January / February 2017
Nothing says, “Let’s start this new year off right!” quite like a double issue, and luckily for everybody, that’s just what our next issue is. Let’s take a sneak peak:
Birds are mysteriously dying out near a distant wind farm, and something much worse may be in the offing. Can the researchers on this cold, lonely hunk of rock survive “The Proving Ground”? Find out in our cover story, from Alec Nevala-Lee.
Then Richard A. Lovett brings us our fact article, “Rendezvous with a Comet: How ESA’s Rosetta Mission is Decoding Ancient Planetary Mysteries,” and the title says it all.
Then we have people born to die struggling to live in Scott Edelman’s “After the Harvest, Before the Fall”; kidnapping and cultural conflict in Christopher L. Bennett’s “Twilight’s Captives”; a race to find bizarre signals in Canada in Tom Jolly’s “Catching Zeus”; some very alien aliens in both “Dall’s Last Message,” by Antha Ann Adkins, and “Briz,” by Jay Werkheiser; a look at the things we do for companionship, in Marie DesJardin’s “Long Haul”; a slight slice of semi-silliness in Stanley Schmidt’s Probability Zero, “Throw Me a Bone,” and more, from Thoraiya Dyer and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Bill Johnson, Andrew Barton, Marissa Lingen, Tom Greene, Joel Richards, Edward M. Lerner, and Guy Stewart, as well as all our regular columns and features, plus our annual index and Analytical Laboratory ballot.
Get your copy now!
by Alec Nevala-Lee
Haley Kabua was clinging to the top of a wind tower when she saw the first bird. She had clipped her lanyard, which was attached by a strap to the back of her safety harness, to a strut on the lattice directly beneath the huge fiberglass rotors. As she braced her bare feet on the scaffold, thirty precarious meters above the beach, she knew without looking that the men on the sand below had halted to watch her climb. Only a few hours of daylight remained, but she forced herself not to hurry, knowing that any mistake she made might be her last. READ MORE
by Christopher L. Bennett
In Madeleine Kamakau’s long experience, one could learn much about a society from its angry mobs. The focus of their protests could illuminate its values, its priorities, and its degree of unity or division, while their character and tone could reveal much about its rationality and stability. Now, as she followed her escort through the main thoroughfare of the small Daikoku colony, Madeleine observed that the protestors lining its curbs were orderly, civil, and self-disciplined, almost embarrassed by the deep anger they had come here to express. READ MORE
by F. J. Bergmann
You don’t want me to talk about UFOs,
but I’m going to tell you anyway. First,
you have to know that I’ve seen them, ...
by James Gunn
Last summer I was contacted by the editor of Leading Edge, a 35-year-old student-run magazine at Brigham Young University specializing in science fiction and fantasy, about a series it was publishing on the creation of science-fiction canons. It reminded me of a conversation I had 45 years ago in Toronto. It was 1971 and the first full meeting of the newly formed Science Fiction Research Association, and Phil Klass (an English professor at Penn State University but William Tenn to his SF readers) was standing next to me in a York Hotel late evening gathering and said, “Jim, we need to establish a canon. If we don’t, someone else will.” READ MORE
by John G. Cramer
The discovery of Proxima b, a planet orbiting roughly in the middle of the habitable zone around the star Proxima Centauri, was reported in the August 26, 2016 issue of the journal Nature by a group of astronomers using the High Accuracy Radial-velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) at the European Southern Observatory at La Silla, Chile. Proxima Centauri has the distinction of being our Sun’s nearest stellar neighbor, only 4.25 light-years away. READ MORE
by Don Sakers
As far as science fiction is concerned, the Solar System is like high school. There are popular kids and outcasts, kids we’d date and those we wouldn’t, bullies and victims.
The Moon was our first love; when she gave us the cold shoulder we tried to forget about her, but you know we still look longingly in her direction. READ MORE
by Anthony Lewis
Check here for the latest conventions upcoming in January and February 2017! READ MORE