[BOOK REVIEWS #1] Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 1983

ED's REVIEW: ★★☆☆☆

The cover story is probably the best of the longer stories. Its setting is quite an interesting political situation, positioned as the protagonists are on an alien world. Its moral dilemma is adequately dealt with, if a little false. Science fiction often has a scaling problem. Most 'planets' amount to space the size of a town. PLANETS ARE REALLY BIG. IMAGINE ANOTHER EARTH. In relation to this story, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! Does every part of the planet have precisely the same ecosystem?

Anyway, the 'novella' is a neat enough environmental tale. But its weird sci-fi bit about the man is just weird, comes from nowhere, and does not need to be there. I mean, it was okay. But more stuff about immoral corporations rather than his hairy back or whatever.

The short stories are well thought out. The editors of this magazine were obviously on form, making perfectly serviceable stories. The story about telephone voting raises interesting questions of political engagement, even if the method is dated. Any electronic voting like this is easily faked or hackable. Do you want more direct democracy? People are really fucking stupid.