Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ninety-Five Percent Safe, by Caroline M. Yoachim

Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, January 2015; ~5,600 words
Rating: 4, Recommended

Crowded into a huge, underground city, survivors of a nuclear war can opt to take a one-way trip through a wormhole and settle on another planet. But 5% of the pods get destroyed.

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

Pro: Nicole's determination to get out of her environment makes it clear, early on, that she's definitely going to go. The story makes it clear that the family situation isn't so bad that the adults would find it the no-brainer decision that she does. Only at the end do we realize that she really loved her mom, but when that sinks in, it's very powerful.

Con: You'd think there would be protections to keep people from bringing kids into the pods. Nicole can't be the first runaway. Her decision to take her 3-year-old brother with her makes her a much less attractive character.

2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I find the oddest thing is that the government/corp is willing to send people offworld through the wormhole and even settle them down to a new planet for free (or low cost) but back on Earth not even letting those same people change the color of their shirts for affordable price?? They must really want everyone to migrate to the new planet.

    Otherwise the ending hit you emotionally good

    1. Yeah, the author laid it on a bit too thick. She really wanted it to be clear that things were so bad that people would risk their lives to leave the planet.