Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Points of Origin, by Marissa K. Lingen

Read this story
(Planetary SF; Oort Cloud Stories) Heartwarming story of how Torulf and Judith, an elderly couple on Mars, unexpectedly find themselves given custody of three preteen grandchildren they didn't know they had. (5,849 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden), published on by .

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

Pro: The central arc is how the three refugees come to accept living with their grandparents. Torulf and Judith accept the kids essentially immediately, although it takes a while before Torulf realizes that he needs the kids to be happy.

The kids' adaptation to ice skating can be read as a metaphor for how they adapt to Mars. Harry, the youngest, adapts almost at once without even trying. Richard takes longer, struggles, and is more fearful. Enid has the hardest time of all, but becomes the most accomplished.

Torulf's attempt at skating is more prosaic, but it does show that the kids have come to care about him too.

Con: The story has loose ends everywhere. For example, Torulf says, "Later it occurred to me that she was very practiced at it for a ten-year-old, but later I knew why," which leads us to expect we'll hear of some horror they went through, but nothing ever comes of it. There are a couple of mentions of someone named "Erin," but we never learn who that is. And we learn that the mom is in jail and the dad is on the lam, but we never find out what for.

It's difficult to believe that Torulf can't use the local equivalent of Wikipedia to find out all sorts of information about the Oort cloud and the problems out there. Likewise, there should be some way for both parents to send messages to their kids. The complete isolation is hard to credit.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 11/04/15)
Marissa Lingen Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)