— building a mini black hole? Sounds cool. But of course it'd undoubtedly become a political controversy. So what might result if such a project were sabotaged? And what if you couldn't prove that sabotage had taken place?
4 stars - very enjoyable, but don't try to read this without tracking down the first story in this series first. ("Kremer's Limit" from Jul/Aug 2006 issue of Analog)
"Double Dead" - novelette by Grey Rollins
— not your typical private detective story. Sure, all the typical cliches are there, but this detective solves crimes with a unique partner: his disembodied, computerized personality. It tries to be funny and mostly succeeds, yet keeps a serious tone as well. Some interesting ideas about clones and murder, too...
4 stars - the ending was a little too abrupt and unsatisfying, but it was a fun ride. This is the third story in a series, but it can be enjoyed without having read the previous instalments.
"Open Shot" - short story by Craig DeLancey
— likely one of the best stories in this issue. It deals with a race to the moon, including one entry that is completely open source, completely non-governmental.
4.5 stars - Very well done, but perhaps the ending is too pithy. This story will stick with you! It resonated well with me on many levels.
"Diatomaceous Earth" - short story by Jerry Oltion
— merging nanotech with diatoms, and still taking time to smell the flowers.
2.5 stars - just okay. I've loved every other Oltion work I've read, but this is forgettable.
"The Technetium Rush" - short story by Wil McCarthy
— reads better the 2nd time around. So was this new version of a gold rush (but for technetium, not gold) all a hoax or not?
4.5 stars - really great stuff! I need to read more Wil McCarthy!
"Long Winter's Nap" - short story by Catherine H. Shaffer
— this comes off as a really contrived tale of a child who can't go to sleep (or hibernation that is) while excitedly waiting for Santa Claus.
1 star - didn't work for me. Transgenics alter the beings from 'hots' into a form that hibernates and survives an ice age, but still waits for Santy Clawr. It unfortunately annoyed me.
"Probability Zero" - vignette by Eric James Stone
— ever reflect on the endurance needed to push through political agendas with the instruments available? Here's a way to assist those engaged in such tests of endurance...
3 stars - okay, but don't blink or you'll miss the ending and not spot the relevance.
And 5 stars for the serial (part 3 of Rollback, by Robert J. Sawyer.)
eBook Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 2006 December