My rating: ★★★☆☆
Read From: 20 April 2014 - 21 April 2014
Goal: Flotsam & Jetsam
Two short stories and one essay stood out to me, in this issue.
Field of Gravity by Jay Werkheiser— This is a tale of one possible future for American football. Hundreds of gravity generators are embedded in each field, allowing coaches to dial the gravity up or down for specific plays. Coaches can use their energy budget to offset the gravity changes of the opposing coach, adding an additional level of strategy to the game. It was a clever concept and I enjoyed the execution.
The Region of Jennifer by Tony Ballantyne— Genetically modified humans are on the path to becoming slaves of a very patient alien race. And pretty much no one seems to care. It’s a morality tale of what happens when disinterested people sit back and try their best to ignore what might inconvenience them.
“I can see your friend down there. He cares.” “That’s good. It sort of relieves me of the responsibility. I can sit back and do what I want and hope that other people sort out the mess we’re in.”
Alternate Abilities: The Paranormal by Edward M. Lerner—The real highlight, for me, was Lerner’s non-fiction essay on the paranormal. It was an interesting look at what various experiments have—and haven’t—proven. And he raised the question of whether the paranormal can ever truly be proven.
In another test, a CIA agent gave the coordinates of his private cabin in the woods. The test subject came back with a description with similarities to a nearby NSA facility. Was this experiment a success (the subject was drawn to a facility of claimed psychic significance to the CIA) or a failure (the viewed scene was not at the specified coordinates)? In the same experiment, the subject reported reading words and phrases out of file cabinets. Some of the vocabulary matched out-of-date NSA code words. Was this a success (real code words detected from a distance)? Or did those words popping up somehow reflect that those code words had been in effect when Targ, the interviewer in the room with the subject, had worked for the NSA?
And he finishes the essay out with a survey of what we know about quantum physics and how quantum physics may make some forms of ESP possible.