Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, November 1969: A Retro-Review

Sunday, March 11th, 2018 | Posted by Adrian Simmons

Analog Science Fiction November 1969-small Analog Science Fiction November 1969-back-small

This is Part 5 of a Decadal Review of vintage science fiction magazines published in November 1969. The previous articles are:

Amazing Stories, November 1969
Galaxy Science Fiction, November 1969
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November 1969
Worlds of If, November 1969

So, one cannot be an SFF fan without hearing a few unsettling things about the greats of the genres. John Campbell is one of those greats, but I’ve heard that he got a little nutty toward the end of his run in 1971; a little hung up on Dianetics, psionics, dean-drives, and maybe he wasn’t sure this whole cigarettes-cause-cancer thing wasn’t nanny-state bunk. These things I’ve heard, and the November, 1969 issue of Analog pretty much confirms them. In its defense, the magazine does have three good stories.

Read More »


January/February Analog Now on Sale

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Analog Science Fiction January February 2018-smallTwo Black Gate writers are showcased in the newest Analog. Jeremiah Tolbert has a short story, “The Dissonant Note,” and our Saturday blogger Derek Künsken presents the first installment of his highly anticipated debut novel The Quantum Magician. This morning I read the first chapter — a fast-paced tale of an attempted con in an icy subterranean casino, with AIs, religious soldiers, and robot puppets — and was immediately hooked. It has more action and intriguing SF concepts than the vast majority of short stories I read in the last year. Here’s Derek.

In The Quantum Magician, I wanted to look at all the humanities we will create. Some new humans will help civilization, some will spiral it backwards, and some will, through no fault of their own, be really good at confidence schemes and heists. Solaris already takes a complex look at space opera futures, so it’s really exciting to work with them.

And here’s the book description, from the Solaris website.

Belisarius is a quantum man, an engineered Homo quantus who fled the powerful insight of dangerously addictive quantum senses. He found a precarious balance as a con man, but when a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of warships across an enemy wormhole, he must embrace his birthright to even try. In fact, the job is so big that he’ll need a crew built from all the new sub-branches of humanity. If he succeeds, he might trigger an interstellar war, but success might also point the way to the next step of Homo quantus evolution.

The Quantum Magician will be serialised in two additional installments in Analog, and arrives in trade paperback from Solaris in October.

This issue of Analog also includes a brand new novella by Adam-Troy Castro featuring his retired black-operative Daiken, plus short fiction from David Gerrold, Alan Dean Foster, Ian Watson, Michael F. Flynn, Mary A. Turzillo, and many others. Here’s the complete issue summary from editor Trevor Quachri.

Read More »


September/October Analog Now on Sale

Monday, October 9th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Analog Science Fiction September October 2017-smallThe September/October Analog has a diverse mix of tales, of time travel, uplifted animals, ghostmail, siege engines on Mars, cryo-prisons, space elevators, crash landings on hostile worlds, mysterious alien invaders, and Norman Spinrad’s tale of the Order of the Galactic Eye. Here’s Nicky Magas at Tangent Online to give us the highlights.

An exciting new world that is hostile to technology awaits Mbasi in “Orphans” by Craig DeLancey. No probes sent to the planet teeming with vegetation have survived through to their full life expectancy. It’s up to Mbasi and the rest of the research crew to figure out why. But when an unexplainable accident forces them into an emergency crash landing from their planned orbit, Mbasi finds herself a little closer to the conundrum than she first anticipated. To make matters worse, whatever has been destroying their probes is making short work of their ship as well.

The mystery in “Orphans” is what truly makes this story shine. The sense of urgency DeLancey puts into every word is palpable to the reader, making every decision seem like life or death. DeLancey cultivates a deep curiosity in readers, and though he peppers the narrative with speculation between his characters, the open ended nature of the conclusion leaves readers on the edge of the cliff of what is knowable, both satisfied and deeply wanting more.

In “The Old Man” by Rich Larsen, Ezekiel wants nothing more than to kill his father and have him know who did it. Lucky for him the Old Man escaped his cryo-prison. Luckier still, the government thawed Zeke for the task of taking him out. The Old Man has much to atone for and Zeke means to see the debt settled down to the last drop of blood.

