I finished the May issue of Analog. I enjoyed it, as I have enjoyed all the issues of Analog that I have read. This issue will not be in the top Analog issues ever published, but I still had a good time reading it. The cover art is by John Allemand and is representative of the novella “Tower of Worlds” by Rajnar Vajra (that is a very difficult name to remember and type). The artwork for the cover is fairly decent, I think, and it did help my imaginings of the novella. Allemand’s done a few other covers for Analog and for Asimov’s. (Cp. Asimov’s June 2005 cover)
CONTENTS (fiction only) and my rating:
Tower of Worlds – Rajnar Vajra – 2 *’s
Ellipses – 3 *’s
Blind Spot – 4 *’s
Boumee and the Apes -3 *’s
The Wolf and the Panther Were Lovers -3 *’s
The Old Man’s Best – 3 *’s
What I Did On My Summer Vacation – Jerry Oltion – 2 *’s
I wanted to really like the novella by Vajra, but in the end, I had to admit that most of it was so in media res and so unfamiliar that the story ends up confusing and frustrating. Obviously, basic story elements are present: characters, a climax, a resolution. However, try as I might, I could not get a hold of the world that was being presented. I suspect the “levels” are interesting and could be really neat, but from this novella, I was only frustrated. Also, it was at times somewhat difficult to figure out which characters were on which side. There are good guys and bad guys and I had to give up on trying to figure out anything further. This story had potential, but it just didn’t work as a novella.
Another disappoint was Jerry Oltion’s “What I Did On My Summer Vacation.” This was the mini-1 page story in the issue. At first, there was a lot of potential. But the story ended with me feeling that Oltion is being old-fashioned and cynical. The story is kind of hack. The story itself is timely and relevant to current goings on in Geek-world, but the ending is so trite that its vexing. I was forced to look up a bio for Oltion – he was born in 1957. It shows in this story. Through the years Oltion has been one of the major contributors to Analog. Yeah, I get Oltion’s point, but its hack.
“Blind Spot” is the intellectual read of the issue – and of interest to the readers whose take on the mind is materialist and scientific. Possibilities….. And its couched in a cool private investigator/detective story. A solid read.
The goodness of “The Old Man’s Best” by Bud Sparhawk was that it actually made me want to have a beer. Its a bit of a light-hearted story and was a fun read. “Boumee and the Apes” (by Ian McHugh) was the emotive story of the issue, tugging at heart strings. Both stories were pretty good reads, making the issue worth the cover price.