Asimov's Science Fiction, August 2006

Reviewed date: 2006 Sep 16
144 pages
cover art

Although I rarely enjoy time travel stories, I found In the Abyss of Time a worthwhile story. Together with the excellent Tin Marsh and Brian Stableford's intriguing The Plurality of Worlds, it makes for a better-than-average issue of Asimov's. In fact I didn't actively dislike any of the stories in this issue, which is a rarity.

  • Novella: The Plurality of Worlds, by Brian Stableford - Fantasy story of space travel. A Victorian-era rocket ship blasts of into space, where the astronauts are captured by giants alien bugs who find the idea of intelligent endoskeletal creatures repugnant.
  • Novelette: Dead Man, by Alexander Jablokov - An perfect AI copy of a brain can only be made destructively--that is, killing the original. A partial AI copy hires an investigator to track down his still-living fleshly body.
  • Novelette: Crunchers, Inc., by Kristine Kathryn Rusch - A woman working at Crunchers, Inc. (the company that determines each person's worth, and thus their access to public services) is worried that her department will fail to meet performance goals, thus earning her a black mark and reducing her social worth.
  • Feather and Ring, by Ruth Nestvold - A soon-to-be-divorced computer programmer receives help from a goddess, and decides she decides to get out of the industry by selling her stake in the company she started with her husband.
  • In the Abyss of Time, by Stephen Baxter - A reporter accompanies an eccentric billionaire on an expedition through time to the end of the universe.
  • Tin Marsh, by Michael Swanwick - When the anti-violence neural inhibitors fail, two prospectors on Venus fight a duel to the death.

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