Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January/February 2011

Reviewed date: 2011 May 16
192 pages
cover art

The big story in this issue is The First Day of Eternity, which was translated by Stanley Schmidt. It's an OK story, but the translation could use work. There are a number of places where the sentences are overly complex and the translator seemed to forget what he was doing, and ended up writing a long and complex sentence fragment. It's kind of jarring, although the meaning of the story comes through.

The rest of the issue was uninspired. I forgot what half the stories were about by the time I finished the issue.

  • Novella: The First Day of Eternity, by Domingo Santos - A tale of a Jewish generation-ship sent to colonize new worlds--but after so many generations on board, not all the pilgrims want to become colonists.
  • Novelette: At Cross Purposes, by Juliette Wade - Mankind encounters aliens who are dead set on destroying humanity because humans lack "purpose" to their existence.
  • Novelette: The Unfinished Man, by Dave Creek - A genetically enhanced human visits a solitary explorer who is spending his life studying a planet.
  • Novelette: Enigma, by Sean McMullen - Deep space explorers discover an abandoned planet completely covered with immense artificial buildings, and attempt to unlock its meaning--it turns out to be a signpost left by previous civilizations that have passed beyond into a new, incomprehensible phase of evolutionary existence.
  • Novelette: Stay, by Stephen L. Burns - Aliens notice a problem on Earth (dogs have been enslaved by humans) and correct it (kill all humans, turn dogs into intelligent bipeds with opposable thumbs) and leave it to canine-kind to pick up the pieces of civilization.
  • Novelette: The Frog Prince, by Michael F. Flynn - Our hero with multiple personalities gets kidnapped and held hostage on a small spaceship.
  • Short story: A Snitch in Time, by Donald Moffitt - A detective goes back in time to catch a criminal in the act of murder.
  • Short story: Some of Them Closer, by Marissa Lingen - A terraformer returns to Earth but finds no place in the new society, so she marries another returnee and signs up for a new mission--but this time she'll stay on the new world.
  • Short story: The First Conquest of Earth, by David W. Goldman - Hostile aliens show up and manage to get themselves conquered by humanity--which was the whole point all along, because now they can dump all their extra aliens on Earth as slaves (as per the intergalactic law.)
  • Short story: Non-Native Species, by Janet Freeman - A researcher drops a ki on Earth, hoping that this planet will come up with some way to kill the scourge that is ravaging every planet in the known galaxy.
  • Short-short: Out There, by Norman Spinrad - Why are people driven to explore?
  • Short-short: Multivac's Singularity, by Richard A. Lovett - A vacuum-tube computer achieves the singularity.
  • Science fact: Other Earths in Space in Time, by Kevin Walsh - A brief survey in what makes a planet Earth-like, and how likely it is to find one.
  • Special Feature: Writing Fiction....About Yourself, by Richard A. Lovett - An introduction into how, why, and when to incorporate personal experiences into your storytelling.

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