Larson tells a fascinating story of revenge and humanity in “The Old Man.” As the narrative unravels itself in a non-linear way set to the backdrop of the swampy bayou, readers find their sympathies torn between politics, family, and human rights in a technologically advanced future. There are layers to this story that make it exquisitely complex and an ethically thoughtful read. Readers expecting a story whirling with technology might be surprised by how intricately and tragically organic it is, however this does not detract from the brilliant piece of futuristic science fiction that it is.

Read Nicky’s complete review here.

The September/October issue contains fiction by Edward M. Lerner, Lettie Prell, Jerry Oltion, Rich Larsen, Michael F. Flynn, James Van Pelt, Stanley Schmidt, Norman Spinrad, Bud Sparhawk, and many others. The cover is by Eldar Zakirov, for “My Fifth and Most Exotic Voyage,” by Edward M. Lerner.

Read More »


July/August 2017 Analog Now on Sale

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Analog July August 2017-smallI’ve been buying Analog Science Fiction and Fact for over 40 years. Remarkably little has changed in that time. It’s still a digest magazine. It still has interior art by Vincent Di Fate. And I still read “Probability Zero” first.

The July’August issue has a big novella by Martin L. Shoemaker, “Not Far Enough,” featuring the return of Captain Nick Aames, Carver, and Smith, who’ve previously appeared in the pages of Analog in “Murder on the Aldrin Express” (September 2013), “Brigas Nunca Mais” (March 2015), and “Racing to Mars,” (September 2015, winner of the Analog Award for Best Novella of the year). Here’s editor Trevor Qachari on the issue.

We kick off our July/August issue by checking in on Captain Nick Ames and his crew, last seen in “Racing to Mars,” September 2015, by Martin Shoemaker. When a routine mission goes off the rails, it’s more than just a matter of shipboard politics: lives are at stake, and people will die if they go too far, or “Not Far Enough.”

Then we have the kind of fact article that we only pull off all too rarely: H. G. Stratmann gives us a look at the science behind Stanley Schmidt’s story in this very issue, “The Final Nail.”

We also have fiction ranging from “Across the Streaming Sea,” an adventure that perfectly embodies Clarke’s Law, by Rob Chilson; to a story of the bond between a captain and his ship in Brian Trent’s “Galleon”; a follow-up to Maggie Clark’s “Seven Ways of Looking at the Sun-Worshippers of Yul-Katan,” in “Belly Up”; and an almost-could-have-happened-this-way tale of early space travel, “For All Mankind,” from C. Stuart Hardwick.

There’s also a slew of short pieces from such folks as Andrew Barton, Tom Easton, Tim McDaniel, Robert R. Chase, Ron Collins, Kyle Kirkland, Aubry Kae Andersen, Edward M. Lerner, Eve Warren, Holly Schofield, Uncle River, and Howard V. Hendrix, as well as an awesome array of compelling columns.

Although Trevor says “H. G. Stratmann gives us a look at the science behind Stanley Schmidt’s story in this very issue, ‘The Final Nail,'” don’t look too hard for Stan’s story. It actually appeared last issue.

The cover this issue is by Rado Javor. Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

Read More »


Try the Science Fiction Value Packs from Asimov’s and Analog for Just $6.95

Sunday, June 18th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Asimov Science Fiction and Analog double sized issues-small

Get a dozen double issues of Asimov’s and Analog — a $96 value — for just $15.95!

I was checking the subscription rates for Analog Science Fiction last week, as I was prepping an article on the May/June issue, when I stumbled on two curious new entries on the subscription page:

Science Fiction Value Pack-8 — $6.95
Science Fiction Double Issue Value Pack-12 — $15.95

For a limited time Dell Magazines, publishers of Asimov’s and Analog (as well as Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine) is selling packs of back issues at steep discounts. You can get an 8 pack (total value nearly $40) for just $6.95 — less than a dollar an issue! — or an even dozen double issues (value $96) for just $15.95. All the stock is brand new.

Read More »


May/June 2017 Analog Now on Sale

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Analog Science Fiction and Fact May June 2017-smallHoward V. Hendrix is experiencing a bit of a comeback in the pages of Analog magazine. He launched his career with a well-respected SF trilogy in the late 90s [Locus Award nominee for Best First Novel Lightpaths (1997), Standing Wave (1998), and Better Angels (1999)], but he hasn’t published a novel since Spears of God in 2006.

