It's upto the event managers - Stacy, Mark & Thumkgig - to ensure the event goes without incident. And then there are troublemakers on both sides who want the event to generate a diplomatic incident.
  5. [ss] Jack McDevitt's "Listen Up, Nitwits" (B): An AI lying dormant on Ganymede since the ancient & glorious days of human spaceflight wants the current generation of humanity to stop fighting wars.
  6. [novella] Rajnar Vajra's "Doctor Alien & the Spindles of Infinity" (B); space opera: May be the most meaningless story in the issue. Elder aliens from an unbelievably far away galaxy have decided to commit mass suicide to pave the way for evolution to allows another species to fill their niche! Since this is a major decision, they wants aliens with different ways of looking at life to revalue their decision. One of those judges is, of course, human. And it's this human who will end up solving their dilemma.
  7. [serial - 1/4] Robert J Sawyer's "Triggers": Not read.