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Asimov's Science Fiction, February 2011

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CONTENTS Novella "The Choice" by Paul McAuley Novelette "Out of the Dream Closet" by David Ira Cleary Short Stories "Waster Mercy" by Sara Genge "Planet of the Sealies" by Jeff Carlson "Shipbirth" by Aliette de Bodard "Brother Sleep" by Tim McDaniel "Eve of Beyond" by Barry N. Malzberg and Bill Pronzini Poetry "Entanglement, Valentines and Einstein" by W. Gregory Stewart "Flicker" by U CONTENTS Novella "The Choice" by Paul McAuley Novelette "Out of the Dream Closet" by David Ira Cleary Short Stories "Waster Mercy" by Sara Genge "Planet of the Sealies" by Jeff Carlson "Shipbirth" by Aliette de Bodard "Brother Sleep" by Tim McDaniel "Eve of Beyond" by Barry N. Malzberg and Bill Pronzini Poetry "Entanglement, Valentines and Einstein" by W. Gregory Stewart "Flicker" by Uncle River "Tower" by Jane Yolen Departments "Editorial: ¡Ay, Caramba!" by Sheila Williams "Reflections: A Relic of Antiquity" by Robert Silverberg "On Books" by Peter Heck "SF Conventional Calendar" by Erwin S. Strauss Asimov's Science Fiction, February 2011, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Whole No. 421) Sheila Williams, editor Cover art by Paul Youll


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CONTENTS Novella "The Choice" by Paul McAuley Novelette "Out of the Dream Closet" by David Ira Cleary Short Stories "Waster Mercy" by Sara Genge "Planet of the Sealies" by Jeff Carlson "Shipbirth" by Aliette de Bodard "Brother Sleep" by Tim McDaniel "Eve of Beyond" by Barry N. Malzberg and Bill Pronzini Poetry "Entanglement, Valentines and Einstein" by W. Gregory Stewart "Flicker" by U CONTENTS Novella "The Choice" by Paul McAuley Novelette "Out of the Dream Closet" by David Ira Cleary Short Stories "Waster Mercy" by Sara Genge "Planet of the Sealies" by Jeff Carlson "Shipbirth" by Aliette de Bodard "Brother Sleep" by Tim McDaniel "Eve of Beyond" by Barry N. Malzberg and Bill Pronzini Poetry "Entanglement, Valentines and Einstein" by W. Gregory Stewart "Flicker" by Uncle River "Tower" by Jane Yolen Departments "Editorial: ¡Ay, Caramba!" by Sheila Williams "Reflections: A Relic of Antiquity" by Robert Silverberg "On Books" by Peter Heck "SF Conventional Calendar" by Erwin S. Strauss Asimov's Science Fiction, February 2011, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Whole No. 421) Sheila Williams, editor Cover art by Paul Youll

30 review for Asimov's Science Fiction, February 2011

  1. 5 out of 5

    MrsJoseph *grouchy*

    Reading for Aliette de Bodard's Universe of Xuya story: "Shipbirth." "Her new tale deals with a very particular attitude of the Aztecs toward childbirth and pregnant women, taken several centuries into the future." I'm...not sure what to think right now. It was a little confusing and more than a little sad. Reading for Aliette de Bodard's Universe of Xuya story: "Shipbirth." "Her new tale deals with a very particular attitude of the Aztecs toward childbirth and pregnant women, taken several centuries into the future." I'm...not sure what to think right now. It was a little confusing and more than a little sad.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erin (PT)

    Another short story in de Bodard's Xuyan universe; this one is from the Mexica part of the universe about the process of birthing "mindships" for space travel (riff off brain-in-a-jar). Space travel stories tend to be so Westernized; I love the conjecture of what a still viably Aztec based space faring society might look like. As well, the main character, Acoimi, is uncomfortable in the hard set gender lines of his society. The combination of those two things makes for a fascinating, welcome fur Another short story in de Bodard's Xuyan universe; this one is from the Mexica part of the universe about the process of birthing "mindships" for space travel (riff off brain-in-a-jar). Space travel stories tend to be so Westernized; I love the conjecture of what a still viably Aztec based space faring society might look like. As well, the main character, Acoimi, is uncomfortable in the hard set gender lines of his society. The combination of those two things makes for a fascinating, welcome further look into the Xuyan universe.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    A few comments on this story and the wider Xuya universe can be found here. A few comments on this story and the wider Xuya universe can be found here.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    2.5*s I really liked parts of this but without a solid conclusion I'm not sure about it. The premise is fascinating, I really enjoyed that. I just wish we'd gotten more from the main character. I'm also not sure about the handling of that character and type. I might need to think on it a bit more. 2.5*s I really liked parts of this but without a solid conclusion I'm not sure about it. The premise is fascinating, I really enjoyed that. I just wish we'd gotten more from the main character. I'm also not sure about the handling of that character and type. I might need to think on it a bit more.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    Aztecs in space sums it up pretty succinctly. There are 34 other stories in this universe and I think I'll read them all. Aztecs in space sums it up pretty succinctly. There are 34 other stories in this universe and I think I'll read them all.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Nothing in this issue sparked anything for me although one of the novellas was a good read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)

