Current Issue Highlights
It’s probably hard to believe—if you read this in mid-October, when this issue goes on sale—that our next installment is already the November/December seasonal issue, but it is! (And if you think that’s weird: I’m writing this in late May!)
So we begin to close-out 2023 with “Apollo in Retrograde,” a follow-up to Rosemary Claire Smith’s popular 2012 novelette, “The Next Frontier.” Time has marched on since we last saw Natalya Orlova, and so has the space race, after the events surrounding the Apollo 13 mission in the previous story. But while failure isn’t final, success is fleeting, and new challenges arise that Natalya and the rest of the crew may have more trouble handling as the years progress and the program moves into the ’70s.
Our fact article really—ahem—digs into the reality behind one of the most famous planets in the history of this magazine—and all of SF: Arrakis, in “Dune and Superdune,” by Kevin Walsh.
We also have the SFnal equivalent of a locked-room mystery from longtime Analog regular, Rajnar Vajra; a light-hearted yarn of just about the most out-of-the-way tourist trap possible in “The Eiffel Tower of Trappist-1d” by Jeff Reynolds; an action-packed ship recovery mission in Mark Pantoja’s “The White Tiger”; a heart-rending reminder that sometimes we treat pets like people more for our benefit than theirs, in “An Infestation of Blue,” by Wendy N. Wagner; something seasonal in Ron Collins’ “Home For Christmas,” and more, including stories from Greg Benford, Michael Cassutt, Tom Jolly, Kate McLeod, Michael Capobianco, James Sallis, and other!
by Rajnar Vajra
Recently, I’d given in to marital pressure and upgraded our aging but perfectly adequate home AI to the latest Household Operations Serving Technology, model J33V35, “Jeeves.” It had taken me three intense hours to install, program, debug, and get the new HOST interfaced with the extended range in-wall speakers I’d been pressured into installing last month so that a certain party could enjoy ultra-fidelity sound anywhere in the house.
Now I was regretting the upgrade. This AI was a whole lot smarter and more sensitive than the old system.
I smelled coffee brewing, which meant Jeeves had calculated from our breathing or heartbeats or movements that at least one of us was awake. Either that, or the HOST had already come down with a case of system error. READ MORE
Apollo In Retrograde
by Rosemary Claire Smith
Folded newspapers marched like soldiers in military precision across the conference table in Deke Slayton’s corner office. Headlines blared, “PARALYZED APOLLO 13 SPLASHES DOWN,” “INJURED ASTRONAUT HOSPITALIZED,” and “APOLLO IN RETROGRADE.”
On this stiflingly humid spring day, all the astronauts except Natalya Orlova studiously avoided as much as a glance at the dismal pronouncements spelling out how seriously her adopted country had stumbled. Everybody thought the U.S. won the “Space Race” five months ago, she mused, when Pete Conrad and I became the first people to land on the Moon. The triumph was soon eclipsed by the near-fatal Apollo 13 accident. The world watched that ill-fated spaceship limp home like a wounded three-legged dog with its tail between its legs. Today, the astronaut cadre, Natalya included, greeted two of its three crew members with heartfelt relief and sympathy. Having come so close, Lovell gave her a wry look while Swigert bottled his emotions. They had to ache for another chance to reach the Moon. So did Armstrong, Aldrin, and Bean after their aborted launch last year. Pete and I are the fortunate ones, and every day I itch to set foot on the Moon again. READ MORE
by Ken Poyner
The trouble is not with the engineering of the microbe;
Nor in the applied safety-genes that, if properly
Working, provide the insurance READ MORE
by Emily Hockaday
While Trevor and myself have attended conventions post-onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there hasn’t been a New York celebration (or even small gathering) since the 90th Anniversary event in 2019. (We squeaked that one in just under the wire in December when the January/February 2020 issue printed.)
Instead we have announced our Analog Award for Emerging Black Voices via Zoom at the now-virtual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium the past two years, and we’ve announced our Analytical Laboratory results here in the pages of this magazine and on social media. READ MORE
BIOLOG: Auston Habershaw
by Richard A. Lovett
Like the vast majority of Analog writers, Auston Habershaw can’t recall exactly when he first came to love science fiction. “I remember I read The Hobbit in about fourth grade,” he says, “and I was totally hooked on Star Wars. I don’t know what made me stick with it, other than it was always a fun playground for the imagination.” READ MORE
Alternate View: The QGP Critical Point
by John G. Cramer
In 1822, the French physicist Baron Charles Cagniard de la Tour (1777–1859) was studying the sound made by a flint ball rolling within a sealed gun barrel that was filled with a test gas or liquid. He noticed that the sound changed dramatically at a certain temperature, as he varied temperature and pressure. Thus, he discovered the critical point, above which gas and liquid phases of the medium have exactly the same density and become indistinguishable, i.e., transition to a super-critical fluid. Cagniard’s first results showed that CO2 could be liquefied at temperature 31°C and pressure of 73 atmospheres, but not at a slightly higher temperature, even under pressures as high as 3,000 atmospheres. For water, he found the critical point to be 374°C at 218 atmospheres. READ MORE
by Rosemary Claire Smith
Science fiction writers and their audience have long been fascinated with the world around us, not only what lies outside our doorstep but what might await us over the hills, beyond our planet, and all the way to the farthest reaches of the Universe. We are drawn to accounts of journeys into the unknown, whether begun as meticulously-thought-out expeditions led by bold adventurers or desperate flights by the ill-prepared who never envisioned having to abandon their homes. I commend to you a half dozen excursions beginning with a NASA astronaut’s actual trips beyond the haven of our planet and into low Earth orbit. From there, we will venture farther out as we explore uninhabited planets, culminating in journeys across the vast reaches of the Milky Way. I must warn you, however, perhaps the most fantastical voyages of all, the ones that I found the hardest to grapple with, consist of delving into the products of human consciousnesses. READ MORE
by Anthony Lewis
Check here for the latest conventions upcoming in November and December. READ MORE