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Marilee J. Layman

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09:25 pm: Asimov's December 2008
This is the new size and there are definitely changes in the contents. The (I know this word, head something -- the list of staff) has been made smaller and the Next Issue takes the place a poem would normally. There's no poetry at all, in fact, and the end of the Books review column takes up most of the advertising page at the back. The con calendar is intact. Sheila talks about the new dimensions and Silverberg picks up on his last column on Will F. Jenkins/Murray Leinster. There are two short-shorts, one regular short story, two novelettes, and a novella.

Every single story in this issue is substantially about death. Okay, December is the end of the year, but I don't remember Death issues on other Decembers. It's a strange choice. I only really liked two:

1. In Concert by Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem -- there's a lost astronaut and an elderly woman who hears other people sometimes. She hears the astronaut and he hears her. He gives her a phone number to call. Can they save him? Will she live long enough?

2. The Flowers of Nicosia by David Ira Cleary -- middle-aged rock musicians are determined to make peace between Islam and Christianity by playing music in the Islamic areas, in the midst of a plague outbreak. Do they live? Does anybody? The cover, by J.K. Potter, is not only very accurate but shows some of the symbolism in the story.

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[User Picture]
From:pameladean
Date:October 4th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
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Masthead?

P.
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From:mjlayman
Date:October 4th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
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Yes! So something-head! I was close.
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From:pameladean
Date:October 4th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
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Believe me, I'd never have been able to come up with the word without the hint, even if it was inside-out.

P.
From:geekosaur
Date:October 4th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
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Death isn't that weird a topic for December: it's well known that there is a spike in deaths near the holidays.
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From:mjlayman
Date:October 4th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)
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I thought they were in early January -- people get through the holidays and then let go.
From:geekosaur
Date:October 4th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
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Nope; it's between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, and IIRC the worst period is between Christmas and New Year's.
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From:mjlayman
Date:October 4th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
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Oh, you know, I think it's suicides in early January. So regular deaths during the holidays. Still, I'd think Sheila would mention it in the editorial. I got to the deathiness in the second story and started to wonder.
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