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Summary: Analog, 2009

Summary: Analog, 2009

Analog published 60 pieces of short fiction in 2008. plus various parts of three serials. The serials were complete two-parters by Barry B. Longyear ("Turning the Grain") and G. David Nordley ("To Climb a Flat Mountain"), as well as the final two parts of Robert J. Sawyer's "Wake". The two part serials were both between 40K and 50K words -- officially novels by the SFWA definition, but short enough to be difficult to place with many book publishers. So good for Analog for being hospitable to that length! Of the 60 shorter pieces, 6 were novellas, 24 were novelettes, and 30 were short-stories, 4 of the latter being short-shorts (Probability Zero pieces). This was about 635,000 words of fiction, about 494,000 words of it short fiction. The total word count is about rather less than the past couple of years, for no reason I can discern (perhaps I simply miscounted).

Novellas

There was no novella this year to match last year's "Tenbrook of Mars", but that's not all that surprising -- that was one of the best stories Analog had published in a long long time. My favorite novella for 2009 in Analog was Adam-Troy Castro's "Gunfight on Farside" (April), one of the occasional fantasies the magazine publishes (though as with all such there's sufficient "Science Fiction feel" to justify the Analog appearance), set in the same universe as Castro's popular "Sunday Night Yams at Minnie and Earl's". This story is about the secret behind a legendary (literally) gunfight in the Moon's history. Daniel Hatch's "Seed of Revolution" (July-August) probably ranks second. It's a Hokaish story, set on a planet where the aliens are of one species but different phenotypes (radically so) -- here a Pogo character foments a much-needed revolution. My other two favorite novellas were Michael Flynn's "Where the Winds are All Asleep" (October) and John G. Hemry's "Failure to Obey" (July-August), with Flynn's story probably getting the nod for my third Anlab vote.

Novelettes

I thought these were the best novelettes from Analog this year: Stephen Baxter's "Formidable Caress" (December), David Bartell's "Cavernauts" (March), Dave Creek's "Zheng He and the Dragon" (January-February), Craig De Lancey's "Amabit Sapiens" (November), Juliette Wade's "Cold Words" (October), Jesse L. Watson's "Shallow Copy" (October), Howard V. Hendrix's "Monuments of Unageing Intellect" (June), Mark Rich's "Foe" (April), and Shane Tourtellotte's "Evergreen" (September). None of these truly thrilled, however. I'd rank the top three as follows: 1) Baxter, 2) Tourtellotte, 3) not sure -- Rich, De Lancey, Hendrix, Creek ...

Short Stories

There was a clear choice for best Analog short story this year -- indeed, best story this year at Analog of any length: Stephen Gould's "A Story, with Beans" (May), set in an Old West devastated by metal eating bugs of some sort, but also ravaged by humans at their worst. James Van Pelt's "Solace" (June) is also fine work, pairing the stories of a woman on a starship with a man isolated over a bitter winter in the old West. And next was Richard A. Lovett's "Excellence" (January), good thought-provoking work about the ethics of accepting performance enchancing treatments for sport. I really enjoyed Jerry Oltion's lightish Christmas-themed story "The Jolly Old Boyfriend" (December). There were also good stories from Richard Foss, Don D'Ammassa, Carl Frederick, Eric James Stone, and Marissa Lingen.

Statistics Corner

Average Novella length: 22100 words. Novelette: 10100 words. Short Story: 4000 words.

Gender Balance: 6 of 60 stories, as far as I can tell, were by women. That's 10%, same as last year, pretty much.

Fantasy/SF split: as noted above, I called 1 of the 60 stories this year a fantasy, so 1.6%.


Tags: 2009, yearly summaries
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