But since September 2007 he’s published no less than eight stories in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, including two novellas:

“Palimpsest ” – September 2007
“Knot Your Grandfather’s Knot” -March 2008
“Monuments of Unageing Intellect” – June 2009
“Red Rover, Red Rover” – July-August 2012
“Other People’s Avatars” – July-August 2013 – novella
“The Perfect Bracket” – March 2016 (with Art Holcomb)
“The Infinite Manqué” – May 2016
“The Girls with Kaleidoscope Eyes” – May-June 2017 – novella

The May/June Analog contains that last one, the novella “The Girls with Kaleidoscope Eyes.” Victoria Silverwolf, in her Tangent Online review, summarizes it as follows.

A government agent investigates an apparent attempt by a teacher to kill a classroom full of girls with a bomb, although at the last second he protected them from the explosion, seriously injuring himself in the process. She interviews the teacher while he is in custody in a hospital. He reveals his strange motive for his aborted crime, stating that “before there can exist a world of machines that can pass for people, there first must be a world of people that can pass for machines…”

Silverwolf praised several other stories this issue, including work by Julie Novakova, Eric Choi, Manny Frishberg and Edd Vick, Lavie Tidhar, and Bud Sparhawk. Here’s a few of her story descriptions I found most intriguing.

Read More »


Military Androids, Space Zombies, and the Business of Time Travel: A Review of the March/April 2017 Analog

Sunday, May 28th, 2017 | Posted by Adrian Simmons

Analog Science Fiction and Fact March April 2017-smallThe cover story this issue is “Nexus,” by Michael Flynn, with cover art by Tomislav Tikulin. A series of coincidences brings a time-traveler, an immortal, a group of aliens mostly passing as humans, a secret military android, a telepathic private-eye, and an alien invader all together. It has a lot of plates spinning, and looks a little silly packed into that last sentence, but Flynn pulls it off.

The nonfiction article this issue is “Sustainability Lab 101, Cuba as a Simulation of Possible Futures,” by Stanley Schmidt. Condense Cuba’s history, pick a couple of outlandish internet comments and go! Dr. Schmidt presents a good case, and opens up some interesting discussions. Still… for a sci-fi guy, I find his lack of imagination about the future to be a bit alarming.

“Europa’s Survivors” by Marianne Dyson. This has a great illustration by Vincent DiFate, but the story doesn’t quite measure up to it. The tale demands a bit too much of the reader — rockets landing on Europa have to actually smash through the ice (a “thin layer”) and go down the same shaft where the pumps that keep the ice from being a “thick layer” are housed; robo-stress relief pets and a convenient lack of qualified personnel. I liked the basic set-up with the cancer patient going one-way due to the radiation exposure in space and, although it was a bit much, the problems faced and the solutions found were quite good.

“Eli’s Coming,” by Catherine Wells. One of seven (eight if you count “Nexus”) time travel stories in this issue. An owner of a time-traveling business tries it out for himself, ends up at the wrong place and time, instead of the Herod’s Palace at the top of Masada in 10 BCE, he ends up at Herod’s Palace at the top of Masada as the Roman 10th Legion is just finishing up their siege ramp. This one I liked quite a bit. The rebels under Eleazar are desperate, the situation is dire, and Eli (the MC) is trying his best to keep calm and survive until his retrieval chip activates.

“Time Heals,” by James C. Glass. Another time travel story. I’m going to admit that at this point I wasn’t in much of a mood for another one, so after the first attempt to change the past and discovering one couldn’t change the past, I skipped it.

Read More »


March/April 2017 Analog Now on Sale

Thursday, April 6th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Analog Science Fiction and Fact March April 2017-smallI’m getting used to Analog and Asimov’s new bimonthly publication schedule. For one thing, the magazines have added an additional 16 pages, which is a substantial bonus.

Here’s Analog editor Trevor Qachari on the impact of the change, and what we can look forward to in the March/April issue.

Effective immediately, with the very magazine you hold in your hands, Analog will be publishing only double issues — six of them per year. Right off the bat, you’ll see more novellas, longer book review columns, and more variety in the themes that thread through the stories. (For example, our next issue will have both the usual lighter April fare as well as a selection of time-travel pieces.)

