The Way of the Needle by Derek Künsken was a superb rendition of a completely alien culture with humanity nowhere to be seen. The beings described are made up of metal spike and spines that absorb energy from a nearby pulsar. The society that was sketched through the novelette was original and the development of the main character, Mok, was well handled. There was even alien martial arts – an excellent story all round.
Golva’s Ascent by Tom Purdom was another story told from an alien perspective, albeit this one with human involvement. The exploration of a different evolutionary stream was interesting – intelligence evolving without tool making capacity. There was enough action and adventure to keep the plot moving along and the main character, Golva, was sympathetically sketched. Another good story.
The Pass by Benjamin Crowell explores the somewhat primitive remains of a society where most people upload themselves into “the Cloud”. The idea behind this story was very engaging and it was an interesting exploration of the limitations of a virtual existence when viewed from the outside.
Nanny’s Day by Leah Cypess was another interesting premise – where society has reached the point where “parenthood” was defined as the person with the strongest emotional connection with a child rather than a biological connection. It was a very well written story, but I had trouble drawing a line between our current society and this potential society of the future and my inability to willingly suspend disbelief kept pulling me out of the story.
Also in this issue:
- Mrs Hatcher’s Evaluation by James Van Pelt
- Patagonia by Joel Richards
As usual, Asimov’s also contains some poetry including:
- A Change in Gravity by G. O. Clark
- Discoveries in the Annals of Poetry by C. W. Johnson
- Sonet I by A. Walker Scott
This work by Mark Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License.