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Marilee J. Layman

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07:24 pm: Asimov's October/November 2010

Sheila talked about vacationing near Cocoa Beach and seeing the Kennedy Space Center. Silverberg talked about ghosts, that there's one in his house even though he doesn't believe in it. James Patrick Kelly talked about internet social networks.

The story I absolutely liked the best was The Termite Queen of Tallulah Country by Felicity Shoulders. It was head and shoulders over the others (heh). Termites are now killed by people who have a Temporal Intervention device and the license for it. They go back in time to take away the original termites and make the property incapable of getting more. The daughter of a termite exterminator takes over because her father has had something like a stroke. She goes into a really bad underhouse space only to find a box of Fiddle Faddle. Her father loves Fiddle Faddle, but it didn't exist when the house was built and nobody has been underneath before. She realizes that her dad had been using the TI device to seed termites much earlier in time, and then he got rid of them in his real time and got paid. It was all that time travel that damaged his brain. What does she do?

There were two that I liked but had problems:

Becoming One with Ghosts by Kristine Katheryn Rusch -- it's part of her Diving World universe. A ship from the Fleet needs repair and hits the emergency button that will transport them to a repair port. The port looks like it hasn't been used in a long time. Did they change time during the transportation? This novella was really good until the very end when it just ended. I suspect this will be part of a book, but it should still have an end for the story.

Several Items of Interet by Rick Wilbur -- part of his S'hudonni universe but not directly connected to other stories. Two brothers are separated by a S'hudonni, Two-Clicks, and one stays on Earth and one moves to the S'hudonni's planet to "Sweep" -- wear a camera and show everything to the Earth. The brother with the S'hudonni, Peter, goes to the planet so the S'hudonni will cure his brother, Tommy. The S'hudonni take over Earth and give the people lots of good things as long as they mind the S'hudonni. Tommy figures out that the bad aliens are keeping him alive and he finds a way to go back to dying and at the same time explode some power buildings. Did the S'hudonni have this happen on purpose so he could get more land on Earth?

My problem is that it had misspellings, words arranged wrongly, missing words, a character gets the wrong name for a bit, and so forth. I find it hard to read that kind of story. (I wonder if he was late and they just shoved it into the issue without copy-editing.)

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