Friday, December 01, 2006

Amy's bookshelf :: Asimov's Science Fiction March 2006

Asimov's Science Fiction March 2006The March 2006 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction contains four novelettes and three short stories. My initial plan was to read the January 2006 issue, but I couldn't locate that magazine at first.

The colorful cover of the March issue caught my eye. The artwork is by J.K. Potter for the novelette "The Kewlest Thing of All" by David Ira Cleary. This futuristic story features a girl that has a videophone embedded in her palm and browser windows across her skin. She is guerilla marketing "kewlness" to a chubby woman technician. The setting is San Francisco flooded by melt water (global warming). It reads like updated cyberpunk. The ending confounded me somewhat, but I'd recommend this story.

"The Gabble" by Neal Asher is a standout SF novelette set on another world. Scientists on the alien world of Masada study its unusual lifeforms, including the highly dangerous hooders and the frustratingly untranslatable gabbleducks.

Other novelettes are "Dark Eden" by Chris Beckett which is a somewhat humorous but clich├ęd space adventure, and "Dead Men Walking" by Paul J. McAuley which is set on Uranus’s moon of Ariel and has a dying man telling of his search for a gory assassin.

Short story "46 Directions, None of Them North" by Deborah Coates is a fun, slangy, story told by a sixteen-year old girl who has to go to Alaska to see aliens land. "Companion to Owls" by Chris Roberson is a odd fantasy of a man's mostly solitary life on the Roof of a Cathedral that covers thousands of square miles. Last, but not least, is the powerful short story "Rwanda" by Robert Reed which deals with a cheap colonization of Earth, the enormousness of such an event, and how inhumanely humans can act to one another.

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