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Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2013

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CONTENTS Novelettes "The Discovered Country" by Ian R. MacLeod "The Unparallel'd Death-Defying Feats of Astoundio, Escape Artist Extraordinaire" by Ian Creasey "A Hole in the Ether" by Benjamin Crowell Short Stories "What We Ourselves Are Not" by Leah Cypess "As Yet Untitled" by James Sallis "A Stranger from a Foreign Ship" by Tom Purdom "That Universe We Both Dreamed Of" by Jay O' CONTENTS Novelettes "The Discovered Country" by Ian R. MacLeod "The Unparallel'd Death-Defying Feats of Astoundio, Escape Artist Extraordinaire" by Ian Creasey "A Hole in the Ether" by Benjamin Crowell Short Stories "What We Ourselves Are Not" by Leah Cypess "As Yet Untitled" by James Sallis "A Stranger from a Foreign Ship" by Tom Purdom "That Universe We Both Dreamed Of" by Jay O'Connell "What Changes You, What Takes You Away" by Dominica Phetteplace Poetry "Ponies and Rocketships" by Leslie Anderson "Teaching on Mars" by Alicia Cole "Archive Copy" by David C. Kopaska-Merkel "The New Literary Canon" by Megan Arkenberg "After We're Gone" by Steve Rasnic Tem Departments "Editorial: On Not Dying of the Light" by Sheila Williams "Reflections: Translations" by Robert Silverberg "On Books" by Peter Heck "SF Conventional Calendar" by Erwin S. Strauss Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2013, Vol. 37, No. 9 (Whole No. 452) Sheila Williams, editor Cover art by Kinuko Craft


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CONTENTS Novelettes "The Discovered Country" by Ian R. MacLeod "The Unparallel'd Death-Defying Feats of Astoundio, Escape Artist Extraordinaire" by Ian Creasey "A Hole in the Ether" by Benjamin Crowell Short Stories "What We Ourselves Are Not" by Leah Cypess "As Yet Untitled" by James Sallis "A Stranger from a Foreign Ship" by Tom Purdom "That Universe We Both Dreamed Of" by Jay O' CONTENTS Novelettes "The Discovered Country" by Ian R. MacLeod "The Unparallel'd Death-Defying Feats of Astoundio, Escape Artist Extraordinaire" by Ian Creasey "A Hole in the Ether" by Benjamin Crowell Short Stories "What We Ourselves Are Not" by Leah Cypess "As Yet Untitled" by James Sallis "A Stranger from a Foreign Ship" by Tom Purdom "That Universe We Both Dreamed Of" by Jay O'Connell "What Changes You, What Takes You Away" by Dominica Phetteplace Poetry "Ponies and Rocketships" by Leslie Anderson "Teaching on Mars" by Alicia Cole "Archive Copy" by David C. Kopaska-Merkel "The New Literary Canon" by Megan Arkenberg "After We're Gone" by Steve Rasnic Tem Departments "Editorial: On Not Dying of the Light" by Sheila Williams "Reflections: Translations" by Robert Silverberg "On Books" by Peter Heck "SF Conventional Calendar" by Erwin S. Strauss Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2013, Vol. 37, No. 9 (Whole No. 452) Sheila Williams, editor Cover art by Kinuko Craft

42 review for Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2013

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    A couple of strong outings from Leah Cypess and Tom Purdon. Jay O'Connel and James Sallis provided entertaining pieces. But I couldn't get into the hole in the ether or the title piece leaving this issue a strong three and a half stars. A couple of strong outings from Leah Cypess and Tom Purdon. Jay O'Connel and James Sallis provided entertaining pieces. But I couldn't get into the hole in the ether or the title piece leaving this issue a strong three and a half stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joe Martin

