Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2006

Reviewed date: 2006 Sep 19
144 pages
cover art

Generally I'm not a big fan of nanotechnology in science fiction, but A Pound of Flesh offered a unique spin on the idea: time-bomb nanos injected into each person when a contract (like a rental agreement) is signed. If you fail to meet the terms of the contract (e.g., miss a rent check) you don't get that month's antidote, and the nanos give you a horrific but non-permanent disease (like a bad case of diarrhea or ringworm.)

  • Serial (4 of 4): A New Order of Things, by Edward M. Lerner - After decades of interstellar communication with other races, mankind is treated to a genuine first contact. The species called Snakes arrive in an antimatter-powered spaceship, but their ship is damaged and needs to be refueled. But the untrustworthy Snakes are hiding something.
  • Novella: A Pound of Flesh, by Richard A. Lovett - A private investigator hunts down Darryl Marnier, a researcher who disappeared with his lab book and notes that hold the only copy of blueprints for a new truth nano.
  • Novelette: A Million Years and Counting, by Rajnar Vajra - The Moon Robot loses his head, which spurs him to uncover lost memories about his purpose on earth--a purpose which makes the US military wary.
  • Short story: Kyrie Eleison, by John G. Hemry - A community descended from shipwrecked colonists follow a religion that worships the Captain, who will rescue them and return them to the stars; the autocratic First Officer claims to speak for the Captain, and rules the peasants with cruelty.
  • Short-short: Probably Murder, by Michael F. Flynn - Did a statistician murder his wife?
  • Science fact: The Right Stuff: Materials for Aerospace and Beyond, by Kyle Kirkland - Composites are lighter and stronger than metal, require fewer fasteners, and are the wave of the future.

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