I’m in the space station’s control room, watching two progress bars on a computer monitor. One is labeled “Analog magazine download”. The other is labeled “Space station auto-destruct”. The two appear to be perfectly synchronized.
A Case of Identity by Edward Lerner. An AI private detective tries to solve the disappearance of another AI. The second AI’s human fiancée quickly becomes the prime suspect.
Footprints in the Snow by Bud Sparhawk. Alien refugees become immigrants to the USA. This story was uplifting in some respects, but in other respects seemed like a political dig aimed at people who favor immigration restrictions.
The Museum of Modern Warfare by Kristine Rusch. A war veteran visits an alien museum of the war. I liked the blowing sand in the setting.
The Master’s Voice by Brendan DuBois. The setting of a Martian colony is described, but there’s really no story at all.
Paris, 1835 by Bill Johnson. We’ve all read time travel stories where someone’s actions cause unintended consequences. In this story, a time-traveling woman and two other time travelers are working to achieve different end results. I may have missed some time-travel intricacy, but I didn’t quite get the ending, as the others left the woman stranded in the past, where theoretically she could undo all their work.
This magazine comes close to what I’m looking for. The author of the AI story put some effort into making AIs think a bit differently from humans, and the multiple meddlers in the time-travel story was a nice twist. Unfortunately, both stories sputtered out at the end — if they were gymnasts, I’d say they “didn’t stick the landing.” My quest will continue.
How did I escape from the space station? You should have seen it — it was truly amazing. Cosmonauts and US Navy fighter pilots ask me for my autograph every day. I won’t write about my escape here, because I’m far too humble to tell the story myself.