Saturday, December 26, 2015

Orpheus' Engines, by Christopher Mckitterick

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(Hard SF) JoveCo hired Nina to figure out mysterious transmissions from the natives on Jupiter, who appear to be trying to sabotage their operation there. (8,500 words; Time: 28m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆, Not Recommended

"Orpheus' Engines," by (edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt), appeared in Mission: Tomorrow (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: It's a nice twist that the message is coming from an entirely different group of aliens.

Con: The science howlers are numerous and make it impossible to enjoy the story. To list a few, hydrogen is plentiful on Earth, so no one would mine it from Jupiter; it's not possible to tell that a message is encrypted without having some idea what's in it; the beanstalk pierces the hub's center, which means it violates conservation of angular momentum.

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