ASIMOV'S DEC. 2008
Continuing my coverage of my ongoing attempts to get caught up on SF magazines...
The issue opens with "Way Down East" Tim Sullivan. It's a meditative story about dreams and class set in the world of lobster trapping. There is an alien as well but it's presence is really just the means with which to look at life. It's quiet and effective.
"Welcome to Valhalla" by Kathryn Lance and Jack McDevitt is a shorter high concept work about Richard Wagner and his encounter with on of the Valkryies, who shows him what will be done in the service of his music. It's a decent story.
Steven Utley steps away from his Silurian setting with "Perfect Everything," a story about misplaced love and a tragedy in space. It's solid.
The husband-and-wife team of Melanie and Steve Rasnic Tem appear with "In Concert." An elderly woman has always had the gift (curse?) of being able to hear snatches of other people's thoughts. It's not just people near her either - in this case, she gets impressions from an astronaut lost in space. This story teetered on the edge of my skipping the rest at times (it could be shorter and still work, I think) but in the end, I enjoyed where it led.
I've never been into Kerouac and his crew but Geoffrey A. Landis's "Still On the Road" is short and good for a chuckle.
The last, longest, and cover story was also my favorite of the issue - David Ira Cleary's "The Flowers of Nicosia." It follows an aging band (Downtown Dharma) as they try to unite West and East in Cyprus amidst upheaval over a biological weapon known as Amanita. The band are followers of Kurt Cobain and do covers of Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots as well as their own music. It's a character study, an issue study, and a big of an action story at times. I dug it.
That's all for this time around but I still have 5 unread SF mags, so the quest continues...