February 10th, 2010

Summary: Albedo One, 2009

Summary: Albedo One, 2009

Albedo One is a magazine based in Dublin. It has been around for quite some time now, and two issues (#36 and #37) appeared in 2009. The editorial staff consists of Editors John Kenny, Frank Ludlow, Dave Murphy, Robert Neilson, and Roelof Goudriaan, with Contributing Editors Dev Agarwal, Mike O'Driscoll, Juliet E. McKenna, Andrew McKenna, and David Conyers.

The two issues featured 13 stories -- 5 novelettes and 18 shorts. The total word count (which I will caveat by noting that wordcounting this magazine is a bit difficult) came to something over 80,000, a bit more than the last couple years.

There was one standout piece this year, from #37, Robert Reed's "Safe". This is built around a truly intriguing concept: instead of abortion, women have pregnancies terminated by having the fetus sent to an appropriate womb in a parallel world. The story follows a girl from her early life through her career as am "Angel", counseling women about to go through the procedure, and then to her life after that career. It's a good example of examining an unusual idea at length through the prism of a well-depicted central character. My other favorite this year was "Homeward Journey", by Frank W. Haubold, which won the 2008 German Science Fiction Award. (The translation is by Wilf James.) This piece concerns a mysterious "barrier" that suddenly appeared one day, enclosing a research facility, along with the protagonist's wife. Other nice work came from Richard Alan Scott, Gareth Stack, Gustavo Bondoni, and Mike O'Driscoll.

There was only one story by a woman this year (8%), and 5 stories were SF (38%). One should note this is based on a limited sample size.