Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mundanespotting Analog April 2011

Posted by frankh at 10:40 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is the 958th issue of Astounding/Analog.

1) "Hiding Place" by Adam-Troy Castro -- cyber-brain-merging interstellar something or other with "entire alien civilizations" mentioned on page 25
2) "Ian's Ions and Eons" by Paul Levinson -- time travel
3) "The Flare Weed" by Larry Niven -- space opera
4) "Two Look at Two" by Paula S. Jordan -- aliens
5) "Blessed Are the Bleak" by Edward M. Lerner -- brain dumps
6) "Remembering Rachel" by Dave Creek -- fantastic homicide investigation on the moon
7) "Quack" by Jerry Oltion -- counterfactual medicine
8) "Balm of Hurt Minds" by Thomas R. Dulski -- aliens

And not a very satisfying mundane issue.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Mundanespotting Asimov's March 2011

Posted by frankh at 11:14 AM
Here it is, the actual current issue of Asimov's.

1) "Clean" by John Kessel -- good geriatric mundane sf
2) "Where" by Neal Barrett, Jr. -- odd story lacking an infodump, but seems to be about child-like AI robots; maybe it's far future enough to be mundane if you're in the right mood
3) "'I Was Nearly Your Mother'" by Ian Creasey -- parallel universe crossover thumb-twiddling
4) "God in the Sky" by An Owomoyela -- totally big-ass supernatural thing in the sky in an otherwise mundane near future
5) "Movement" by Nancy Fulda -- temporal autism viewpoint chararacter; best story I have read so far this year
6) "The Most Important Thing in the World" by Steve Bein -- A cabdriver starts fooling around with a gadget left behind accidentally by a customer; and what a shocking turn of events, the gadget is a time machine!
7) "Lost in the Memory Palace, I Found You" by Nick Wolven -- this is cyberpunk without the punk or style, and sort of satirical without being clever; maybe it would make some mundane sense to you, but not to me
8) "Purple" by Robert Reed -- aliens

I definitely recommend the two highlighted mundane stories, and the rest is a typical mixed bag. And guess what? I'm up to date on the 2011 Asimov'ses. Stay tuned for the actual month of March to arrive.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Mundanespotting Analog March 2011

Posted by frankh at 2:29 PM
Not quite the current issue, but not to be missed because it has humonoid aliens on the cover.

1) "Rule Book" by Paul Carlson -- trucking in the age of AI robots taking over the human jobs
2) "Falls the Firebrand" by Sarah Frost -- aliens
3) "Hiding From Nobel" by Brad Aiken -- memories of a supernatural childhood event turn out to have a silly fantastic explanation
4) "Julie is Three" by Craig DeLancey -- contempory medical story about abnormal psychology; not very convincing, but I'm pretty tolerant about giving this sort of thing the mundane label
5) "Astronomic Distance, Geologic Time" by Bud Sparhawk -- grand universe-spanning whatever
6) "Taboo" by Jerry Oltion -- the near future is bright because thanks to some offscreen technology people are pretty much immortal and enjoying their hopefully eternal middle classness, but there are twists nonetheless; I'll tolerate this one too as mundane
7) "Betty Know and Dictionary Jones in 'The Mystery of the Missing Teenage Anachronisms'" by John G. Hemry -- time travel

Another Analog down, and not a total loss thanks to my softness for bogus biomedicine. The overall quality of the writing seems better, even.