05 September 2012

Short SF&F Week: Asimov's Science Fiction July 2011

Kindle eBook, n.pag.
Published 2011
Acquired May 2011

Read July 2012
Asimov's Science Fiction July 2011
edited by Sheila Williams

My Paul Cornell obsession continues, bringing me to an issue of Asimov's-- I don't even know what the last time I bought a single issue of an sf mag was. But damn straight I was going to get my hands on the next Major Jonathan Hamilton story... even if I didn't like the previous two very much. (And even if it took me over a year to get around to reading the issue!) But "The Copenhagen Interpretation" is the story that finally does it for me, providing some depth for Hamilton, some emotional complexity, and a fabulous merging of an old pseudoscience idea with a bit of actual modern science. There's a very cool sequence that a character tells us about that you kinda wish Hamilton was seeing for himself, but other than that, it's a very good story. (In between my reading it and my writing this review, it failed to win the Hugo.)

There's other stuff, too, of course, and it ranges from okay to good to great. Chris Beckett's "Day 29" is pretty good, about what people would do if they knew they wouldn't remember what they were doing now.  I also enjoyed the setting of Josh Roseman's "Bring on the Rain," a sort of anti-Waterworld where people roam about on ships because water is so scarce you have to get to it as soon as it rains. The best story in the issue, though, is without a doubt "Twelvers" by Leah Cypess, about a girl who spent twelve months in the womb (in a future where this was briefly common) and is mocked by her classmates for this, as she experiences her own internal problems. A very realistic look at the cruelty of children.

There are also some misses, though: I don't know what happened in Theodora Goss's "Pug," Norman Spinrad has once again mistaken idea for story in "The Music of the Sphere," and I may have to reconcile myself to just never being able to accept Kristine Kathryn Rusch's short fiction as being remotely sensical.

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