September issue of Analog now available

Published on June 23, 2010 by

The September 2010 issue of Analog, with my novelette “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made,” has officially been released.   That means you may be able to find it at bookstores or on newsstands. You can also buy it as a single issue from mymagstore.com. (Don’t worry if they still have the prior issue cover showing; what matters is which issue date they say you are buying. Plus, they will ship to prisons! [For some reason, their site puts a lot of emphasis on that fact.]) You can also download the issue from Fictionwise.com for use in various e-readers. From what I can tell, you can’t buy the issue individually for the Kindle, but you can subscribe and get that issue here as part of your 14-day free trial.

To whet your appetite, here’s how the story begins:

Sol Central Station floated amid the fusing hydrogen of the solar core, 400,000 miles under the surface of the sun, protected only by the thin shell of an energy shield, but that wasn’t why my palm sweat slicked the plastic pulpit of the station’s multidenominational chapel.   As a life-long Mormon I had been speaking in church since I was a child, so that didn’t make me nervous, either.   But this was my first time speaking when non-humans were in the audience.

The Sol Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had only six human members, including me and the two missionaries, but there were forty-six swale members.   As beings made of plasma, swales couldn’t attend church in the chapel, of course, but a ten-foot widescreen monitor across the back wall showed a false-color display of their magnetic force-lines, gathered in clumps of blue and red against the yellow background representing the solar interior.   The screen did not give a sense of size, but at two hundred feet in length, the smallest of the swales was almost double the length of a blue whale.   From what I’d heard, the largest Mormon swale, Sister Emma, stretched out to almost five hundred feet — but she was nowhere near the twenty-four-mile length of the largest swale in our sun.

“My dear Brothers and Sisters,” I said automatically, then stopped in embarrassment.   The traditional greeting didn’t apply to all swale members, as they had three genders.   “And Neuters,” I added.   I hoped my delay would not be noticeable in the transmission.   It would be a disaster if in my first talk as branch president, I alienated a third of the swale population.

This story is the most “Mormon” story I’ve written, but it’s completely understandable to non-Mormons — there’s no way Analog would have published it otherwise.

Filed under: General

10 comments on “September issue of Analog now available”

  1. Floyd says:

    I guess I\’ll have to buy a copy to find out how solar plasma entities are baptized.

  2. Floyd, the issue of baptism is addressed in the story. But I’ve just realized I never dealt with the laying on of hands. :-o

  3. Sounds like a clever story premise there, Eric! Congratulations on your publication.

  4. Dave Bennett says:

    Eric,
    I have to compliment you on this story. You have done something I was thinking could never be done, get a story published in Analog that treats religion, and blatantly Mormon religion at that, with respect and dignity.

    I am a long time Analog reader and one of the things that I’ve never liked in it is its blatant anti-religious story bias. Stan has always said that he would be perfectly willing to publish a well-written pro-religious story, but until now I’ve never seen it. I’m not sure you could have done it if you hadn’t already become one of the regular stable of Analog writers. But, however you managed, it, you did it!

    You are the man!
    Keep up the good work.
    Dave

  5. Dave,

    I remember reading “Sanctuary” by Michael A. Burstein in the September 2005 issue of Analog and being very pleased to see a religious character in the future (in that case, a Catholic priest) whose beliefs were treated with respect. I first met Michael at the Nebula Awards Weekend after “Sanctuary” was nominated, and I went up and introduced myself to him and thanked him for portraying an intelligent, reasonable person of faith in a high-tech future.

    I know that Stan has a reputation for being biased against religious stories, but I’ve never seen it in my interactions with him. He’s now published three stories by me in which religion plays a major part (“The Ashes of His Fathers” and “Rejiggering the Thingamajig” being the other two.)

    It’s pure speculation on my part, but I think it helped that the story had a sympathetic atheist character who could rationalize to herself the events that the Mormon character believes are the results of divine intervention. That allows the story to fit as “hard science fiction,” while an undeniable deus ex machina ending would not.

  6. B.J. Keeton says:

    I read the sample on the Analog website, and I was hooked. Very little fiction deals with anything LDS in such a positive and direct manner, and I was completely intrigued by the premise of teaching Church doctrine to completely non-anthropomorphic aliens (thank you, by the way, for not making the swales humans with brow ridges).

    I tried the Kindle subscription to Analog, but it only gave me the October magazine. I went to the local bookstore to find it, and again: October. I was finally able to find a copy on Fictionwise and download the Kindle edition. I\’m just about to settle in and get to finishing it. It\’s a lot longer than I anticipated, even being a novelette. What was the word count on \”Leviathan,\” if I can ask?

  7. Yeechang Lee says:

    I really enjoyed the story. You very did the right amount of worldbuilding to provide an interesting and effective background that intrigued readers without overwhelming them. Admittedly it didn\’t hurt that I, too, am a single LDS guy who has spent his career on Wall Street (Even worked in equities at Citigroup!).

    B.J., thanks for suggesting Fictionwise; I ran into the same trouble of finding the September issue that you did.

    Back when the church magazines published fiction, The New Era ran a short story about a teenage member living on a space station. It was published in the early 1990s, I believe, but I can\’t find it on lds.org; does my description ring a bell for anyone?

  8. […] The short story “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone — space opera of the alien-encounter sort with an unusual Mormon angle that was originally published in Analog […]

  9. […] down.  So when I was researching SF markets to submit my own stories to, I was taken aback by Eric James Stone’s “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” in the September issue of […]