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Our September issue features a couple of decidedly unusual and decidedly different kinds of alien contact stories. David D. Levine’s “Pupa,” as its name suggests, shows a highly charged incident in international politics from the viewpoint of someone too young—and otherwise immature—to participate in it in a conventional way, but uniquely placed to play a pivotal role. Stories told from an alien viewpoint are one of the hardest kinds to pull off, but I think you’ll find this an outstanding and memorable example.
In Eric James Stone’s “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made,” it would be even harder to write the alien viewpoint, because these are leviathans on a scale, and populating an “ocean,” that go far beyond the biblical kind.
Our fact article is “Bad Medicine: When Medical Research Goes Wrong,” by the versatile and professionally knowledgeable H. G. Stratmann. It’s a subject of interest to everybody, and Dr. Stratmann, himself a cardiologist and medical researcher, is well positioned to understand both the dangers and why we can’t completely avoid them.
And, of course, we have a wide variety of other stories, by authors including Sean McMullen, Jerry Oltion, Richard A. Lovett, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch (not in the Retrieval Artist series!).

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That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made
Eric James Stone

Some of the best teaching is by example, but isn’t always planned!

Sol Central Station floated amid the fusing hydrogen of the solar core, 400,000 miles under the surface of the Sun, protected only by the thin shell of an energy shield, but that wasn’t why my palm sweat slicked the plastic pulpit of the station’s multidenominational chapel. As a life-long Mormon I had been speaking in church since I was a child, so that didn’t make me nervous, either. But this was my first time speaking when non-humans were in the audience.
The Sol Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had only six human members, including me and the two missionaries, but there were forty-six swale members. As beings made of plasma, swales couldn’t attend church in the chapel, of course, but a ten-foot widescreen monitor across the back wall showed a false-color display of their magnetic force-lines, gathered in clumps of blue and red against the yellow background representing the solar interior. The screen did not give a sense of size, but at two hundred feet in length, the smallest of the swales was almost double the length of a blue whale. From what I’d heard, the largest Mormon swale, Sister Emma, stretched out to almost five hundred feet—but she was nowhere near the twenty-four-mile length of the largest swale in our sun.
“My dear Brothers and Sisters,” I said automatically, then stopped in embarrassment. The traditional greeting didn’t apply to all swale members, as they had three genders. “And Neuters,” I added. I hoped my delay would not be noticeable in the transmission. It would be a disaster if in my first talk as branch president, I alienated a third of the swale population.

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Encounter in a Yellow Wood
by Bud Sparhawk

The trouble with long range plans is that a stage that lasts a long time doesn’t feel like a stage. . . .

The Alternate View
by Jeffrey D. Kooistra

I Think, Therefore I Question

The Reference Library
by Don Sakers

Upcoming Events
by Anthony Lewis
Every month, Anthony keeps you up to date on what's going on in the world of science fiction.




The Science Behind the Story: The View from the Top
by Jerry Oltion

The Science Behind the Story: A Sound Basis of Misunderstanding
by Carl Frederick

The Science Behind the Story: To Climb A Flat Mountain
by G. David Nordley

The Science Behind the Story: Cavernauts
by David Bartell

The Science Behind the Story: InterstellarNet
by Edward M. Lerner

The Science Behind the Story: The Black Hole Project: Kremer's Limit, The Small Pond, Imperfect Gods, Loki's Realm, and Vertex
by C. Sanford Lowe & G. David Nordley

The Science Behind the Story: The Teller of Time
by Carl Frederick

The Science Behind the Story: Sun of Suns
by Karl Schroeder

The Science Behind the Story: The Science of Old Earth
by Stephen Baxter

The Science Behind the Story: Lighthouse
by Michael Shara

The Science Behind the Story: The Skeekit-Woogle Test
by Carl Frederick

The Science Behind the Story: The Speed of Understanding
by Susan Urbanek Linville

The Science Behind the Story
by Carl Frederick

Analog Story Wins Highest Japanese SF Award

Arthur C. Clarke Obituary

Paul Levinson interviews Stanley Schmidt

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Camouflage (Nebula Winner: Best Novel)
by Joe Haldeman

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Midwife Crisis
by Dave Creek

The Great Galactic Ghoul
by Allen M. Steele

Ghost Come Home
by Justin Stanchfield


The Rift
by John G. Hemry


The Whole Truth Witness
by Kenneth Schneyer

The Alien at the Alamo
by Arlan Andrews

Never Saw it Coming
by Jerry Oltion


Visit to the Forgotten Planet:
What Scientists are Learning as Messenger Prepares to Orbit Mercury
by Richard A. Lovett


The Editor's Page

In Times to Come

The Alternate View

by Jonh G. Cramer

The Reference Library

by Don Sakers

Brass Tacks

Upcoming Events

by Anthony Lewis

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