    When I’ve reviewed magazine issues in the past, I’ve always attempted to review every single story in the issue. That’s a noble goal but it’s also a little overwhelming and off putting. For this issue, I decided to do something different. I decided to just review the stories I liked and to ignore the rest. And, wouldn’t you know it, this turned out to be the issue that I really liked almost everything. Novelettes The Unparallel’d Death-Defying Feats of Astoundio, Escape Artist Extraordinaire When I’ve reviewed magazine issues in the past, I’ve always attempted to review every single story in the issue. That’s a noble goal but it’s also a little overwhelming and off putting. For this issue, I decided to do something different. I decided to just review the stories I liked and to ignore the rest. And, wouldn’t you know it, this turned out to be the issue that I really liked almost everything. Novelettes The Unparallel’d Death-Defying Feats of Astoundio, Escape Artist Extraordinaire by Ian Creasey—For my next trick, I’ll fall into the event horizon of a black hole and then escape back out again. And, it’s obvious (of course!) when you know the trick. That’s one thing. But escaping from utopia? That’s another matter altogether. A Hole in the Ether by Benjamin Crowell—Living in a world where intellectual property law has metastasized and is now the only thing that matters, a small family preserves the last free library left on earth. I don’t understand why various cities and populations were getting destroyed throughout the story, but that’s a minor nit about a minor point in the story. The main point, the struggle to preserve art from commercialism, was very good. Short Stories What We Ourselves Are Not by Leah Cypess—What if you could have cultural memories and knowledge implanted via chip? What would that do to your relationships and the whole structure of society? In this story, a seventeen year old boy faces exactly that choice as he struggles to figure out who he is, where he came from, and where he’s going in a multicultural society that highly values heritage. This is one of the best and most thought provoking stories I’ve read in a long time. I found myself agreeing with points on both sides of the argument (to implant or not to implant) and I still don’t know which way I’d go if I had to make the decision. As Yet Untitled by James Sallis—The central character in this story is, in fact, an actor. Not a movie actor but a book actor. Someone who appears in different books as different characters, according to the whim of the author. He faces a tough transition as he’s forced to move on from his longtime genre and tackle the Western. Non-Fiction On Not Dying of the Light by Sheila Williams—This is a familiar feeling old school science fiction magazine editorial. Ms. Williams puts forth a call to arms: we must build a defense against incoming asteroids. It would be stupid to be able to fully comprehend what an asteroid did to the dinosaurs but still die anyway because we were too complacent to take the danger seriously. We must not die quietly of the light. Translations by Robert Silverberg—This is an essay about it means to create science fiction. Science fiction isn’t just “[calling a rabbit a smeerp][1]”. Silverberg reflects on his introduction to collaborative novel Nightfall, where he made exactly that point: The essence of this story doesn’t lie in the quantity of bizarre terms we might have invented; it lies, rather, in the reaction of a group of people somewhat like ourselves, living on a world that is somewhat like ours in all but one highly significant detail, as they react to a challenging situation that is completely different from anything the people of Earth have ever had to deal with…”. Note that phrase, a world that is somewhat like ours in all but one highly significant detail. A science fiction story needs to have some underlying speculative concept, or isn’t science-fiction no matter how many smeerps and greeznaks it has. That’s exactly what I look for in science fiction. (And, now that I’ve been reminded of it, I may have formulated my preferences based on my own reading of Nightfall, many years ago.) I love fun space stories. But what I really like is a story that can change something about our world and, in so doing, reveal things I’d never noticed before. A good SF story will move the camera a few degrees off center, giving us a totally different perspective on the familiar, revealing the commonplace to be anything but. My Take This is one of the best issues of Asimov’s I’ve read yet. It makes me glad to be a subscriber and to stay one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kam Yung Soh

    An average issue with interesting stories by Ian R. MacLeod and Tom Purdom, two back-to-back "alien visitor" stories by Jay O'Connell and Dominica Phetteplace, and a tribute story to Ray Bradbury by Benjamin Crowell that sounds promising but somewhat let down by a lack of 'follow-through' on the idea of holding on to a treasure-trove of pirated books in a era of tough copyright and permission surveillance. - "The Discovered Country" by Ian R. MacLeod: an atmospheric tale about the Farside, a simu An average issue with interesting stories by Ian R. MacLeod and Tom Purdom, two back-to-back "alien visitor" stories by Jay O'Connell and Dominica Phetteplace, and a tribute story to Ray Bradbury by Benjamin Crowell that sounds promising but somewhat let down by a lack of 'follow-through' on the idea of holding on to a treasure-trove of pirated books in a era of tough copyright and permission surveillance. - "The Discovered Country" by Ian R. MacLeod: an atmospheric tale about the Farside, a simulated environment that rich, dead, people inhabit to continue running affairs on what is left of a future, polluted Earth. The story follows a new entry into Farside who may have a romantic link to Farside's most famous inhabitant who is working to try to improve the lot of the living. But all is not what it seems as here as his (the entry's) motive to try to destroy her (the famous inhabitant) which may not actually be his own. - "What We Ourselves Are Not" by Leah Cypess: in a future where embedded chips can hold the memories of various cultures to prevent them from being lost, a boy has to decide whether to get one, after his girlfriend breaks up with him for being culturally different after getting the chip. But his final decision would affect not only his relationship but also how the chip would be used by people to hold and remember the memories of the various different cultures. An interesting look into whether such devices will bring people together or make them break apart into their own little enclaves of cultures. - "The Unparallel'd Death-Defying Feats of Astoundio, Escape Artist Extraordinaire" by Ian Creasey: in the far future, in a region where immortality rules, what could be a more astounding feat for an escape artist than to escape from the inescapable black hole. But once he does that, through a mechanism that looks more magical than logical, will he be able to do the ultimate escape with his lover? - "As yet Untitled" by James Sallis: a short-short about a man who wishes for more meaty roles in stories but is thwarted once again. - "A Stranger from a Foreign Ship" by Tom Purdom: a man is gifted with the ability to 'swap' bodies and while swapped, 'rummage' through the memories of other people. This ability was used to dig out private information from victims for various clients. But his latest target makes him wonder just what the client really wants and lead him to do a re-evaluation of just what he hopes to achieve with his skill. - "Archive Copy" By David C. Kopaska-Merkel: an interesting poem about the wonders that could be revealed and lost via self-replicating probes. - "That Universe We Both Dreamed Of" by Jay O'Connell: in a time when 'visitations' by aliens are common, one visit would lead to a man, who suffers from a condition that makes him hypersensitive to noise, to reconsider how he wants to help others if he is to meet up again with the visitor. - "What Changes You, What Takes You Away" by Dominica Phetteplace: a girl involved in a Down's syndrome study to improve her intelligence gets a strange gift from a visitor; along with a warning about what the study might do to her. - "A Hole in the Ether" by Benjamin Crowell: set in a future where copyrights and permissions are strictly enforced, a man discovers that he may have inherited an incredible trove of pirated electronic books from his grandfather. He, along with his wife and sister must strive to discover what they can do with the find in a world where everything you see or do can be monitored. And while they do so the world around them is slowly being destroyed by strife.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Denise Barney

