Weeding Womb

A Matter of Mathematics

An Apollo Asteroid A Matter of Mathematics by Brian Aldiss. I've said before that I don't like sex in a story unless it has a reason for being there. Here, some of the sex is there simply to explain why there's a big rock stuck into the side of the Moon. But that comes later. Let's start at the beginning, head for the sex in the middle (where sex usually takes place...) and hope that the end sorts itself out and doesn't forget to zip up its jeans.

Sound familiar? I hope it does, I used it to begin my review of An Apollo Asteroid by Brian Aldiss. You see, this is the exact same story, with (as a word-by-word check of the first two pages revealed) a few words tweaked to add to word count: A random "In the old days" is thrown in here or there, a few similes are tossed in where adjectives used to be, and the word "Shortcut" has been expanded to "Short Cut", making me think the editing was for nothing BUT word count.

Allow me to recount my reactions when I sat down to read Brian Aldiss's "A Matter of Mathematics" in a waiting room and found the first 2 pages to be disconcertingly like "An Apollo Asteroid". First I felt surprise, then anger at being made to buy the same story twice, then a brief calming: Hey, these 2 pages were just setup for the environment, so it could be a different story in the same reality, which DID show some small potential. I'll give it a shot. (Flip flip.) Okay, here we go. No, wait, I remember this guy. I'm gonna flip this page and see the word "pudendum". Twice. (Flip.) Oh, yeah. There's a rant in this. I'm gonna kill David Hartwell if I ever meet him, just for putting the same damn story in both the Year's Best SF 5 and 7! Man, the more I buy of this series the less it's entertainment and the more it's rant material! But for now, next story....

The Archon

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