Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/August 2013

Reviewed date: 2013 Oct 25
192 pages
cover art

I really didn't like Other People's Avatars, mostly because I don't like virtual reality stories. I was excited to read The Chaplain's Legacy because I have fond memories of The Chaplain's Assistant, but I found it to be unconvincing. The crucial part of the story is where the mantis queen loses her cyborg bits and must live completely unaugmented. This experience apparently triggers a spiritual enlightenment--but because the queen is unable to communicate (her translator is broken) we don't get to see that spiritual awakening. We're basically just informed of it after the fact.

  • Serial (4 of 4): "Dark Secret" by Edward M. Lerner - A gamma-ray burst (GRB) extinguishes all life on Earth, and mankind's last hope is the six crewmembers of Endeavor--and their cargo of frozen embryos. The crew starts a new life on Dark, but one member is scheming to shape the new society for her own purposes.
  • Novella: "Other People's Avatars" by Howard V. Hendrix - Is Anderson McKinnon a poor video-game-playing loser, or a video-game-designing billionaire who lives in fantastic luxury in outer space?
  • Novella: "The Chaplain's Legacy" by Brad R. Torgersen - The chaplain's assistant is called upon to help prevent the outbreak of war between humanity and the mantes.
  • Novelette: "Thaw" by Arlan Andrews, Sr. - People living in a new ice age find a frozen human which they think must be a god.
  • Novelette: "Tethered" by Haris A. Durrani - Space junk collectors are dispatched to junk an operational satellite, and the Chinese military are unhappy.
  • Short story: "Not with a Bang" by Rosemary Claire Smith - A time traveling biologist is in love with a time traveling reporter. Also, there are dinosaurs.
  • Short story: "Ready, Set" by Mary Lou Klecha - A life spent waiting to leave Earth.
  • Short story: "Milk Run" by Alec Austin & Marissa Lingen - Private Chovnik accidentally fires the pulse cannons.
  • Short story: "A Quiet Little Town in Northern Minnesota" by K.C. Ball - A town AI become sentient and sets about quietly taking over the world.
  • Short story: "Cronus and the Ships" by Seth Dickinson - Humankind's spaceships discover that the galaxy is a hostile place, and must decide whether Earth is worth defending.
  • Short story: "Love" by Rick Norwood - A poor sap falls in love with a starship captain, but time dilation means she will still be young when he is long gone.
  • Short story: "Crep D'Etoile" by Bud Sparhawk - The trials of a chef on board a luxury spaceship.
  • Science Fact: "Galactic Cannibalism: Who's on the Menu" by H.G. Stratmann - Galaxies absorbing other galaxies.
  • Science Fact: "The Fabulous Fruits of Mendel's Garden" by Fran Van Cleave -
  • Poem: "Listening to the Skies" by Geoffrey A. Landis - I liked this one, actually.
  • Short-short: "The Negative Impact of Climate Change on the Unusual Beasts of the World" by Jamie Todd Rubin - Spoiler alert! Climate change is killing them!

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