Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Beneath the Silent Stars, by Aidan Doyle

(Soft SF) Jean-Paul has to find out why the Mariposa X destroyed the hyperspace gate that linked humanity with galactic civilization. (4,006 words; Time: 13m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆, Needs Improvement

"Beneath the Silent Stars," by , appeared in Lightspeed Magazine issue 67, published on

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

With this story, there's an infodump every other paragraph or so, show-don't-tell violations almost as often, a good bit of editorializing, and even some "as-you-know Bob." Worse, the action of the story stops in order to inflict these on the reader.

It feels as though the story sets up a challenge and then abruptly stops. The hero talk to the Mariposa X, learns from his father that this alien fleet is coming--and then the story ends.

The story feels very sloppy in general. For example, the story makes a big deal about how well the smartsuits work, how they're critical to staying alive, and how the hero had worn his for over sixty years. Yet in the last scene, he does without it on the planet's surface, has no ill effects, and tells us how much better it is without it on.

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