Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: "Asimov's Science Fiction" - December 2012 - Vol. XXVI, no. 12, Issue 443

Being awfully late in my reading queue I started reading December's edition of Asimov's with a worrying amount of delay. As a matter of fact I already got my January 2013 issue before I was half through with December's so I read it in a rush. In addition a banana I forgot in a backpack damaged the digest sized magazine irremediably (I won't go into detail, but you can imagine my happiness when I found about it).

Issue 443 gives us a beautiful novella by Steven Popkes and a few other good stories. I enjoyed reading most of this issue and I would suggest buying it for the cover price.

  • "Sudden, Broken, and Unexpected" by Steven Popkes is the only novella in this issues and it's worth reading it. This story uses Artificial Intelligence and music to serve the purpose of making the answer to the question "What is human?" a little bit closer to being answered. I think this story is well written, Dot is characterized wonderfully and most readers will find Popkes's work enjoyable.
  • "The waves" by Ken Liu is a novelette and is pleasant to read. If your "self" could go surfing through the universe, sharing a sort of Borg-like knowledge (but keeping individuality), than this would be the perfect adventure. It's a tale of immortality and I recommend reading it.
  • "The Caramel Forest" by Chris Beckett is a short story and it is the cover story. It's a nice tale in which two children will discover that not everything looks like what it is. I found peculiar that the goblins could speak to the human's minds.
  • "The wizard of the 34th Street" by Mike Resnick will remind most readers of the TV series "The booth at the end" starring Xander Berkeley. I enjoyed reading it, especially the final twist, but I found it too similar to its TV show counterpart to think of it as a truly original work. Don't get me wrong, it is darn good so if you haven't seen the TV series you will find much pleasure in it.
  • "The Black Feminist's Guide to Science Fiction Film Editing" by Sandra McDonald. In a partially dystopian future movies are edited so that women are the heroes of the movies. "Total Recall" star is not Arnie but Sharon Stone. In such society all the 1980s macho movies must be revised which is not an easy task. In this story the main character finds the last copy of the movie "The Ginger Star" and will start thinking deeper about her job. What I found of particular interest is the fact that the first part was quite funny, while the second part was quite serious. 
  • "The Pipes of Pan" by Robert Reed. Ok, don't bring this story to any Creationist's Museum. Interesting read, but in my opinion too obsessive.
As I said previously, this issue is quite enjoyable and I recommend it to you.

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