Asimov’s Science Fiction September 2011 – review

The Observation Post by Allen M. Steele – Cuban Missile Crisis with a twist. Interesting description of the military grade blimps used by the US air force post WWII.

Shadow Angel by Erick Melton – one of those stories where you are thrust into the confusing middle. Careful reading to work out what is going on. Some interesting ideas on space travel and manipulation of the future.

Burning Bibles by Alan Wall – interesting protagonist Tom – deaf and dumb but with an interesting version of telepathy. Only the powers of Tom are speculative, the rest is a a fairly straight forward mystery.

Grandma Said by R. Neube – describes the world of an apprentice plague cleaner on a frontier world in the future. I enjoyed reading this one, I tend to like reading about the kind of challenges humanity might face while colonising other worlds. Nicely self contained short story.

I liked the concept behind Stalker by Robert Reed and thought it was told from an interesting perspective. If only Dexter had lived in this future…

Robert Silverberg’s Reflections column contains a very interesting article discussing the practice of retired Emperors in Japan in the time period 1000 – 1200 AD. The ceremonial burden of being Emperor had got so over the top, that Emperors retired but maintained political power, leaving the ceremonial duties to their young successor (often under 5 years old at the time of transfer!). Very interesting comparisons with his own stories based in the world of Majipoor – although he didn’t know anything about the Japanese practice when he first started writing the stories.

Also included:

  • D.O.C.S. by Neal Barrett Jr (short)
  • Danilo by Carol Emshwiller (short)
  • The Odor of Sanctity by Ian Creasey (short)
  • Harold Gets Off on the Doppler Effect by James Kamlet (poem)
  • I Have a Remote in Each Hand by Jessy Randall (poem)
  • Elven Alvin by P M F Johnson (poem)
  • Stone Roach by Fiona Moore (poem)
  • The Music of Robots by Bruce Boston (poem)
  • Science Fiction Haiku by Kendall Evans and David C. Kopaska-Merkel (poem)

Author: mark

A writer of speculative fiction and all round good egg. Well, mostly good. OK, sometimes good.