Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2010

Reviewed date: 2011 May 9
112 pages
cover art

I really didn't like the stories in this issue. The Man from Downstream is a time travel story (strike one) with a lot of boring talk (strike two) that doesn't attempt to address major causality paradoxes (strike three.) Primum Non Nocere is so stilted and hamhanded that I honestly think it's the worst story I've ever read in Analog. Ever.

Actually, hamhanded describes Spell Czech and A Placebo Effect as well. The other stories simple aren't very interesting.

I did enjoy Home is Where the Hub Is a little. And I would have enjoyed the science fact article filled with tips for time travelers, but so much of it was speculation about the prices of luxury goods in ancient times--there just aren't enough records to make any real conclusions.

This is a disappointing issue.

  • Novelette: The Man from Downstream, by Shane Tourtellotte - A depressed time traveller visits ancient Rome in an attempt to alter the time stream enough that he will no longer exist.
  • Novelette: Home is Where the Hub Is, by Christopher L. Bennett - A human explorer finds a new Hub vector to a known planet, and stumbles onto a government conspiracy to cover up the discovery.
  • Novelette: Primum Non Nocere, by H.G. Stratmann - Fatty foods are against the law, anddoughnut munchers get sent to rehabilitation camps.
  • Short story: The Hebras and the Demons and the Damned, by Brenda Cooper - A weird story about a colony struggling to survive on a new planet full of exotic, dangerous fauna.
  • Short story: Deca-Dad, by Ron Collins - A young man interviews his ancestor who has spent his life piloting interstellar spaceships.
  • Short story: Happy are the Bunyips, by Carl Frederick - Aliens visit Earth disguised as genetically engineered animals in a zoo exhibit.
  • Short story: A Placebo Effect, by Brian C. Coad - A patent lawyer gets caught up in an international dispute about a placebo patent he filed decades earlier.
  • Short-short: Spell Czech, by William Michael McCarthy - Equal opportunity employment laws force a magazine to hire an editor who cannot spell.
  • Science fact: Tips for the Budget Time-Traveler, by Shane Tourtellotte - When traveling to the past, what items should you take to maximize your value? Silver and spices top the list.

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