Asimov's Science Fiction, July 2004

Reviewed date: 2004 Jul 30
143 pages
cover art

Some good stories.

  • Novella: Shady Grove, by Allen M. Steele - Settlers on the planet Coyote fight Union troops and discover a more insidious threat from the planet itself. Good. Will be published as a novel in December 2004.
  • Daily Reports, by Robert Reed - Earth uninhabitable because of mutating designer plagues; people live in sealed, disinfected houses. Story traces the development of one child and her nanny.

Some not too bad stories.

  • Novelette: The Fear Gun by Judith Berman - Civilization destroyed by invading aliens, survivors must beat off the remaining crashed aliens as well as defend themselves against human authoritarian military groups. Aliens have a weapon that petrifies humans by projecting fear.

Some not so good and forgettable stories.

  • Dinosaur Songs, by Kathleen Ann Goonan - Time travelers bring back addictive dinosaur songs.
  • Gwendolyn Is Happy to Serve You, by Eliot Fintushel - Stupid womans marries a professor, discovers he's a moose and that she's a moose too.
  • Forest For the Trees, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch - Teenage girls release the ancient Native American spirits trapped in petrified tree stumps.

Note: Why is Shady Grove a novella? It's only 31 pages long, and even at a generous estimate of 550 words per page it is under the 17,500 word minimum for a novella. Even stranger is that The Fear Gun is listed as a novelette, despite being longer than Shady Grove. Only by one page, but makes no sense.

Archive | Search