Asimov’s Science Fiction – April/May 2012 – review

I have been very lax with my short fiction reading of late, and Asimov’s has suffered accordingly. I finally got back to reading this month, and the April/May 2012 edition was next on my catchup list. The editorial (by Sheila Williams) discussed reader reaction to the digital reading experience and Robert Silverberg’s Reflections talks about the interesting case of a music concert that is not expected to end until 2640. Intrigued? You’ll have to have a read to find out more.

The Last Judgement by James Patrick Kelly is a very interesting novella based on the premise that aliens have removed all men from the planet, leaving only the women. This allows the author to undertake a very interesting exploration of gender, amid a detective noir style setting. I enjoyed the story, it was very readable.

The other novella in this edition was Living in the Eighties by David Ira Cleary which had a different take on time travel. There were the usual paradox hijinks that you’d expect from a time travel story, but the method of travel was somewhat different and it referenced a lot of 80s music etc which I found amusing.

Being a double issue, this edition also contained a novelette Something Real by Rick Wilber. I liked the premise and the characters in this story, set in a series of parallel worlds. The author does a good job creating a character that is very sympathetic and I liked the sense of disorientation around the descriptions of worlds that weren’t quite like ours.

Bonding with Morry by Tom Purdom was a good short piece. I especially liked the protagonist’s reaction to the world around him. The story is a little sentimental in parts (and the author clearly likes engineers, but then who doesn’t?) but hey, I can handle a little sentiment now and then.

Riding Red Ted and Breathing Fire by Carol Emshwiller is a very entertaining story about a man learning about his newly assigned dragon. The voice in this story is excellent, I’d love to try something like it myself. Very amusing but evocative at the same time. Easily my favourite story of the issue.

Also in this issue:

As usual, Asimov’s also contains some poetry including:

  • Book Wyrm by Robert Borski
  • The Music of Particle Physics by Bruce Boston
  • Tachyons by Geoffrey A. Landis
  • Apocalyptic Love Song by Megan Arkenberg

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This work by Mark Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License.

Author: mark

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

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