Asimov's Science Fiction, October/November 2007

Reviewed date: 2009 Dec 11
240 pages
cover art

I really enjoyed Galaxy Blues. The rest of the stories I didn't care much for. Too much fantasy and incomprehensible dumb stuff. When did our dear editor decide that stories don't need to make sense? Asimov's is beginning to read more and more like a self-absorbed literary magazine full of fluffy, plotless stories that meander aimlessly and paint chaotic, incomplete pictures.

  • Serial: Galaxy Blues: Down and Out on Coyote (Part 1 of 4), by Allen M. Steele - Jules Truffaut stows away on a spaceship bound for the planet Coyote, hoping to claim asylum when he arrives.
  • Novelette: Dark Integers, by Greg Egan - Logical fallacies in the fabric of the universe can be exploited by performing certain mathematical calculations, thus punching a hole through to another universe. The other side is secretive and distrustful, and when someone on our side starts poking holes through to their universe, the other side threatens an all-out war.
  • Novelette: Night Calls, by Robert Reed - When night falls for the first time in eons, this planet doesn't go crazy like the people in Nightfall; they shoot off fireworks!
  • Novelette: Nightfall, by Isaac Asimov - This classic Asimov story is one of the better ones in this issue, but I'd rather have something new than something old.
  • Novelette: Dark Rooms, by Lisa Goldstein - A young filmmaker who works with the pioneering French film artist Georges Georges Méliès steals his ideas and strikes it big in Hollywood. Later, Méliès imprisons him in film. Silly fantasy.
  • At Sixes and Sevens, by Carol Emshwiller - A husband and wife live next door to a strange man and his daughter. When the father dies, the couple takes the little girl in; but the wife thinks she's a witch out to steal her husband, and the cat is out to get her.
  • Paid in Full, by Susan Forest - An insect farmer risks his life and livelihood to help a friend who once saved his life, but eventually he cuts off his lazy, no-good friend.
  • Leonid Skies, by Carl Frederick - A father takes his son and friend camping at a domed climate-controlled campground, but the sanitized, lobotomized environment is too much for them when the campground operator opaques the dome to shut out the scary meteor shower.
  • Debatable Lands, by Liz Williams - Curlew meets a monster in the swamps. When a boy loses his life to the monster, the boy's father demands the swamp land as recompense. But nobody can understand why he would want the worthless property--until Curlew sees a portal to another world in that swamp.
  • Skull Valley, by Michael Cassutt - Secret government laboratory creates Neanderthals, and one gets loose.
  • The Turn, by Chris Butler - A neat little fantasy tale about a community that lives on a floating ship, which travels endlessly along a cable at the edge of the forest.

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