Review of Asimov’s Nov/Dec 2017

Cover of the Nov/Dec 2017 double issue

The Asimov’s anniversary year ended on a high: this was my favourite issue of 2017.

For a start, the cover story a novella from Connie Willis. Who doesn’t enjoy a Connie Willis story at Christmas? (“I met a traveller in an antique land” wasn’t one of her Christmas stories for Asimov’s, but it was one of those urban fantasies that she does so well. This one had lots of atmosphere, lots of poignant references to lost literary works – the sort of story that would have had a natural home in Unknown magazine.)

In addition to the Willis novella this issue contained a number of thoughtful, well-written stories. “The nanny bubble” by Norman Spinrad was a story all parents should read in our over-protective world. “Confessions of a con girl” by Nick Wolven was the moving tale of how a young girl accumulated enough “unlike” votes to be removed from college. “The discrete charm of the Turing machine” by Greg Egan was a touching description of the relationship between a man and his wife in a world in which automation is taking jobs. “Operators” by Joel Richards was a classic, near-future SF story – the tale of a man who has to investigate the hijacking of self-driving trucks.

I’ve picked out five stories here, but there wasn’t a weak story in the entire issue.

I hope I’m around to read the next 40 years of Asimov’s (gulp).