Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Analog Science Fiction and Fact", March 2012 (magazine) (ed Stanley Schmidt): Annotated table of contents & review

Cover of the March 2012 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine
Four complete stories, all average fare. But I'll note two especially:
  1. "Mother's Tattoos" is the first one I've seen where body implants drive a programmable tattoo-based user interface, turning the whole human skin into a touch-screen display.
  2. "Ernesto" makes a curious claim: cancer could be cured if patient's body could be tricked (e.g., by artificially infecting with a serious disease causing bacteria) to produce antibodies in a large enough quantities.

Table of contents (best first, unread last)

  1. [novelette] Richard A Lovett's "Mother's Tattoos" (B): Life of a US undercover agent, looking for potential terrorists in his own country.
  2. [novelette] Craig DeLancey's "The Ediacarian Machine" (B): A robotic alien ambassador has been waiting on earth for some 550 million years - waiting for local life to evolve to an intelligence level where it can present its credentials! Now, it's ready to present them to humanity...
  3. [novelette] Alec Nevala-Lee's "Ernesto" (B): A certain saint's tomb has been doing a healing miracle - patients with terminal stage cancer prostrate there for several days, & come back fully cured! A journalist investigates the matters, & comes back with a physical explanation.

    Set during Spain during civil war.
  4. [novelette] Kyle Kirkland's "Upon Their Backs" (B): Yet another alien invasion story where alien consciousness travels space as radiation & partly overwrites the invaded human's mind. Only the problem is a little more complex, as the invader parasite itself has been infected with yet another radiation parasite. Told as an ambiguous hypothesis story.

    Fred Hoyle provides far more interesting stories based on this kind of alien invasion. See, e.g., "A for Andromeda" & "Ossian's Ride".
  5. [serial - 2/4] Robert J Sawyer's "Triggers": Not read.
Related: Fiction from Analog/Astounding.