Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November 2006

Reviewed date: 2006 Oct 9
144 pages
cover art

Rollback is a good story, but still cluttered with clumsy infodumps. Sawyer writes engagingly when Don is interacting with anyone but his wife, Sarah. Sarah tends to be the infodumper, which is compounded by the fact that the backstory of Sigma Draconis and SETI is boring. The real meat of the story is in Don's experiences with renewed youth.

  • Serial (2 of 4): Rollback, by Robert J. Sawyer - Humans make radio contact with a nearby star system. Robotics mogul Cody McGavin thinks that Sarah Halifax, the astronomer who deciphered the first message, should stick around to analyze future messages. To that end, he offers to pay for multi-billion-dollar rejuvenation operations for Sarah and her husband.
  • Novella: The Good Kill, by Barry B. Longyear - Human minds can be moved from body to body. With help from an American partner in the form of a duck, a police detective investigates a seeming accident: a fox hunter killed by his frightened horse.
  • Novelette: Where Lies the Final Harbor?, by Shane Tourtellotte - Underspace navigators have a secret retirement home: an entire planet kept secret from the rest of civilization. A plucky reporter and her young hired navigator stumble upon it, and must decide whether to keep the secret.
  • Short story: Prevenge, by Mike Resnick and Kevin J. Anderson - Time cops travel back in time to prevent murders.
  • Short story: Man, Descendent, by Carl Frederick - Trapped on the event horizon of a small black hole, a man uses his ingenuity to escape--but not until Earth and mankind have been dead for billions of years.
  • Science fact: The Interstellar Conspiracy, by Les Johnson and Gregory L. Matloff - A brief discussion of various propulsion methods for use in outer space, including solar sails, nuclear pulse rockets, and ion drives.

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