Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2007

Reviewed date: 2009 Nov 6
144 pages
cover art

This is actually a pretty good issue. None of the stories can be described as fantasy, although some of them are a stretch to be called science fiction either. I think The Prophet of Flores was my favorite story, for the setting (an alternate world where the Earth is only 5,800 years old and evolution as a theory of origins has been proven false) if not for the story itself.

  • Novelette: The Caldera of Good Fortune, by Robert Reed - Crockett lives in the caldera, an ice volcano inhabited by the microscopic collectively-intelligent Luckies; a run-in with an alien named Doom and some hired assassins persuades Crockett to get out while the getting's good.
  • Novelette: The Prophet of Flores, by Ted Kosmatka - In an alternate world where radiocarbon dating proves the Earth is 5,800 years old, and Darwin's theory are demonstrably false, the discovery of "hobbit" bones in Flores threatens to upset the idea that Homo sapiens is and always has been the only intelligent, tool-using creature.
  • Novelette: What Wolves Know, by Kit Reed - A child raised by wolves is reunited with his human family, where he does what any good adult wolf should: kill his father. The story is less about wolves than about the boy's abusive father and his mother's vain attempt to stop the abuse by getting pregnant.
  • Novelette: The Good Ship Lollypop, by R. Garcia Y Robertson - Shirlee escapes from JuVee prison by stealing a cargo ship, but she's kidnapped by the Boogie man.
  • My Heart as Dry as Dust, by Kim Zimring - Adijan, the inventor of an AIDS vaccine that saves 90% but kills the other 10%, is hanged for genocide in Ghana after 80 million people die from the vaccine.
  • How Music Begins, by James Van Pelt - A junior high band is kidnapped by unknown aliens and performs every Friday evening for a faceless audience, hoping that a perfect performance will earn their freedom.
  • Draw, by Pati Nagle - A boy who lives under the sea rescues his father who is sucked into the desalinization plant and will die if his oxygen runs out.
  • By Fools Like Me, by Nancy Kress - After a holocaust, the survivors eke out a living, developing a religion that reveres plants and considers books to be sin because they were made from trees.

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