Asimov's Science Fiction, July 2006

Reviewed date: 2006 Sep 3
144 pages
cover art

Finally, a decent issue. I was beginning to regret renewing my subscription to Asimov's. After several crummy issues, the July issue offers several excellent stories: Bitterseed, Impossible Dreams, Nano Comes to Clifford Falls. Also good is Snail Stones. The Djinn's Wife could have been good--it has a solid premise and interesting story--but is too cluttered with artistry that the good parts of the story are overshadowed. The World and Alice and Firefly are nothing but pretentious trash unworthy of publication.

  • Novelette: The World and Alice, by L. Timmel Duchamp - Alice doesn't belong to this world because she lacks heft. Alice keeps meeting herself in a sort of time loop. Then she dies. This story is a waste of paper and ink.
  • Novelette: The Djinn's Wife, by Ian McDonald - An Indian dancer marries a super-intelligent AI, then gets jealous because he's always multitasking and thus not giving her his full attention. Good premise and plot, but the storytelling gets in the way.
  • Nano Comes to Clifford Falls, by Nancy Kress - Nanomachines can make anything out of raw matter, so nobody has to work anymore. The world social structure disintegrates.
  • You Will Go to the Moon, by William Preston - A retired couple moves to the moon because the husband once read a book as a kid that promised him he would walk on the moon.
  • Bitterseed, by Ted Kosmatka - Marc's twin brother Eli leaves him for dead in a field of maiza, the genetically engineered crop descended from Earthly corn.
  • Impossible Dreams, by Tim Pratt - A film enthusiast finds a door into a parallel-universe movie rental shop.
  • Snail Stones, by Paul Melko - Two kids find an alien snail that is being held captive and forced to produce snailstones.
  • Fireflies, by Kathe Koja - A rambling, useless collection of words masquerading as a story. Mentions a woman, a man, a doctor, something about outer space.

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