< Previous
Giving Thanks For Awesome Dinosaurs >

Reviews of Old Science Fiction Magazines: Analog 1986/06: A really interesting issue, despite the useless-in-isolation second part of Vernor Vinge's "Marooned in Realtime". First, there's Timothy "I'd Rather Be Writing Star Wars Tie-In Novels" Zahn, with an enjoyable space opera piece, "The Evidence of Things Not Seen". Geoffrey A. Landis has the funny "Stroboscope", in which a guy cryogenically freezes himself as a cheap way of time travel, but people keep waking him up and making him sign forms.

Those are the two stories from this issue that I thought were really good. But there's also "Bugs" by Christopher Anvil, an incredibly weird story about the mid-80s personal computer industry. "Bugs" is like Anvil took one of those "if computers were cars" email forwards and turned it into a science fantasy story.[0] In 1986. The ending is a disappointment and everything is a huge cliche, but I couldn't stop reading it. It's like the Hamlet of email forwards. Also, for whatever reason all the computer companies are named after animals: Sharke, Gnat, Barricuda, Cougar.

Misc.: Book review column praises Speaker for the Dead and Always Coming Home. G. Harry Stine's "Alternate View" column covers the history of the Kalashnikov, revealing an odd kind of faith in central planning:

One can hope the new Soviet avtomat Kalashnikova obr 1974 is a big hit and replaces the AKM. The AK74 is a scaled-down AKM firing a Soviet 5.45mm. round. The need to keep the smaller weapon well maintained may deter terrorists from using it...

(Sumana wants me to add that the 19th was the Kalashnikov's anniversary (?) and that The Colbert Report did a bit about it.)

Interesting ads are up in a gallery. Ad not pictured says that Arthur C. Clarke has "one of the world's most exciting and honored imaginations."

PS: Has anyone read "Twist Ending" by Barry Longyear? This issue has an ad that promises "a realm where the dinosaurs, after 70 million years, decide it is finally time to return to Earth."

[0] You can get away with a fair amount of magic when writing "hard" SF about computers. Much more than you could get away with when writing about spaceships or mining equipment.

Filed under:


[Main] [Edit]

Unless otherwise noted, all content licensed by Leonard Richardson
under a Creative Commons License.