Analog Science Fiction & Fact: “Cryptids” by Alec Nevala-Lee.
“Cryptids” is a thriller that will remind some readers of Michael Crichton. Karen Vale is an ornithologist in New Guinea who is about to run out of funding for her field work when she is approached by a biopharmaceutical company with an offer she can’t refuse: The company has taken a keen interest in Pitohui, one of the world’s few poisonous birds. If the company can find out where the bird is ingesting the poison, then it could extract the chemical for its research. The trail leads Vale and her team to an isolated island holding a deadly secret.
That secret is pretty much spoiled by the magazine’s otherwise wonderful cover art, but don’t let that discourage you from picking up the story. The May issue of Analog is now available on newsstands and as a digital download.