Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review: June 2012 Analog

My review of the June 2012 issue of Analog is now up at Tangent.

As it had been three and a half years since I last read Analog, I'd wondered what I would find there when I began reading my reviewer's copies of this issue's stories. As it turns out, just about every piece in this edition is recognizably set in a future founded at least partly on hard science extrapolation. Two involve characters who experience a shock as they lose consciousness in one era and wake up in another (Carl Frederick's "Food Chained" and N.M. Cedeno's "A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy"). Three center on protagonists involved in the colonization of space ("Food Chained," Jerry Oltion's "An Ounce of Prevention" and Emily Mah's "Darwin's Gambit"), and three depict scientists coping with contact with non-human intelligences, terrestrial and extraterrestrial (besides "Food Chained," Joe Pitkin's "A Murmuration of Starlings" and Michael Alexander's "The Fine Print"), while one centers on the subject of an experimental procedure (Catherine Shaffer's "Titanium Soul"). Three pieces (Paul Carlson's "Crooks," and the pieces by Shaffer and Cedeno) concern futuristic crime and law enforcement. And so on and so forth.

In short, even as science fiction takes a back seat to fantasy, and retro-science fiction seems to increasingly trump the genre's futuristic orientation (the airship supplanting the rocket ship as a genre icon), Analog remains the bastion of hard science fiction it has been since John Campbell's tenure as editor.

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