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.

From Wikipedia...
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.


Carl V. Anderson said...

Love reading short stories and love it even more when others do and find it a rewarding experience. These both sound like must reads to me. I cannot recall if I've read a Baxter story or not. I'm going to have to glance through my anthologies to see if he is listed there.

I have got to get back to doing short story Sundays as I've been reading novels over the weekend and neglecting my short stories!

Carl V. Anderson said...

Inspired by your being inspired by me I decided to devote this weekend to short stories. I read a few from Asimov's Robot Dreams, which I will wait and post on when I finish the collection, and also read an anthology that I just posted about. Thanks for posting about your short story reading because it lit the fire in me!