Asimov's Science Fiction, April/May 2007
Surprisingly, my favorite story in this issue is pure fantasy. I stayed up until 1am reading Dead Money. The poker stories in it are engrossing, although any real enthusiast will probably be disgusted. How often does a straight flush happen anyway? (Although, in Texas Hold Em, maybe it happens often enough. I got one once. I remember the cold chill that gripped my body when the final card was turned over and completed my hand.)
The Rocket into Planetary Space is disappointingly dull and tame. The River Horses isn't bad, but I'm tired of Steele's Coyote stories. Of the others, all are fantasy except End Game (which is interesting) and Fifth Day (which is just insulting to anybody religious.)
- Novella: The River Horses, by Allen M. Steele - A Coyote story. Marie and Lars are exiled and sent out to chart an unexplored portion of Coyote; the savant Manuel Castro accompanies them. Marie meets some settlers and helps found a town; Lars is attacked by river horses.
- Novella: Dead Money, by Lucius Shepard - A sickly professional poker player who bursts onto the scene is an undead zombie reanimated by voodoo magic.
- Novelette: The Rocket into Planetary Space, by William Barton - A private expedition to Jupiter's Fore-Trojans strikes oil.
- A Small Room in Koboldtown, by Michael Swanwick - A locked-room murder mystery directs suspicion on the building's haint janitor, but it's a frame-up.
- Wolves of the Spirit, by Liz Williams - The keeper of Baille Atha lives alone and guards the selk; she nearly falls in love with a visiting hunter, but her knife Iskir identifies him as vitki.
- The Eater of Dreams, by Robert Silverberg - A man who eats the nightmares of the queen is sickened when he realizes the scenes of destruction lie in Earth's future, not its past.
- Lilyanna, by Lisa Goldstein - A librarian is haunted by the spectre of a woman from the 1930s.
- Distant Replay, by Michael Resnick - An old widower meets a young woman who looks exactly like his wife did 50 years before.
- End Game, by Nancy Kress - A scientist finds a way to eliminate mental static, thus allowing total concentration on a task. The condition is contagious.
- Always, by Karen Joy Fowler - A cult lead by Brother Porter promises immortality, but one by one, the adherents lose faith and die; eventually only one faithful believer remains.
- Fifth Day, by Jack McDevitt - A brilliant scientist dies, and his unpublished papers reveal the answer to how life on Earth began.
- Green Glass, by Gene Wolff - Alien abductees liken their position to bugs trapped under a green glass bottle.