I've already asked this in Reddit's r/tipofmytongue [1], r/science_fiction [2], and r/printSF [3].

The story was likely a novelette or novella, not a short story and almost certainly not a novel.

I thought the story was likely published between October 1989 and October 1990 (which is when I thought I read it) in Analog or Asimov's (except that I've checked the ISFDb's lists (at the links) for all of those issues and can't find a likely title). Also, user Yammerhant of Reddit's r/printSF checked their collection of 1980s/90s Analogs and did not find any likely candidates, though that does leave Asimov's.

So it's actually not likely, but besides The Dragon/Dragon Magazine, those were the only genre magazines to which I subscribed, so F&SF etc. are out. However, I did read a few stories from Absolute Magnitude and Aboriginal Science Fiction, as my local SF club had subscriptions.

More details:

  • the counter-gravity/anti-gravity was depicted as applied to/developed in/used in high-end race cars (think Formula One/Indy Car/NASCAR; which ended up being fusion powered—nuclear powered, at least), and the technology's effects in that industry.
  • The counter-gravity/anti-gravity mechanism ended up being two sets of hoops internal to the vehicle: a set of large ones for lift, and a set of thinner and more numerous ones for fine control.
  • The male protagonist (an engineer?) is in love triangle with a woman involved with the project (a race team executive?) and a male race car driver (a young hotshot?).
  • 1
    I think Analog would be more likely than Asimov's as the latter tended to be more realistic in its science.
    – DavidW
    Aug 8 at 17:50
  • 1
    I agree. In addition I read Asimovs pretty thoroughly during that timeframe and don't recall this story
    – Andrew
    Aug 8 at 18:12
  • I don't recall any other details. Is there anything else I can do to help?
    – DocWatson
    Aug 14 at 22:32
  • Just checking in.
    – DocWatson
    Sep 14 at 2:54


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