Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/August 2014

Reviewed date: 2017 Nov 1
192 pages
cover art

I'm really starting to get into The Journeyman.

The Journeyman: Against the Green
by Michael F. Flynn
Teodorq sunna Nagarajan the Ironfist and Sammi o' th' Eagles have been conscripted to serve in the army of the kospathin of Cliffside Keep. We don't get the full story of their planet's history, but it's a pre-industrial world populated with descendents of either colonists or castaways from the Commonwealth of Suns. The kospathin of Cliffside Keep is fighting a war against the greenies: an alien race who has also been marooned for generations on the World.

Teodorq proves himself in battle and is made a sub-yar. His patrol encounters the greenies, who are armed with muskets. The legionnaires of Cliffside Keep have only crossbows and some longbows. Though stunned by the first volleys of gunfire, Teodorq quickly realizes that longbows have a far greater accurate range, and a much quicker fire rate than muskets. His detachment defeats the greenies, and Sammi o' th' Eagles even captures one alive.

The next season, the greenies attack in force. The legionnaires go out to meet them at a pass a couple days' ride from Cliffside Keep. Teodorq's tactics with the longbows help them win the day, until the greenies ambush the legionaires with cannons. Again, though surprised at first, Teodorq realizes that the firing rate of the cannon means the cavalry can close the gap while they are reloading. He directs his riders to target the cannon brigades. The battle is a close-run thing. Then Teodorq hears huge explosions in the distance. Sammi has sneaked behind the greenies lines and set fire to their gunpowder wagons. The greenies, faced with dwindling gunpowder supply, retreat.

Teodorq, Sammi, and the surviving legionnaires return in victory to find Cliffside Keep destroyed. The battle at the pass was a diversion to draw the legion away from the Keep while the main force of the greenie army used their heavy artillery to knock down the Keep's walls. Cliffside Keep is in ruins, the kospathin is dead, and everything is burned.

Sammi and Teodorq, owing no allegiance to Cliffside, decide to move on and see more of the World.

Mind Locker
by Juliette Wade
Cyberpunk. Hubgirl is the leader of a small pack of street kids, who fight and cheat and steal to survive. She's concerned because her group has been targeted by the Locker, who's spreading viruses that infect implants and lock people out of being able to connect to the network. For kids whose implanted technology is an integral part of their senses, it's a real disability.

Who Killed Bonnie's Brain?
by Daniel Hatch
The Futurama-style bottled head of Bonnie dies, and maybe it's murder. Our hero investigates. He figures out her AIs did it. But they're just the tools. Who ordered them? Her heir? No. Turns out it was a mercy killing by her caregiver. Bonnie was depressed and suicidal, and being a disembodied head in a tank, couldn't do it herself. Still, it's murder and will be prosecuted.

The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale
by Rajnar Vajra
Three cadets are assigned to help dismantle a failed mission: decades of attempting to communicate with an alien species has met with failure. The aliens just don't want to talk--they ignore all attempts. But one of the recruits thinks he can figure out what teams of scientists have spent years looking for. And he does, of course, and makes contact with the aliens. But I still didn't understand precisely what it was he figure out.

Code Blue Love
by Bill Johnson
Twins with a degenerative disease try their luck on a last-ditch effort: an artificially intelligent implantable stent with the capacity to re-write DNA and re-generate cells. The first effort is working, but the sister dies before the stent can fix her body sufficiently. The brother has the stent removed (there is only one prototype) and implanted in him. It works. It fixes his blood vessels, patches up his body, and (unknown to him) regenerates a portion of his brain and implants memories harvested from his dead sister. When he sleeps, the sister wakes up and works with the AI to guide and direct the healing of his body.

by Paula S. Jordan
A mountain man rescues an alien, nurses her back to health, and helps return her to her people.

by R. Garrett Wilson
Short story
An alien camel-type creature must cross an inhospitable desert to retrieve a particular medicinal plant. Without it, dozens will die during their adolescent molting. These intelligent folks never thought to invent a way to carry water with them, so most who attempt the crossing die of dehydration. Oh, and despite the other side being a veritable oasis, nobody ever thought to maybe move the whole village across to a place that isn't trying to literally kill them.

Valued Employee
by James K. Isaac
Short story
Asha returns to the village of her home. She's high-tech now, fully bought into the total immersion of life into the Black Sphere. Her job: to convince her Luddite village to accept the Black Sphere. It doesn't go well, so she tries to manipulate the situation, but the Black Sphere double-crosses her. Her death is the catalyst for conflict, which gives the Black Sphere the necessary excuse to forcibly incorporate the Luddite holdouts.

by Timons Esaias
Short story
The New People control every aspect of human culture and society. The New People love to pick out bits from Earth history, and this time, they've decided to resurrect human sacrifice. Our narrator's wife will be the first.

Crimson Sky
by Eric Choi
Short story
A search-and-rescue pilot on Mars is irritated that she has to risk her own safety rescuing a thrill-seeker who got himself into trouble trying to set a new Martian aviation record. She rescues the downed aviator, who regains consciousness just long enough to request that she rescue his data recorder as well. She realizes he isn't just a thrill-seeking pleasure junky. He's a pioneer, chasing records and collecting invaluable meteorological data along the way. In his way, he's helping advance science and taming Mars for future generations.

The Half-Toe Bar
by Andrew Reid
Short story
Bogdana's job is to keep the wagons running while the all-important scientists carry out negotiations with the natives. But the scientists are idiots, so Bogdana can't help but open her mouth when a native blacksmith challenges them to punch a half-toe hole through a half-toe bar. The scientists laugh (you'd cut the bar in half), but Bogdana goes to the forge and shows how it's done: pounding the punch through the bar changes the shape of the bar, so you end up with a half-toe hole punched through the widened, flattened end of the bar.

Hot and Cold
by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Short story
A couple with a failing marriage gets caught by a black hole. The only way to escape is to wait a few hundred years in cold sleep until the blah blah blah sciencey something and they can escape. They wait, but then their ship is damaged, so they set out in opposite directions in escape pods hoping to be rescued.

Digital Ghosts
by John F. Keane

Star Song
by Kendall Evans

Spanking Bad Data Won't Make Them Behave
by Michael F. Flynn
Science Fact

Sixty Astounding Years
by Arlan Andrews Sr.
Guest Editorial

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