Monday, July 6, 2009

Asimov's July 2009

Following on the heels of a strong June issue, Asimov's delivers another high quality issue with the July 2009 edition. There are three excellent stories and a couple of solid stories, with only one real disappointment. When reading a magazine or anthology, it's hard to get a better percentage of stories you like.

The issue gets off to a great start with Michael Cassutt's "The Last Apostle." Joe Liquori is Omega, the last of the Twelve Apostles, the group of astronauts who landed on the Moon and were dubbed by a writer. He is on the mood again in his 80s, sort of living in a retirement home on the Moon, and he makes a return trip to an unscheduled stop he made years ago with his landing partner, the Alpha Male. That return doesn't go as planned but has unexpected consequences that will forever cement his name in history. The story is an interesting look at an alternate space program that could have been and has a very strong sense of character and mood.

I did not much care for Kit Reed's "Camp Nowhere" and she is a writer I usually like. I think the voice of the main character, a teen whose parents resent him and take him to a sinister psycho therapy-like camp, was too whiny. I didn't care at all what happened to him. So it goes.

I was happy to return to R. Garcia y Robertson's future of SuperCats and Greenies in "SinBad the Sand Sailor." The titular character gets into trouble when he drops his cargo of drugs (that he is smuggling) to pick up a pretty air hostess who has been thrown overboard. He is soon forced to rob a wind wagon, be hostilely be taken aboard another ship, only to be accepted and then outcast, before going back to reresuce the woman he resuced...but she ends up rescuing him more than once. It has a cool setting and is just an entertaining story. Someone needs to collect all the stories Robertson has written in that setting - it would be a big book of stories that are tons of fun.

The next two stories were solid - "Sleepless in the House of Ye" by Ian McHugh and "Shoes-To-Run" by Sara Genge. The former is a tale of aliens trying desperately to keep their offspring alive amidst harsh weather and attacks by worms; the latter is about a girl who wants to be a man instead of a woman as well as a tale of a future where Paris has sealed itself inside a dome and what the people outside the dome try to do.

Finally, there is Stephen Baxter's "Earth II." I have always enjoyed Baxter's appearances in Asimov's, though it's been a while since his last one. This one is set on a world in the future where inhabitants of Earth fled after a disaster. The story deals with the legacy of those Founders and the future of the world, with its coolsummers and hotsprings and Purple all over the place. A society where women are the warriors and the men stay home. Xaia Windru pushes on to find the City of the Living Dead and learns more about herself and her world than she though. This story takes place in the same world as Baxter's current novels Flood and Ark and I'm going to have to put those on my reading list.

As a bonus, Paul Di Filippo points me toward a few books of interest (I would love to get to read as much as he does) in the On Books column - Nick DiChario's Valley of Day-Glo, Robert Freeman Wexler's chapbook Psychological Methods to Sell Must Be Destroyed, and yet another poetry collection from Bruce Boston (my favorite poet regularly appearing in the pages of Asimov's).

No comments:

Post a Comment