Sunday, September 13, 2015

Racing to Mars, by Martin L. Shoemaker

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(Hard SF; Captain Nick Aames) A violent lady doctor, an abusive captain, and the ship's owner's spoiled 20-year-old son on a trip to Mars--what could go wrong? (21,000 words; Time: 1h:10m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended
Recommended By: Readers

"Racing to Mars," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 09|15, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The concept of the story is fine--tough love makes delinquent young man shape up. It's even rather satisfying when he starts to do so.

Con: The biggest problem with the story is the writing itself--the author constantly editorializes and even indulges in "as you know Bob" dialogue. The rest of the dialogue is uneven--some of it is okay while other bits are highly unnatural.

At the plot level, another big problem is the scope of Anthony's improvement. One does not cram the equivalent of a Ph.D. into just four months of intensive study. Not even a Master's. Countless other little things are constantly dragging the reader out of the story. E.g. the Captain's bizarre extra authority in deep space and the equally bizarre ways he uses it, such as just casually adding two people to a Mars team a few days before landing.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 09|15)
Martin L. Shoemaker Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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