The main advantage is that this format allows us to hold current subscription prices a bit longer. (You may have already noticed that this issue is 208 pages instead of our customary 192 for double issues; we worked hard to make sure that there wouldn’t be any loss of content.)

So, what kinds of things can you expect in this brave new world? Well, we have two novellas: “Nexus” by Michael F. Flynn, and John Alfred Taylor’s “Plaisir d’Amour”; “Sustainability Lab 101,” our fact article from Stanley Schmidt; and a trio of novelettes — “Europa’s Survivors” by Marianne J. Dyson; “Host” by Eneaz Brodski; and “The Human Way” by Tony Ballantyne — as well as almost a full “single” issue’s worth of short stories, some light-hearted, like “Ecuador vs. the Bug-Eyed Monsters” by Jay Werkheiser, and “Concerning the Devastation Wrought by the Nefarious Gray Comma and Its Ilk,” by Tim McDaniel; and some that involve a relative rarity in these pages: time travel. “Eli’s Coming,” by Catherine Wells; “Grandmaster” by Jay O’Connell; “Alexander’s Theory of Special Relativity” by Shane Halbach; “Time Heals” by James C. Glass; and “The Snatchers” by Edward P. McDermott — all struck a chord with me (for different reasons), and I bet at least some of them will for you, too.

The cover art this issue is by Tomislav Tikulin. Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

Read More »


January/February 2017 Analog Now on Sale

Saturday, January 7th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

analog-science-fiction-january-february-2017-smallAs 2017 dawns, we enter a new era for the oldest continuously published science fiction magazine, Analog Science Fiction and Fact (which has been around since January 1930, when it was called Astounding Stories). With this issue it switches to a bimonthly publication schedule, following The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and its own sister magazine, Asimov’s Science Fiction.

The cover story is “The Proving Ground,” a novella by Alec Nevala-Lee, whom I first met when he was moderating a panel on John W. Campbell at the 2016 Nebula Awards. The issue also contains “Whending My Way Back Home,” a novelette by Black Gate writer Bill Johnson (“Mama Told Me Not to Come,” BG4), plus short stories and novelettes by Scott Edelman, Edward M. Lerner, Marie DesJardin, Christopher L. Bennett, and many others. Here’s editor Trevor Qachari’s summary from the website.

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.

Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

Read More »


Asimov’s SF and Analog Magazine Switch to Bi-Monthly Publication

Thursday, November 17th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

asimovs-science-fiction-april-1993-smallWay back in January 2009, F&SF edition Gordon Van Gelder announced that his magazine would be switching to bimonthly publication. Instead of 11 issues a year, including a special double-sized issue every October, F&SF would publish six double issues a year, in an attempt to reduce mailing costs and other overhead. At the time there were ominous rumblings and dire prophecies, but it seems to have worked out nicely for the magazine, which has been been publishing regularly every since.

Since then I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop — meaning, when would the two remaining print SF magazines, Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact and Asimov’s Science Fiction, follow suit? And on Wednesday Locus Online broke the news that both magazines would be switching to bimonthly publication starting in January 2017.

Asimov’s editor Sheila Williams explains in a forthcoming editorial that the magazines will now publish “six 208-page double issues” per year, a 16-page increase over current double issues. She expects the change will allow her to publish more novellas and a higher percentage of original cover art. Despite the change in publication schedule, she says readers “will receive the same number of pages of fiction as in the past,” and subscribers will “receive the same number of issue months” they purchased. Publishing bimonthly will allow them “to hold the current subscription prices a bit longer.” Both periodicals are published by Dell Magazines.

Speaking as someone who enjoys the big double issues, I view this as a positive development — and anything that helps the magazines save costs is a good thing. The current double-issue size is 192 pages, so the increase to 208 pages is another welcome change. However, it is a rather historic milestone for the genre. As Jonathan Strahan puts it:

Moving to a point where we have no monthly print fiction magazines left seems like some sort of turning point, though I don’t know towards what.

Visit the Asimov’s website here, and Analog here. See our November Fantasy Magazine Rack here, and all of our recent Magazine coverage here.


  Earlier Entries »

This site © 2018 by New Epoch Press. All rights reserved.