Asimov's Science Fiction, August 2005

Reviewed date: 2005 Jul 18
143 pages
cover art

  • Novelette: Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck, by Neal Asher - A tourist kills a C-grade sentient sheq, and tries to kill his tour guide to cover up his crime.
  • Novelette: Point of Origin, by Catherine Wells - Ozzie, an agent of the Department of Wildland Resources (DWR) investigates a forest fire believed to have been started by a pyromaniac arsonist.
  • Novelette: The Summer of the Seven, by Paul Melko - Genetically modified humans live in pods as group-mind entities. Sextet pods are the most advanced, but now a scientist has created a septet that promises to far surpass the achievements of the sextets--if the bugs get worked out.
  • Novelette: Kath and Quicksilver, by Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper - Kathlerian gets stranded on Mercury when the solar system is evacuated due to the Sun's expansion. Lacking a spaceship, the obvious solution is to move the whole planet into a higher orbit.
  • He Woke in Darkness, by Harry Turtledove - Turtledove retells the story of Cecil Ray Price, murderer of civil rights' activists Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney, but set in a world where black and white roles are reversed.
  • A Shadow over the Land, by Liz Williams - A scientist sent to the desert outpost of Yaounde to explore the geologically important Rift; she nearly dies but is saved by the spirit of the land.
  • Bottom Feeding, by Tim Pratt - The giant catfish of wisdom, aka Shiteater, lives in a pond behind Graydon's house. He eats memorabilia that Graydon throws him, and he spits up sentimental keepsakes that Graydon had thought long lost.
  • A Birth, by Carrie Richerson - Alien-human cross-breeding.

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