Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March 2007

Reviewed date: 2007 Feb 13
144 pages
cover art

Trial by Fire strikes me as heavy-handed and clumsy, but mercifully does not specify which party the fictional President belongs to. Queen of Candesce is actually becoming interesting now that Venera Fanning has emerged as a strong main character--although she is still rather unlikable. I found As You Know, Bob to be boring and predictable. I get it, the author is poking fun at fantasy--but all his sample stories are excruciatingly bad, and it is a chore to read.

Don't Kill the Messenger is too sentimental. Crackers is a pretty good story; Things That Aren't is interesting but needs an ending with more punch.

  • Serial (1 of 4): Queen of Candesce, by Karl Schroeder - Sequel to previously serialized Sun of Suns. Venera Fanning is castaway on Spyre, an immense relict city fully a dozen miles in diameter. With help from exiled Garth Diamandis, Venera works to find a way to escape Spyre so she can exact revenge on all her enemies.
  • Novella: Trial by Fire, by Shane Tourtellotte - Lucinda Peale cooperates with the government to use experimental personality alteration to extract information from terrorists and dissidents, but wonders if she can continue her support when the President seems bent on eliminating all forms of hate.
  • Novelette: Things That Aren't, by Michael A. Burstein & Robert Greenberger - A scientist uses a brain inducer to put his colleagues into a permanent dream world.
  • Short story: Don't Kill the Messenger, by Kim Zimring - A cute, fuzzy gray alien appears on Earth. It is not intelligent, but is carrying a mysterious egg.
  • Short story: As You Know, Bob, by John G. Hemry - Intended to be humorous. The evolution of a story as it is revised at an editor's insistence, transforming it from science fiction to fantasy.
  • Short story: Crackers, by Jerry Oltion - A homeless bum notices a couple of teenage boys using his stolen antigravity invention.
  • Science fact: The Ice Age That Wasn't, by Richard A. Lovett - Humans changed the global climate and averted an ice age 8000 years ago by inventing agriculture and deforesting the world.

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