Monday, May 28, 2012

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

Cover of the magazine Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 2012 issue
Five complete stories here, one non-story article that could as well have been called fiction & would have been tagged a "non-fact" article in Astounding of yore. Plus part of a serial which I've not read.

Two stories - "You Say You Want a Revolution" & "Most Invasive Species" - are on really the same subject: human insensitivity to alien biology causes mischief for aliens, as humans try to impose their own standards of good behavior on aliens. Alien biology in both stories is clearly designed to raise our disgust; human interference in both cases results in hindering the intellectual development of alien children. I liked former much better, probably because it looks like an ordinary story & suddenly moves into high gear; later has a very conventional structure that constantly tries exploiting our emotions.

List below only covers fiction, & in order of my preference (best first, unread last). My rating is in brackets. Where I have a separate post on a story, link on story title goes there. Link on author fetches more works of author.
  1. [ss] Jerry Oltion's "You Say You Want a Revolution" (A): You ruined my life. Now wish you the same...

    Added to my "best of 2012" list.
  2. [novelette] Susan Forest's "Most Invasive Species" (B): When human colonists of an alien world try imposing their morals of child care on natives, the result is disaster - for natives.
  3. [novelette] Craig DeLancey's "Ecce Signum" (B): A group of individuals were genetically engineered to care about a green earth. Now they're in conflict with powers that be because they're about to publicize technology that will upset the situation where government hides under secrecy & everything about citizens is subject to electronic surveillance - sort of widespread Wikileaks.

    The story is, however, mostly a murder mystery, however; leader of mutants has been killed & an assassin is hunting the #2. 
  4. [non-fact] Eric James Stone's "To Serve Aliens (Yes, It's a Cookbook)" (B); humor: A cookbook for humans to help aliens rule humanity!
  5. [ss] Kevin J Anderson's "A Delicate Balance" (B): Yet another story about "hard" choices faced by a population with very limited resources.

    A human colony on a harsh world must keep its population limited to 174; excess must be killed. Now a girl has become pregnant without administrative approval, & her dad is next in line to go - to make way for the baby.

    See also: Kurt Vonnegut's "2 B R 0 2 B" (download): Same idea, but a far more effective story.
  6. [ss] Stephen L Burns' "Follow-up" (B): Description of a futuristic medical operating theater, deployed near a war zone. There is more geekery here than story. And there is a crazy operation scene where surgeon is simultaneously taking to a higher up, infodumping us in the name of educating him on the procedure & its possibilities.
  7. [serial - 3/4] Robert J Sawyer's "Triggers": Not read.
Related: Stories from Analog - Jan/Feb 2012, Mar 2012, all issues.