Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2004

Reviewed date: 2004 Jul 25
143 pages
cover art

Some good stories.

  • Novelette: Men Are Trouble, by James Patrick Kelly - Alien "devils" arrive and disappear all the man of Earth, leaving only women. The world is run by robots programmed to do the bidding of the ruling devils, and women find whatever niche they can to survive. A private investigator probes the death of Rashmi Jones.
  • Fallow Earth, by Paul Melko - kid and her retarded brother rescue a crashlanded space alien.

Some not too bad stories.

  • Turing Test, by Robert R. Chase. - Scientist captured, placed in solitary confinement, and "tested" through conversations she has with someone through the computer terminal. This one actually isn't too bad.
  • Steep Silence, by Lena DeTar - Woman follows the footsteps of poet Shira Ghibli into the badlands of Mars, discovers evidence of Ghibli's final quest. Also not half bad.

Some not so good and forgettable stories.

  • Novelette: The Gladiator's War: A Dialog, by Lois Tilton - Escaped gladiators fight against Rome.
  • My Mother, Dancing, by Nancy Kress - Humanity seeds the galaxy with life, and a follow-up expedition to a seeded planet finds some anomalous behavior among the native life.
  • The Veteran, by Neal Asher - Retired soldier fights some other crazy dude. Pretty much unintelligible.
  • The Buried Sword, by Ruth Berman - Bradamant visits the grave of Roland to find his sword Durendal. Hack fantasy.

I would want my money back if this were a Best of... collection or another anthology of some sort. But for a magazine there are some good stories.

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