Thursday, December 19, 2013

Analog - March 2014, Volume CXXXIV No. 3

I am back!

My absence: 
Being truly sorry for the weeks of absence I would like to explain what happened. In a few words: I lost my job as my former company did a huge layoff. It happened on the last week of September when my boss's boss called me in his office to tell me that since "cash is king" there was no more space for me in the company. What makes it ironic is that I was working hard and overtime, I was on-time and excelled any performance review; my direct supervisor wasn't warned and was truly shocked to see me go as he badly needed me (just a couple of hours earlier he assigned me several critical tasks). Well, that's the past. I am still looking for a job - unless somehow I am able to get enough fundings to open my own bookstore, which would be my dream job. Any angel investor out there?
I had to put down my usual readings for obvious reasons; hopefully I will be able to keep up.

So let's dig in Analog for March 2014, which I read in one sitting.

Life Flight by Brad R. Torgersen. If someone told me that I would have enjoyed reading something that resembled Baricco's "Novecento" (or Tornatore's movie based on the book) but was based on an interstellar spaceship I would have probably snorted in disgust. I am not sure if the resemblance is voluntary or not (the ending in particular) but Mr. Torgersen was somehow able to pull it out and give us the best story of this frankly disappointing issue. In "Life Flight" we follow the life of a child who is selected among the space settlers that will travel on board of the Osprey from Earth to an habitable planet called Delta Pavonis, which lies at about 80 years of space travel. The settlers are supposed to hibernate (it's actually ) on a rotation schedule so that everybody gets knowledge on the Osprey and nobody gets physically old. Unfortunately something goes wrong and our child is doomed to live his all life on board of the Osprey as he is unable to be suspended in time.

Rubik's Chromosome by Megan Chaudhuri. A piece about genetically modified genes and prejudices. A Saudi couple asks Tecca, a bioengineer, to review their future child's DNA. She finds out that it has been modified so that if their child is male then he's going to be handsome and smart and if the child is born as a girl she is going to be born as beautiful only.

Not for Sissies by Jerry Oltion. A gay man finds out that he has prostate cancer and his companion can't stand it. To make thing worse, medicine in the future is so badly corrupted that it is impossible to cure therefore the easy way out would be euthanasia. Meh.

The Teacher's Gamble by Stephen L. Burns. An alien observes Earth until it decides to change the fate of humanity by crashing in Tunguska in 1908. Another meh.

The Avalon Missions by David Brin. Incredibly short but clever.

We Who Are About to Watch You Die Salute You by Maggie Clark. A piece about space colonization, written for the fictional Screed Magazine (publication date: July, 18 2046). Nice read.

Next is Asimov's - February 2014 - which I received today.

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