I am looking forward to discussing the stories of this issue in this thread. I had looked at the thread in the Asimov's forum, but hadn't contributed much as I hadn't read many stories yet. Here I will post my thoughts on the stories I've read so far (there are spoilers, so read with caution):
The Day the Wires Came Down by Alexander Jablokov.
I was a little let down by this story, expecting more from the cover story. The world Jablokov builds is interesting and the scenes involving the wires were fun, but I just didn't see much of a story there. The story was mostly to showcase the wires, a cool method of transportation, but there was no drama. I put down the story several times.
A Response from EST17 by Tom Purdom.
This was the story that won me over to subscribe to the magazine. It was fantastic. I liked the civilization where the story takes place, I like the idea of "the message", I loved the concept of having computerized microorganisms in the search for new planets. Most importantly (for me), there was a plot to this story. There is tension from multiple fronts: a) the two Earth probes who want to be in charge, b) the two aliens who want to be in charge of dealing with the Earth-probes, c) the dilemma between the adventures and the serene.
I loved this story.
An Empty House With Many Doors by Michael Swanwick.
This was a very nice short story. It was romantic. The notion of a widower being happy because he knows his wife is alive in parallel universe is very charming.
North Shore Friday by Nick Mamatas.
I didn't like this story. Well, to be more accurate, I didn't understand this story. I don't know who the characters were or what was going on. Not my cup of tea.
The Homecoming by Mike Resnick.
I really liked this one. I have a great relationship with my dad, but I have many friends that don't. Even in my healthy relationship with my dad, there's always tension about what he wanted me to be and what I decided to be. I think this story deals with these issues. It was also a quick read, even though it isn't that short. I really enjoyed it. The one thing I didn't like was how the mother all of a sudden knew she was talking to her son for just a few seconds, it seemed unrealistic with the frame of the story.
The Fnoor Hen by Rudy Rucker.
This was a fun one. It was very bizarre to have biological software, but I enjoyed the ride.
Smoke City by Christopher Barzak.
I liked this one. I think it was effective in getting its point across. Smoke city was an interesting city.
The One That Got Away by Esther M. Friesner.
I enjoyed this story quite a bit, mainly because I liked the dialogue. The ending came out of nowhere for me, but I liked it.
The Flow and Dream by Jack Skillingstead.
This might be the one I liked the most after EST17. I really liked the setting, I liked how the author brought up the monitor's past naturally and how he was able to create a setting in such a short story.