REVIEW SUMMARY: Three or four worthwhile stories.
PROS: Two standout stories.
CONS: Too many mediocre longer tales.
BOTTOM LINE: A few good finds.
Following are the individual reviewlettes for each story in this issue.
- It’s the Thought That Counts by Jerry Oltion [2000 short story] (Rating:) [Read 04/27/04]
- Synopsis: A spaceship convinces an alien he just met into exchanging Christmas gifts as a gesture of good will. His attempt to get the better end of the bargain by way of advanced alien technology is thwarted by the alien’s prowess at negotiation.
- Review: A short tale that’s played for laughs and mostly succeeds because it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.
- The Ultimate Earth by Jack Williamson [2000 novella] (Rating:) [Read 05/12/04]
- Synopsis & Review: See my review for Terraforming Earth.
- Snowball in Hell by Brian Stableford [2000 novelette] (Rating:) [Read 05/26/04]
- Synopsis: A geneticist assists the Genetic Engineering Crime Unit in infiltrating a secret lab where scientists are alleged to have created humans from pig embryos.
- Review: Kind of a cerebral tale with lots of discussion on what it really means to be human. Genetically engineered supermen also come into play. Short on action and high on philosophy (not necessarily a bad thing). Still, a fairly good read.
- The Missing Mass by Larry Niven [2000 short story] (Rating:) [Read 05/14/04]
- Synopsis: A bartender at a space port facilitates the meeting of a human diplomat and an Alien (named Terminator Beaver) astrophysicist to discuss an infinite supply of energy.
- Review: Fun story. It’s been a while since I read a book with aliens in it, so it was nice to read about things unknown and new again.
- Note: Winner of 2001 Locus award for Short Story.
- Among the Wild Cybers of Cybele by Christopher L. Bennett [2000 novelette] (Rating:) [Read 05/27/04]
- Synopsis: Humans take sides in the fight of survival between evolving cybernetic organisms and the native life on planet of Cybele.
- Review: Some interesting ides (evolving AI machines) and plot devices (the old student returns to the teacher with a hidden agenda) but I still couldn’t get into this story all that much.
- Eden Tag by Stephen L. Burns [2000 novelette] (Rating:) [Read 05/29/04]
- Synopsis:A cop in a lunar settlement must overcome women-hating terrorists with the help of a mysterious deputy (Gennie) and a wayward teen (Tim).
- Review: Good and fun story. Humorous without being over the top about it. A good adventure that holds your interest.