The story of a frontiersman and his ward, who must escort a scholarly expedition looking for fossils in hostile territory, may not sound like science fiction, but when you discover just who’s doing the escorting and precisely what they’re looking for, you’re going to change your tune. Find out more in our May/June issue lead story, “Bonehunters,” by Harry Turtledove.
Our fact article comes to us from John J. Vester: living on one of the least-habitable planets is more possible than you might imagine, as you’ll see in “The Venus Sweet Spot: Floating Home.”
We also have:
A curious automaton studies whale remains and learns something new “At the Fall” by Alec Nevala-Lee; astronauts must adapt to an alien world that’s unexpectedly close to home in J.T. Sharrah’s “Forgetfulness”; the last hope of a dying species in Dave Creek’s “The Dominant Heart Begins to Race”; a gonzo post-human pursuit (in multiple senses of the word) in “Leave Your Iron at the Door,” by Josh Pearce; an outsider who finds the common thread in different forms of fleeting beauty in “The Methuselah Generation,” by Stanley Schmidt; the profitable search for a historical artifact on the Moon, in “Mulligan” by Bud Sparhawk; a sequel to “Paradise Regained,” in Edward M. Lerner’s “Gates of Paradise”; as well as a plethora of pleasing plots from such fine fabricators of fiction as Bruce McAllister, Phoebe Barton, Joe McDermott, Wendy Nikel, Cynthia Ward, Marissa K. Lingen, Alex Shvartsman, Frank Smith, Liam Hogan, Guy Stewart, Antha Ann Adkins, Mary E. Lowd, Joshua Cole, and David Ebenbach, plus all our regular (and regularly excellent) columns.
Get your copy now!
by Harry Turtledove
Junior and me, we got up into the Black Hills country and the Badlands not far away. Yes, thank you, I know that’s not the kind of place where you want to end up. What do you mean, how come I’m looking at you like you’re some kind of natural-hatched fool? How else am I supposed to look at somebody who’s a natural-hatched fool?
Tell you what you can do, though. You can buy me a drink, and you can buy one for Junior, too. That’ll go some ways to makin’ amends. Or you can try the two of us out in the alley and see how you fancy that. Maybe you’ll have more sense after we bite some chunks out of you so it can get in.
Ah, thank you kindly. Much obliged. See? You ain’t a great big fool, anyways.
What d’you mean, do I know Junior’s a native? He’s my hatchling. I’d cursed well better know. No, I didn’t spawn him. We can’t breed with the natives. Anybody who tells you we can is a gods-damned liar. Junior’s my hatchling anyway. He’s been with me since he was tiny. Neither one of us’d know what to do without the other now.
by Alec Nevala-Lee
And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and also many animals?
—The Book of Jonah
* * *
“This is it,” Eunice said, looking out into the dark water. At this depth, there was nothing to see, but as she cut her forward motion, she kept her eyes fixed on the blackness ahead. Her sonar was picking up something large directly in her line of travel, but she still had to perform a visual inspection, which was always the most dangerous moment of any approach. When you were a thousand meters down, light had a way of drawing unwanted attention. “I’m taking a look.”
Wagner said nothing. He was never especially talkative, and as usual, he was keeping his thoughts to himself. Eunice corrected her orientation in response to the data flooding into her sensors and tried to stay focused. She had survived this process more times than she cared to remember, but this part never got any easier, and as she switched on her forward lamp, casting a slender line of light across the scene, she braced herself for whatever she might find.
by Bruce Boston
Pinned upon a board
as if they are in midflight,
or still for a second
alighting on a broad leaf,...
by Stanley Schmidt
Most people familiar with the history of science fiction probably agree that John W. Campbell, as editor of this magazine between 1937 and sometime in the 1940s (then called Astounding), was the most influential single figure in the field’s development. Most also agree that after about 1950, the magazine no longer dominated the field so completely as it had in the Forties.
There’s considerably less agreement about why that happened and what it meant.
I was forcefully reminded of this at Worldcon 76, the World Science Fiction Convention held in 2018 in San Jose, California. I appeared on a panel called “The Astounding John W. Campbell, Jr.” moderated by Alec Nevala-Lee, a writer well-known to Analog readers, who was about to publish the first in-depth biography of Campbell.1 It’s an impressive, intriguing, important book, and it inspired a lively, well-attended panel. READ MORE
by John G. Cramer
This column represents a milestone. It is the 200th Alternate View column that I have written for Analog. In 1984 I was on a sabbatical at the Hahn-Meitner Institute in West Berlin, in the days before the Wall came down. I received a letter from the then-Analog-Editor Stanley Schmidt saying that Jerry Pournelle no longer wanted to do his end of the Alternate View columns in Analog. Stan asked me if I was interested in replacing Jerry, taking on the responsibility of writing a two-thousand-word AV column every two months. Earlier in my career as a physicist I had decided to make a run at learning to explain physics at the popular level, and I had earlier written several science-fact pieces for Analog, but I was not at all sure that I could do a regular column. Was two thousand words enough space to explain complicated physics ideas? Would I miss the audience with too much complexity? What if I couldn’t find anything to write about? Anyhow, after thinking about it for a while I decided to do it, and the rest is history. So here is my 200th try at explaining a current physics development to you, my loyal readers:
by Don Sakers
Science fiction has seen many different methods of faster-than-light travel, from generic hyperspace and warp drives to wormholes and matter transmission. In the main, authors approach FTL through one of two major metaphors. For our purposes here, I’m going to refer to these approaches as “hop-in-the-car” and “take-the-train.”
In the “hop-in-the-car” metaphor, travelers have near-complete freedom. They can depart from (almost) anywhere and travel to (almost) any destination. If any constraints exist, they usually involve gravity wells (i.e. you can’t enter hyperspace too near a planet), speed limitations, or other minor limitations (e.g. avoiding dense nebulae).
With the “take-the-train” metaphor, on the other hand, travelers can only depart from and travel to specific locations . . . as with stations on a rail line. Whether those locations are wormholes, star gates, teleporters, or something else entirely, they constrain freedom and often help shape interstellar history and politics.
by Anthony Lewis
Check here for the latest conventions upcoming in May and June. READ MORE