Sunday, January 24, 2010
Short Story Sunday-January 24, 2010
Welcome to the first of my newly revived Short Story Sunday posts. This was inspired by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. Carl has been doing Short Story Sunday's for quite some time. In my version, I will review the short stories that I have read in the past week.
Let's take a look at the two stories I read.
1. "Misquoting the Star" by David Bartell
First printing: Analog, December 2008
"Misquoting the Star" was the cover story for the December 2008 issue of Analog. The image I included does not do justice to the David Hardy cover.
It tells the story of what happens when an asteroid crashes into the Earth. Bartell writes about the issues faced by refugees on the moon. His characterization is very good. When the refugees are selected they are put through a very thorough screening process to prevent diseases from infecting the colony. When one of the leaders finds out that one of the crew is not who they thought he was, problems begin. A father goes through the testing then switches places with his son. The son would not have passed the health screening. The leader falls for the son. The conflict of how to handle the crewman is the basis of this interesting tale.
A good, solid short story.
1. "The Ghost Pit" by Stephen Baxter
First printing: Isaac Asimov's SF Magazine July 2001
Baxter is one of the author's I had not tried yet. Based on this story, I will be reading more of his works.
The story follows Raida, a young woman on a hunting expedition, who is teamed with her mother's old partner, L'Eesh. The two are investigating a large jovian planet for the presence of rare aliens known as Ghosts when their spacecraft is attacked and they crash land on one of the planet's moons. As they walk to the artificially constructed bridge that connects the two moons, Raida learns more about Ghosts, her mother and how much she can trust her partner.
Baxter describes an amazing environment for this story. I was very impressed to read about this world and the conflict that is taking place between the Ghosts and the humans. The conflict between the two hunters is interesting. The only shortcoming in this story was the mystery of who killed Raida's mother. Baxter leads the reader to think there will be a sequel to this story. It was aggravating to read this without knowing for sure.
Overall, a very good short story. Highly recommended.