    Read for "Shipbirth" by Aliette de Bodard. Read for "Shipbirth" by Aliette de Bodard.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    I've ended up reading several pieces of short fiction by Aliette de Bodard (two were nominated for the Hugos last year). Many of her works are set in an alternate history -- but in the far future of an alternate history. I feel like absorbing both the imagined past and the imagined future is a lot to take in a piece of short fiction, so I thought it might help if I went to an early space-based story in the timeline. Like The Waiting Stars, which I read earlier in the year, Shipbirth deals with th I've ended up reading several pieces of short fiction by Aliette de Bodard (two were nominated for the Hugos last year). Many of her works are set in an alternate history -- but in the far future of an alternate history. I feel like absorbing both the imagined past and the imagined future is a lot to take in a piece of short fiction, so I thought it might help if I went to an early space-based story in the timeline. Like The Waiting Stars, which I read earlier in the year, Shipbirth deals with the "Minds" which control interstellar vehicles. de Bodard puts a creepy spin on the trope of specially modified individuals needed to pilot interstellar ships by having the "Minds" be some weird human/machine hybrid that result from a pregnancy. I find the way this plays out creepy. I feel a little bad giving two stars for creepy, but the ratings really reflect my enjoyment of the story rather than any judgment of the literary quality of de Bodard's work. It's just not to my taste. And I don't think any more that it has to do with not getting the alternate history. The more I get, the less I enjoy.

  9. 5 out of 5

    JT

    A resounding Meh. Yeah, Aztecs in space. Very interesting. Wish she'd done more with it than try to work out the psychological and spiritual well being of a transsexual doctor (with deeply ambiguous results). Starts in the middle, goes nowhere. Nominations like this are what make the puppies sad. 2012 seemed to be a year for that. (Among Others, the novel that won the Nebula, is another one to made Silly Utahns weep, but one I found very very good indeed. It's all about the writing.) So, to sum u A resounding Meh. Yeah, Aztecs in space. Very interesting. Wish she'd done more with it than try to work out the psychological and spiritual well being of a transsexual doctor (with deeply ambiguous results). Starts in the middle, goes nowhere. Nominations like this are what make the puppies sad. 2012 seemed to be a year for that. (Among Others, the novel that won the Nebula, is another one to made Silly Utahns weep, but one I found very very good indeed. It's all about the writing.) So, to sum up: Good idea. What could have been an interesting choice of character done poorly. Plotted to lead nowhere and end ambiguously. Not as well written as her other works I've read. Give this one a miss.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Outis

    Aztecs in space had to be weird of course... just not THAT weird. This story surprised me. There are the usual flashbacks about the narrators' family issues (which aren't trivial this time) and the usual in media res... but what a res! - SPOILERS BELOW - The Mexica Empire took ancient magical beliefs to the stars. Mix in the Lovecraftian FTL trope, biomechanical ships. The narrator can't tell what's real from what's not anymore and the reader can't tell his culture's delusions from the differences b Aztecs in space had to be weird of course... just not THAT weird. This story surprised me. There are the usual flashbacks about the narrators' family issues (which aren't trivial this time) and the usual in media res... but what a res! - SPOILERS BELOW - The Mexica Empire took ancient magical beliefs to the stars. Mix in the Lovecraftian FTL trope, biomechanical ships. The narrator can't tell what's real from what's not anymore and the reader can't tell his culture's delusions from the differences between his alternate universe and ours. Haunted spaceships and living walls are kind of old hat. But in this setting, women must actually give birth to the abominations which run these ships. Creepy. If that wasn't enough, you also get a doctor struggling with euthanasia and extra heavy gender stuff. All concentrated in a few pages.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mike Ehlers

    Short story, read online. Even when I finished reading this, I thought I would like it more than I did. I've always liked the idea of living ships, and the alternate history background was interesting. But it just didn't fit together for me, and I didn't care for the characters. Maybe I should have read other of the author's stories set in this universe first. Short story, read online. Even when I finished reading this, I thought I would like it more than I did. I've always liked the idea of living ships, and the alternate history background was interesting. But it just didn't fit together for me, and I didn't care for the characters. Maybe I should have read other of the author's stories set in this universe first.

  12. 4 out of 5

    George

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steelbound

  14. 4 out of 5

    Allison Henle

  15. 5 out of 5

    Abhinav

  16. 4 out of 5

    Teresan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Forest

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Satter

  19. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  20. 4 out of 5

    J

  21. 4 out of 5

    Constructionv4

  22. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gary

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dave Newton

  25. 5 out of 5

    Roger Bailey

  26. 5 out of 5

    Emy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joris

  28. 4 out of 5

    kirkhusa

  29. 5 out of 5

    J. Allen Nelson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

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