Asimov's Science Fiction, April/May 2006

Reviewed date: 2006 Aug 26
240 pages
cover art

This below-average issue disappointed me. Inclination was barely passable reading. The Walls of the Universe was decent, and Home Movies was fun but predictable. The rest of the stories were unremarkable and instantly forgettable.

  • Novella: Inclination, by William Shunn - A boy who lives on a space station belongs to a religious sect that follows the Builder. They worship the six fundamental machines. To help support the family, the boy takes an outside job and learns there is more to the world than his technology-shunning religion offers.
  • Novella: The Walls of the Universe, by Paul Melko - Johnny Rayburn meets his evil alternate-universe self, who tricks him and sends him on a one-way trip into a parallel universe.
  • Novelette: Except the Music, by Kristin Kathryn Rusch - A professional music player meets a strange woman who follows him to all his performances; she is his muse.
  • Novelette: Home Movies, by Mary Rosenblum - Kayla works as a chameleon--someone hired by busy rich people to attend social functions and then upload the memories. But on one assignment she gets more than she bargained for: she falls in love, and is kidnapped to boot.
  • Heisenberg Elementary, by Wil McCarthy - A bizarre little story about the Time Patrol. Useless.
  • The Final Flight of the Blue Bee, by James Maxey - A deranged superhero sidekick--Stinger--plots revenge against his former mentor, the Blue Bee.
  • Datacide, by Steve Bein - Special agent Richard Sakabe attempts to shut down Arthur-1, the self-aware computer that runs the world.
  • Hanosz Prime Goes to Old Earth, by Robert Silverberg - Silverberg ran out of stories to tell so now he's relegated to writing incomprehensible junk. Bleh. This composition--I'll not dignify it by calling it a story--is about a person in the remote future taking a trip back to Earth, where he meets someone and falls in love.
  • The Age of Ice, by Liz Williams - A fantasy story; a woman from the city-state of Winterstrike finds information in old data archives, and the government of Winterstrike uses that information as political and military leverage against other city-states.
  • The Osteomancer's Son, by Greg Van Eekhout - The son of a great osteomancer infiltrates the ruling Heirarch's ossuary to steal back his father's bones.
  • Not Worth a Cent, by R. Neube - A group of old centenarians rob and steal to procure the medicines they need to hold their diseases at bay.
  • The King's Tail, by Constance Cooper - The dragon king is kept prisoner, and every year his captors eat his tail, which then grows back like a lizard's.

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