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Marilee J. Layman

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11:13 pm: Asimov's April/May 2008
This is one of their double issues and I didn't find as many, proportionally, that I liked. I usually just talk about the ones I like, but there were some odd stories and I want to mention them:

Memory Dog by Kathleen Ann Goonan - a man realizes he has failed his wife and moves his engram into a dog and maneuvers to be her dog. This is written in an odd first-person style that really put me off.

An Almanac for the Alien Invaders by Merrie Haskill -- each para starts with omni and moves to first-person. If the omni was set off somehow -- space or font -- it would have been less jarring.

The stories I liked were:

Slidin' by Neal Barrett, Jr. - some time fissures open in places all over the world -- the one our protagonist works is in Canada -- and prefugees come through from awful times in the past. Our guy is in charge of greeting them and following up with them over time.

An Art, Like Everything Else by Nick Wolven - we have moved to using sims all the time, being in places without leaving our homes. A gay man's partner dies, but he still keeps appearing in the man's life via sim and the man has to figure out how to handle it.

Strangers When We Meet by Kate Wilhelm - this is another of her excellent stories, but it does have a lot in common with some recent movies. A girl has been in a car accident and her memory remains only for a day. It's determined that the best thing for her is to take part in a brain study because she can be protected there and the study will get a fresh mind every day. Turns out the military is interested in the brain study and her amnesia, too.

The Room of Lost Souls by Kristine Kathryn Rusch - this is a follow-up to Diving Into the Wreck which was in Asimov's December 2005. I liked the first story and liked this one, too. It was easily the best in the mag. A woman who used to "dive" into spacewrecks stopped when she lost too many divers. She's offered an odd commission -- to retrieve someone's father from the Room of Lost Souls, which is on an unusual space station. In general, everybody who goes into the Room doesn't come back, but she did, when she was a child. She decides to take the job, but the rules about it and the reason for it change disastrously. This needs a third novella and then Rusch has an excellent novel.

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