    Interesting mix of stories, including "A Hole in the Ether," inspired by "Fahrenheit 451." However, instead of burning books, they are suppressed by copyrights that never expire and the idea of legal ownership. The effect, in this story is the same. " What We Ourselves Are Not" examines the question of culture; its importance to our self-identity. "A Stranger from a Foreign Ship" reminded me a bit of a noir-ish story from the 1920's. I also enjoyed the poem "A New Literary Canon" that pokes fun Interesting mix of stories, including "A Hole in the Ether," inspired by "Fahrenheit 451." However, instead of burning books, they are suppressed by copyrights that never expire and the idea of legal ownership. The effect, in this story is the same. " What We Ourselves Are Not" examines the question of culture; its importance to our self-identity. "A Stranger from a Foreign Ship" reminded me a bit of a noir-ish story from the 1920's. I also enjoyed the poem "A New Literary Canon" that pokes fun at academics and students. Three books mentioned in Peter Heck's column, "On Books," piqued my interest. The first is "The Best of Neal Barrett, Jr.," a collection of his short stories over the years. The others are a set: "1491: New Revelations of the World Before Columbus," and "1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created." Both are by Charles C. Mann. The first recreates the Americas (North, Central, and South) before Columbus, based on the latest anthropological and archeological evidence. The second is the follow up to the first and how globalization began. (I didn't know there was a Chinatown in Mexico City by the 1600's.) All-in-all, a worthwhile read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    G33z3r

    A couple of good stories, but nothing really outstanding. "What We Ourselves Are Not" was my favorite, rumination on diversity and whether preserving cultural differences is really such a great idea. "A Hole in the Ether" was cute mostly because it's topical, imagining a future where mere possession of a book without DRM is a major crime. "A Stranger from a Foreign Ship" was something like a Wildcards story, a guy with a strange psychic power. A couple of good stories, but nothing really outstanding. "What We Ourselves Are Not" was my favorite, rumination on diversity and whether preserving cultural differences is really such a great idea. "A Hole in the Ether" was cute mostly because it's topical, imagining a future where mere possession of a book without DRM is a major crime. "A Stranger from a Foreign Ship" was something like a Wildcards story, a guy with a strange psychic power.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Enrico Accenti

    average issue. my review is here http://eerieworlds.blogspot.com/2013/... average issue. my review is here http://eerieworlds.blogspot.com/2013/...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jay

  8. 5 out of 5

    Karl Forlev

  9. 4 out of 5

    Allan Emery

  10. 5 out of 5

    Adriel

  11. 5 out of 5

    KarenLee

  12. 4 out of 5

    Keith

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew MacPherson

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Satter

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  17. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeani

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eva Holmquist

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steelbound

  22. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sebastiaan Klink

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anita Brandenburg

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jay O'Connell

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

  27. 5 out of 5

    George Heintzelman

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matteo Carpentieri

  29. 5 out of 5

    Piet

  30. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  31. 5 out of 5

    Dominica Phetteplace

  32. 5 out of 5

    Gerry

  33. 4 out of 5

    Nare

  34. 5 out of 5

    Roger

  35. 4 out of 5

    Besha

  36. 5 out of 5

    Rian Floyd

  37. 4 out of 5

    Abdelraman Almokhraty

  38. 5 out of 5

    Adriene

  39. 5 out of 5

    姿婷 熊

  40. 5 out of 5

    Shaelt

  41. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Hitchcock

  42. 4 out of 5

    Martin Černý

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