Asimov's Science Fiction, October/November 2005

Reviewed date: 2005 Sep 5
240 pages
cover art

This is a pretty good issue of Asimov's. I particularly enjoyed Betting on Eureka, although Back to Moab isn't bad either. Bank Run had a lot of promise but somehow indefinably failed to deliver. Memory Work reminded me too much of Dawn by Octavia Butler. Finally, Cruel Sistah--while a good story--is not science fiction and is only barely fantasy.

  • Novella: Bank Run, by Tom Purdom - On a new colony planet there is no real government, but the bankers run the economy competently. But now one banker is fighting for his life against another banker. Neat idea for a proto-anarchist society, but it just didn't engage me.
  • Novelette: Memory Work, by L. Timmel Duchamp - Aliens capture woman from Earth, feed her the memories of hundreds of people, and ask her to remember things for them.
  • Novelette: Out of the Box, by Steve Martinez - With new brain implants, men can remotely control waldos, but when they sleep the implanted AIs have a mind of their own.
  • Novelette: Pericles the Tyrant, by Lois Tilton - Sophocles writes political plays in ancient Athens, and manages to get himself banished by his friend Pericles.
  • Novelette: Back to Moab, by Phillip C. Jennings - Hidden in a monastery is a gateway to another world, called Moab. The monks limit access, but some men find the secret and are determined to travel to Moab and see what use they can make of a whole new world.
  • Novelette: Dark Flowers, Inverse Moon, by Jay Lake - Fantasy story of a Skilled (that is, magic) woman whose Skill is Finding. She teams up with other Skilled to reach into the afterlife and stop an evil man.
  • Nightmare, by M. Bennardo - The wraith exhibit at the zoo gives a man nightmares, but his son Ryan wants to see the wraith.
  • The God Engine, by Ted Kosmatka - A brilliant scientist dies after inventing only half of the fantastic interstellar space drive. It is hoped that his clones will grow up to discover the rest of the secret.
  • Overlay, by Jack Skillingstead - A man sells himself to a rider who uses a mind-control unit to take control of his body for possibly nefarious purposes.
  • Betting on Eureka, by Geoffrey A. Landis - Meteor miner claims to know the location of Eureka, the fabled asteroid made of gold, copper, and scandium.
  • Cruel Sistah, by Nisi Shawl - Girl murders her sister for her hair.

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